I’ve been in my head a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about what I want from life after turning 30. I didn’t think that 30 would feel like a big deal, but there’s a new decade approaching and I’m excited for all that it could bring. I’m not scared about getting older, but a bit apprehensive that I might not make the most of it, and that would be a shame. I’ve been giving myself some space to think about what’s working and what’s not. It’s freeing and uncomfortable all at the same time.
Almost a year ago I shared this post on getting clear about the life you want, and whilst some parts of my vision still ring true to me, there have been shifts too. The coast doesn’t draw me in like it used to and writing a book isn’t really so important to me anymore. Other things have popped up to replace those that are swirling around my head and refusing to leave.
For me, that’s a sign to keep them there and do a little more research. To do some ground work and try them on for size. I think as we get older, we feel that we can’t make mistakes or change track anymore. We’re supposed to have it all together and know what the future holds. It makes me uneasy that it hasn’t turned out that way for me. But maybe that’s just the path I’m supposed to walk?
Redefining what you want isn’t failure, it’s clarity. It’s being okay with trying things and being willing to say “whoa, this seemed great in theory, but this just isn’t me”. That’s really hard to do. You need courage to admit that sometimes things just aren’t for us, even when we really thought they would be. I really admire people who aren’t afraid to take calculated risks and find what’s right for them.
It doesn’t always have to be crazy big, life changing, risks. Sometimes it’s quietly learning a new skill or doing some further reading or taking up a hobby that could lead to something more. Sometimes it’s stumbling across something you did in the past and realising that you’d like to try it again, maybe that’s a craft or a subject you loved to study years ago.
Sometimes redefining what you want can be realising that you really like where you are now and being ok with not wanting to keep striving for the next big thing. That takes courage too! Particularly for those of us who are programmed to always be striving for the next thing. Maybe in this case, better doesn’t always need to be just around the corner, sometimes it’s right where you are. That’s pretty cool too.
There are so many articles reminding us to hustle, hustle, hustle and never give up. But all that hustling doesn’t leave any room for reflection and for us to check that we’re hustling in the direction we actually want to go (or the space to see that we’re already there). Hustling sure has a time and a place, but it doesn’t have to be 24/7.
The reminders to “never give up” can also be guilt traps when we know in our heart that something needs to change and it looks to the world a whole lot like giving up. Feeding the guilt doesn’t feel like the right way to a life that we’re happy living, to me. If you feel like you’re smashing your head into a brick wall, feel free to give that up right away. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Sometimes things need time and space. Don’t be afraid to change your path, but give yourself a chance to do it on purpose if you can.
Have you redefined what you want? Is it something that you’ve been thinking about?
Note: The Embracing Imperfection series is a fortnightly blog post series, every second Thursday, where I talk about creating a great, happy home for you and for me. One where we not only talk about embracing imperfection, but where we make steps to do it. Read more about it here.