I know I have not been consistent the past 2 weeks, I've been distracted with the holidays comijng up, planning my Mom's 70th Bday party, and doing some freelance work. However, I'm BACK! Anyway, I was thinking about a topic for this week, and I kept coming back to what I would do differently given the chance. Was there anything I would change? So, I decided today's blog would be, 5 things I would tell the 30 yr old Cat. Here we go...
1) Stop being so hard on yourself for goals you created at the age of 15 and have not achieved yet. This was hard. At the age of 15, I thought for sure, I would have a thriving career, would be married, or at the very least engaged. I would be living in Manhattan, living the life somewhat similar to the cast of Friends and BH90210. That was the 15 yr old me. 49 yr old me, not married, no kids. I live in Queens. Career wise, I'm not where I want to be, however, I am good at what I do. Now, what would I tell 30 yr old me? To create goals that are easier to achieve so you can build off that. When I was a personal trainer, I would ask my clients what their goals were. And most of the time they would say the same thing, loose 40 lbs, be ripped, get as perky butt, etc..... Now, those are great goals, though, if you are not prepared to put in the time and work to achieve those goals, then it seems alomst unachievable. Those goals seems so far out of reach that you end up giving up. So, I suggest setting goals that are realistic. Something that is actually achievable within a reasonable amount of time. Achieving that sense of accomplishment is such a game changer, many people do not realize how something as simple as checking off all your things to do on your list will really make you feel good about yourself. And what happens then? You will set up aditional goals for yourself . And soon you will be moving forward vs having your wheels turn and not go anywhere...
2) Listen to your inner voice... At 30, we think we know everything. Seriously, how could we not, we have been living for 30 yrs! We survived high school. Finished college. We've had sex! WTH!!! Well, at the age of 30, we have not really lived, yet. Life was really just beginning. At 30, we think that for the past 10 yrs are the years to live it up, and after 30, its time to just exist. By exist, I mean, get married, have kids, do family things. Whatever, we were going to achieve, it should be by the age of 30 because after 30, not so much. Now, what does this have to do with your inner voice. Well, at 30, your not that confident. You think you are, but really your not. At 30, my boyfriend of 5 yrs finally got into DO school (I actually got him into the school). Anyway, I was beginning NYU. He was moving to Fla for DO school. Long distance... I was happy for him and crushed. I was not sure what that meant for us. We were together for a longtime. He was also upset, I can not pretend it was just me. That summer, we had the BEST summer and the WORST summer. I was on the fence. I wanted to talk about our future and yet I did not believe in ultimatums. My thought process was "I did not want someone to base their decision on that". I wanted a decision to come organically. I did not want an ultimatum to be in "our" story. What I did ask him IF he saw me in his future, and he said yes. And I was ecstatic! But what did that really mean? As the summer came to an end, he asked me if I would consider moving to Fla. And I thought about it. I mean, I like FLa, mostly Miami. But what would I do there? Where would I live? He never offered for me to live with him. So, what exactly was in it for me to move? Well, I said no. I stayed in NY. I would fly there every month and he would fly up as well. We did that for 2 yrs. I knew his school schedule was crazy, so I would not call as much. I texted him. When I would visit, I didn't bother him. I did my own thing. I have to assume that he got used to me not calling and being present in his life, so eventually we broke up. Of course I was devasted. I had invested so much of my life into that relationship. I thought I did everything right, and yet it still did not work out. I had been haunted for years as to what I DID WRONG. Well, I would tell 30 yr old me nothing, because I did nothing wrong. I was correct to not move to Fla. If he really wanted me, period, he would have asked me to move in with him. He would have said I can go to school in Fla, we would live together, and move forward, get engaged etc. You see, while I did listen to my inner voice, I also had so much self doubt. I questioned so many things in my life afterwards because of that one decision. And yet, I know, as I always have, that was the right decision, period.
3) What's happening now does not define you. In my 20's I made a horrible mistake. A mistake that really altered my life for years! A mistake that I could not shake. I mistake I held onto so tight, that it became a part of me. I let it define me. It took me a LONG time to let that go. How did I do that? Not through therapy. I guess with time. That old adage, time heals all wounds. It's true. As time continued on, that mistake became smaller and more difficult for me to see and feel. Eventually, I could not feel it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still think about it from time to time, however, I do not beat myself up about it. I am only human and we all make mistakes. It's what we do after the mistakes that deifne us. Did we learn from them or do we contiunue to make them? So, I would tell 30 yr old me, what happened will be such a small part, a blip, in the rest of your life. Mistakes do not define us, is what we do afterwards that does.
4) Stop putting things off. When we are younger we think we have time. There are a few quotes to confirm that. "Why do today when you can put off till tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow, tomorrow , theres always tomorrow, its only a day away".
We put things off. When you are young, you believe that there is no consequence to your decisions. You put off going to school for a semester. Whats the big deal, its only a few months. Well, I would tell 30 yr old me that life is short. We have no idea how long we have to live. Life is so precious and to waste it is a shame. Stop procrastinating. If you have an opportunity to do something, do it. If you think you have plenty of time to get to it, you are wrong. What we do not think of at 30 is that life gets in the way. As we get older, our priorities change. What we thought was important last year will not be important to us the following year.
5) A man will not complete you. Well, this is something we learn with time, through life experiences. When I was 30, this was not the case. There were movies, books, society telling me different. We've all seen Pretty Woman, While You Were Sleeping, Clueless, Jerry Macquire, She's all That, Never Been Kissed, etc. What did those movies tell us, or me? That love from a man would complete me. That the rest of the pieces of my life, like a puzzle would come together. Everything would be perfect after that. Well, unfortunately life is not like a movie. There are no big overtures of love, no orchestra playing in the background while you look into each others eyes. Even when you find love, it will not feel like what you think it should. In the movies, love conquers all. In real life, it does not. Why is that? Life gets in the way every time. So, what would I tell 30 yr old me? Expect more. Want more. Feel and believe in the fact that YOU deserve more! The gift you your love is special, no one else will get it. Believe in the fact that you should expect the same in return. However, do not expect love to change your life. Do not expect love to change circumstances. That's an unfair expectation to put on it and what you are actually doing is setting yourself up for failure. The only person who can change your circumstance is YOU. You have to be able to see, truly see what is YOUR reality and make a conscious effort to change what you do not like about it. Relying on someone else to help us will not get us there. We have to want it for ourselves. With change comes new opportunities. Some good, some not. However, without change, we would live in a world where everyday is the same and really, that is not living. That is a fear of living.
To quote a famous movie, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it." Don't be afraid to live. If you make mistakes, that's okay. We all do. It's what we take from our mistakes and move forward that will shape us into who we want to be.