For many years I thought I was settled and at peace with myself. But it's only until this year that I feel in absolute harmony with who, what and how I am as a person. If you read my other personal development writings you'll learn a bit more. When it comes to interpersonal learning, I have somewhat misunderstood it and can be a slow achiever at it. But that's the joy of everyone being different and sharing their points of view, just as I am here. I feel that I am at a stage in my life where I no longer feel the need to prove myself to others. I stopped proving myself as a person around last September when things just seemed to have clicked into place and adjusted myself accordingly with no effort. I just felt different within myself like I was at ease. I didn't feel the urge to be 'all over it' like I once was. I think I have wasted too much time on theatrics and dramatics. I have seemed to take a more relaxed approach to people and communication. Maybe it's because the learning I had to learn had now been achieved. It doesn't mean it will stop there, but that major learning curve had now passed. As like everyone I have gained and lost friendships and relationships but it's how you move on from them that matters the most. They all had a positive impact at the time, regardless of the outcome it's best to recognise that good did happen. Just be grateful of what others have brought even if it was for a short time. However, these are all lessons in disguise not sentences where you need to be punished. Don't judge your feelings or actions too much, just let them come in and release them. You can either go into mourning or make a change in attitude and spirit. I seemed to have made the change without really trying, but came with the realisation of the learning I had achieved. If there is a button for this kind of interpersonal change, it must be this one!
Just like everyone you can make bad decisions and wrong choices. But that shouldn't define you as a person. Those decisions and choices have led me to where I am now. We all have a destiny and experiences to fulfil. I had to go through what I have so I can share my journey. If I didn't make the mistakes I had, I wouldn't have nothing to learn from and advise others. With the right positive lens you can see how everything you loved and lost improves your life. I know I'm a perfectionist but this is an aspect of me that can be restricting. Over the last couple of years I've become somewhat afraid to make mistakes and occasionally fail. I need to bring back taking risks - trial and error and progressing from it. Allowing people in to help and not being driven by my inner ego. A good daily ego check can keep you grounded.
I have just achieved a long-time goal of completing a masters in a subject I am really passionate about. I think this now ends proving myself that I am educated and intellectual. This goal was about aspiring to be knowledgeable and becoming something (insert little life story here) and I have succeeded, I just had to believe in myself. This masters is a symbol to inspire and encourage others to achieve education from a place where it appeared impossible. This masters also represents my strong passion for education and working within it. Yes qualifications can be viewed as materialistic objects and you don't need them to achieve in life. But to progress further in a career you do need certain qualifications or what is the point in becoming qualified?!
Love > achievement
With what I said above in mind, I need to be proud of what I have achieved both interpersonally and professionally and savour it. But I need to be less conflicted about constantly thinking what I can be working on next. It's about knowing what the differences between love and achievement are and what motivates you towards the two. Love is limitless and timeless from friends and family, whilst achievement has a shelf life. You cannot take achievements with you after you leave this world. But you can however leave a lasting memory. It's here where I need to give focus to loving myself and others more. I can still build upon my achievements but they do not need to rule me as they have done previously. I need to let previous goals die and let new ones be created.
For a very long time my head has been consumed with looming assignments and deadlines, which became very heavy on my mind and suppressed me in many ways. Now that all of this is done it has left me with lots of space and freedom and it feels absolutely great! Better yet, euphoric! I now need to find and interest myself in new hobbies and take myself back to where I experienced through all of my senses. But I need to allow new interests and hobbies to come naturally rather than enforcing them upon me. I said a long time ago that after doing my masters I wanted to wind things down a bit and take a more leisurely approach to life, rather than pressuring myself and developing an unwelcome egoistic monster. As Gary once said about his art work, he doesn't want to make money off it as it then becomes a job/chore. I agree with this as when it's a job you have an obligation to fulfil it. With Gary's artwork he does it for a hobby and to relax. I need to take this approach and keep work to work. It's very much like me with this blog, I do it out of leisure, I make no money from it just to reflect and share to the wider world. If it became money-orientated then I would feel obligated and pressured to churn things out. Which will result in less authentic and quality outcomes. I used to enjoy the thought that my work is also my interest but you really can't mix them both, they need to be kept separate for a reason. The reason being for mental health and peace.
It depends what you're priorities are, but sometimes these can be forgotten in the blur of falling stars. I looked around and within me and saw that my priorities have been lost in the desire of increasing my success. Gary said that he doesn't want to stifle me and stop me from doing what I want to do. Especially if it helps me become the best version of me. But that comes from within you not materiality. I'm going to focus on friends and family and find new hobbies and interests along the way. Perhaps improve my cooking skills or expressive dancing?! Or maybe just enjoy the little things a lot more. Restoring my soul with things that I may have lost or forgotten about on my journey.
When people say "life is short" I've always thought it is a really generic, overused and overrated term that didn't have any meaning. But recently it has occurred to me what it actually means. I was thinking that the last ten years have passed by extremely quick, I mean I can tell you all the highlights from each year. So typically I have another three of those (or four if I am blessed enough) which again will go very quickly. So we need to experience as much happy and positive things as we can. So for me - be the best I can, give the best love and kindness I can, receive love and kindness gracefully, experience more of the world and give back to the world.
I've somehow grown into a confident and intelligent man. It's hard to accept this but I have. People really do grow through time, even though it may feel and take longer than others. But I am proud of the person I have come to be.
I've already had two 30th birthday celebrations (apparently I am like the Queen?!); one with Gary's family and one with my friends. Tonight I'm having another birthday celebration with my family. I've had a great day of happiness and received lots of beautiful birthday wishes and gifts. So I say hello to my thirties and welcome many, many, many more good times ahead. :-)