I remember when I was a little kid, thinking that 26 was so old. I pictured myself at 26 having everything I wanted. I thought I would be a whole different person, someone who didn’t bite their nails, or go to bed without brushing their teeth sometimes, or wear mismatched socks. I thought by 26 I would be a finished product, and would carry on throughout my life as this perfect version of myself, with no bad habits, no flaws, and a completely clear plan of what I wanted to do, and how I was going to make that happen.
Honestly, I really don’t feel that different from 5 year old me. I don’t think we actually change that much, certainly our interests and tastes and those things can evolve, but the person we are at the very center of everything, I think that’s us, for better or worse, for life.
Really the only difference for me between now and then, is that now instead of having someone else make decisions for me, I am making them for myself, and sometimes I really don’t feel like I have any more insight into what I should be doing than I did at 5 years old.
I make myself go to the dentist now, and force myself to get a flu shot even though I would rather be doing anything else (do flu shots even really work?) but the feelings I have about those things, and so many other things haven’t changed. I would still eat chocolate frosting right out of the jar for every meal if I wasn’t already pretty sure I was going to develop diabetes from my sugar habits earlier in life. Seriously, Good Host ice tea crystals? It was bad.
I think the only thing that changes from when you are a kid to an adult, is that you know now that there are consequences for your actions, both positive and negative, and YOU are the one who is going to have to deal with them, whether that be eating only apple sauce because you wouldn’t go to the dentist and all your teeth fell out, or you quit your job and can’t find a better one and end up homeless, or that you start your own business and become wildly successful, there isn’t anyone there to tell you what you are supposed to be doing, you have to decide, and then decide whether or not to do it, on your own.
Just something I’ve been thinking about lately, it’s kind of daunting trying to decide what I want to do next, because every decision, especially the big ones are really going to affect how your life turns out, probably more than you realize. But when I start to worry about that, I just try to remember that I’ve pretty much been completely making it up as I go thus far, and I’d say things have worked out pretty great.I saw this the other day, and it kind of stuck with me: