On Friday I talked about how my job doesn’t make me happy, and I wanted to expand a little bit on something I mentioned.
I mentioned the websites that are constantly telling me what dreams I should be pursuing and what my priorities should be: “25 Places you NEED to see in your 20s,” “Why it’s OK to be a Hot Mess right now,” “12 GIFs that show how to make your Dream of becoming a yoga teacher come true.” I’ll admit that I made those particular ones up- but I won’t believe you if you say that you haven’t seen something eerily similar.
For a while these articles really bugged me and I thought it was because none of those things seemed within my reach. I didn’t have the vacation time to travel the globe, my years of being a hot mess seemed behind me, and my yoga was terrible. It felt like I was missing out on some big secret like that everyone else my age was living.
With that in mind, I made a big change to my life: I moved to an apartment in a younger fresher area and started going out to bars more often.
Turns out, that’s someone else’s dream. I love the convenience of having bars and restaurants close by and moving was the best thing I could’ve done, but not because I suddenly became That Party Girl. On any given Saturday night I’m at home, in sweats, reading a book and eating pizza. Or playing board games with my buds. Also in sweats.
That used to feel like laziness to me- couldn’t I suck it up, put on some mascara and a skirt and just get out there?! But what I took for laziness is actually me letting myself be comfortable. Reading and board games make me happy and relaxed. Bars are fun when I have the energy, but loud noises and crowds make me notoriously anxious (I start doing lobster hands in crowds. It’s super weird and I don’t know how it started).
The next change I wanted to make was traveling the world. My parents have taken me to so many incredible places and I wanted to keep on exploring, so I set out to start saving up my vacation time and my money so that I could get on out there. But then I went home for a week around Christmas…and then I visited my Momma for her birthday…and then manfriend and I took some weekend road trips to unwind…and soon a new baby will be joining the family and you can bet I’ll take at least a week off to go coo and cuddle…and before I knew it, most of my hard-earned vacation time was earmarked.
I can’t make myself be the slightest bit disappointed about that. It may not be exotic jungles or cosmopolitan cities like I imagined, but I use my vacation time to surround myself with love. These moments with my family and my guy are moments that I’ll never get back and I am so incredibly fortunate to get to make these memories with them. I haven’t given up my plans for traveling, just put them a little lower on my list of priorities.
Once I realized that it’s OK to set my own priorities and reach for my own goals, it was like I gave myself permission to be happy. It doesn’t make me a weirdo that I’m saving up for a down payment on a house instead of shopping for new clothes every other month. My vacations are no less exciting and life-changing for being close to home. My friends are no less important just because some of them have four legs. My Saturday mornings don’t have to be filled with hangovers- it’s fine that I head straight to the barn.
This is the adult version of peer pressure that I’m resisting- I’m determined to create my own life around what matters to me most. Becoming a yoga teacher just isn’t going to happen.