A pledge to my aging self
Happy Monday, Hustlers. As some of you know, it’s a very special Monday for me.. I’m officially a year older. I am now 26 (yaaay, balloons, candles!). Now, I know what you’re thinking – how the hell did it work out that my birthday fell on a Monday this year?! Well, you’re not alone. Fate, coincidence, subconsciously planned? We’ll never know.
Just want to do a quick shout out to Eminem, Hilary Duff, Young Jeezy and Bam Margera – happy birthday, my good friends (skux)!
Age. It’s a weird thing. The fact that I am now 26 is interesting. Twenty-six.. 2-6.. I don’t really feel associated with it yet! I know 26 is still young.. But as I see that number increase, it just makes me realize how quickly life happens! And I’m sure most people can empathize with that. Yesterday, we were all 17, right?
Most people view aging as a negative. However, I don’t think this is right. And I want to do everything in my power to view aging as a positive. After all, it’s an inevitable and exciting part of life! So this year, I’m making a pledge to myself. It’s a list of ten things that I want to work on to ensure that I stay focussed on what’s actually important. Feel free to use this pledge in your own life too, or to write a pledge of your own!
1) I will proudly proclaim my age to whoever asks
A few times last year, I found myself avoiding answering the age question. I was 25 – I wasn’t exactly past it!! But in the company of 19 year olds, for some reason, I felt embarrassed. I felt like the way I would be treated might change. I felt like if I said I was almost 26, I would be an outsider.
Here I am and having so far lived a happy, healthy, awesome 26 years full growth and learning opportunities.. How f*cking lucky am I?? Age is something to be proud of! And if someone is going to judge me based a number alone, I say let them. I pledge to always proclaim my age with pride. Because each year is a milestone to be grateful for.
2. I will put my health first
Ok, now this one makes me seem old right! However, a few weeks ago, I had a health scare which really put things in perspective for me. I was nervous. I was anxious. And everything else just seemed so unimportant. So this year, I’ll get those mole maps done. I’ll get regular dental check ups. I’ll get on top of all this health stuff. ‘Cause being in a state without illness or injury is the best stroke of fortune one can have – and at the end of the day, as long as you have your health, everything else is a secondary bonus in life.
3. I will always look at, and talk about my body/face/mind in a positive way
Things are gonna change. My face, my body, my skin. There is no point stressing about a laughter line, a love handle measurement increase, a single grey hair.. I promise to always treat myself with respect, which includes being open and accepting to the natural changes that come with age. Welcome to my face, frown line, so nice of you to make an appearance! Remember that the only thing we can keep ‘young’ is our soul. So whatever happens on the outside, I will continue to view myself positively, and to love myself from the inside. I will endeavor to relax about the physical changes, and just be grateful that I am here to experience them.
4) I will trust my journey
It’s so easy to wish that I’d started doing what I am now when I was younger.. I sometimes find myself wondering where I could have been if I had trusted in my dream earlier in life.. But the fact is, my journey is my journey. It has all been amazing, and every experience, good or bad has been beneficial – because I’ve learnt more about what I love, what I am passionate about and am now in a position to know that what I am doing, is so, so right.
5) I will celebrate the journey of others
As humans, we always compare. When Lorde got famous, I thought, geez she’s made it and she’s only 17.. When Lydia Ko started to make a scene, I was like holy shit, she was born in 1997.. Well, good for them! I will remember that what other people achieve, at whatever age, is not a reflection of my failure; it is a reflection of their success! So instead of being full of envy, and feeling like I should have ‘made it’ by now, I’m changing my mindset to say, ‘how awesome for them – they are showing people what’s possible!’ And will quickly get back to focussing on my own path.
6) I will meditate more
Those that know me know that I find it really hard to relax. This year, I promise to make the time for myself to exist in the now, to be in the moment, to just ‘be’ in peace for a few minutes. Cause apparently, it’s really good for you..!
7) I will stretch more
Similar to meditation, I will give my muscles and bones the time to unwind. They do so much good work, so they deserve attention and care as much as anything that’s a part of me.
8) I will let go of what I cannot control
My english teacher gave me a quote on a piece of card in my final year at high school which I have kept ever since. It says, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Time to start living by that mantra. So, in the same breath..
9) I will let go of emotions that serve me no purpose
I promise to acknowledge any feelings of regret, of hurt, of loss. I promise to realize that negative thoughts and emotions have all come from somewhere, whether they are from situations in which I have been hurt or from situations in which I have hurt myself.. However, I also promise to remember that continuing to hold on to these negative feelings possesses no value. It is unfair on my present self. So, I am going to allow myself the freedom to forgive, to let those feelings go and to release the burden of regret. I feel it is the kindest thing we can do for ourselves.
10) I will keep the dream alive
This is it. I’ve come too far now. I’m in this dream state for life!
As much as we think we want to, we are never gonna stop the aging process. We need to gracefully surrender the things of youth, and just be thankful for our bodies, our minds, our breath and our abilities, even as they change and as we grow. It is such a privilege to age. When we were kids, we wished our youth away cause we thought it was cool to be older.. But let’s now learn from that, and instead turning the tables and yearning for our youth, let’s just be grateful for this moment. We’ll never be younger than we are now, than we are today, than we are right at this very moment.. So stop pining. Stop worrying unnecessarily. Instead of focussing on the time that has passed, let’s take control of time as it passes. Let’s focus on what we can do, on what changes we can make, whether physical, mental or spiritual so we can start living our best life RIGHT NOW!
And always remember that age is not a barrier. It is a absolute blessing.