Transitioning from my
My birthday is August 31st. My birth certificate says that I was born at 8:31am on 8/31. My Mom always told me I had an appointed time of birth and I always felt special. That is until a few years ago when I recounted this fact to my Dad and he cracked the window through which I view my life by saying, “Everyone has an appointed time of birth, dear.” Touché Dad.
Last year, beginning around December, I started worrying about entering 2011, the year I turn 30. Yes, I had just turned 29 three months earlier but what is 29 except a reminder that you’ll soon be 30? I then implemented a major self assessment and began to take inventory of my life – desires, fears, regrets, goals, etc. I’ll pause here to have a brief conversation about motivation…
Each of us has an idea of what we want out of life, whether it's a family, a certain career, traveling, helping make the world a better place, etc. Each of us also has a different reason for deciding upon these goals. I think it comes down to our individual world views and how we see ourselves in this huge planet. Some of us just want to be as happy as we can be while we’re here - make a nice life for ourselves and help make our loved ones happy. Some interpret the world in terms of the self and crave accolades, status or wealth (or all three). Some believe life is about having experiences and the need to exhaust every possible opportunity. Others of us form goals out of the belief that we have a specific purpose, a destiny for our lives. Now, personal motivation comes into question when deciphering why we strive to meet our particular goal. The motivation for accomplishing our life goal, which stems from our world view, is said to be either Gold Medals or German Shepherds*. Meaning, we are either driven by the prize of accomplishing the goal (personal pride, contentment, happiness, recognition, material/monetary rewards) or we are motivated by the fear of not accomplishing that goal (personal failure, insignificance, no legacy, disappointment to others, unhappiness). See, I knew what my goals were and why I had them but I had not yet realized the motivation behind my desire to achieve them.
Back to my worrying about turning 30… I was scared to hit this milestone because I viewed it only as a reminder of what I hadn’t yet achieved. This is when my motivation became clear; I really don’t like German Shepherds and I was living to outrun them. Since I don’t want my decisions in life to be fear-based, I hatched a strategy to understand myself a little better and identify my true desires separate from my irrational fears; all before August 31st. In February, I broke up with the (wonderful and understanding) man I was dating, filed a particular legal document that was long overdue (more on this topic later), started seeing a psychologist, and coincidentally (or not) started this blog. I also wanted to make sure I would not be entering my 30s with the same old baggage I picked up along the way through my last decade.
I can tell you that 6 months, 7 counseling sessions, a reunion with that wonderful and understanding man and a solo trip to Mexico later, I am excited and ready for 30! I've identified the reasons for my “inaccurate self-perception” (as my psychologist put it), finalized open-ended matters and peeled off band-aids to let wounds finally heal. Right now I feel at peace and I'm grateful for all the years I’ve had and all the many opportunities to come. No regrets and no time wasted on worry and fear. Plus I'm just happy ’cause I get to have a lot of parties this month:)
“…So run, that ye may obtain the prize.” I Corinthians 9:24
*I have to thank Brad for cluing my in on this maxim!