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Warning: naughty language ahead!
A permission slip:
Turning 30, to me, is no longer about endless impossible lists, sky-high expectations about myself, or carefully mapping a set of instructions to succeed in life; nor is it about picturing how my future is supposed to look.
I’m giving myself permission to enter into my 30s like a real person. Honest, humbled, growing, and in an endless search for true meaning. And I’m finally allowing myself to be me and embracing who I’ve been making room for all of my life.
Go with the flow, brother. Life is not a drill. This is our permission:
1. To not give a fuck. About our hair, our abs, our sarcasm, our friend’s opinion, our community’s idea of success, our idea of perfection, or of who we were supposed to be. Don’t take life so freaking seriously. Nothing is that important.
2. To accept all the things you couldn’t accomplish in your 20s or even earlier. To hell with endless lists of unrealistic expectations. You did way more than fine and will surely continue to do so.
3. To enjoy the highs and the lows. No more pretending life’s easy or perfect. Shitty days teach us too. Allow the space between sadness and happiness to be a middle ground for creativity and love.
4. To make mistakes. To not be so hard on yourself and others for being human. Patience, young padawan: fuck ups teach us way more than victories.
5. To be bluntly honest. With others about the things we don’t like or agree with, and bluntly honest with ourselves: to know deep down what we truly need and walk in that direction with determination and love.
6. To take a break. From someone. From something. From ourselves and our negative thoughts. Even from our own kids—whom we love with our whole heart but who also can be too much sometimes. Even our spouse or mother can smother us once in a while. Even getting sick and tired of our own thoughts and emotions is okay. Turn the TV on, watch some mindless Netflix for a few hours, and chill the fuck out.
7. To accept ourselves every day, even if it feels like a never-ending fight between self-hate and self-love. And by choosing to do so, accepting ourselves means no longer waiting for the approval of others to build our own self-respect. We’re perfection—we just haven’t seen it yet.
8. To find comfort. To not be so uptight either, about jeans or ideologies. Wear what makes you comfortable and cozy and happy. Choose your spiritual and philosophical path (or don’t) and stop getting annoyed when someone doesn’t get you. Embrace—shamelessly—who you really are inside out, and the rest will follow.
9. To notice when and why you’re shutting yourself away from the world and to make an effort to understand what’s triggering you. We are social animals and we need others, so try to understand what makes you connect and disconnect from the world around you so you can find your real tribe. Know thyself, basically.
10. To be yourself, whatever that means. Be whoever you wake up in the morning feeling like being. No matter how much backlash we get, no matter how judged, analyzed, or even loved, being ourselves is the most beautiful present we can give to the world. Find out who the fuck that is and voilà.
11. To always let ourselves feel love before anything else. Even when we feel the other doesn’t deserve it, even when we hate something about ourselves in front of the mirror, even when we’re in the worst possible situation or have no clue what the fuck is going on. The decision to act, speak, and think from a place of love makes all the difference in the world.
12. To be fucking graceful. To choose kindness above all, in every good or not so good situation. Grace is a gift given by the universe, wrapped up in a box only you can open and try on. Acting gracefully toward life’s heartaches and injustices gives failure meaning and success purpose. Grace is the most fantastic way to live a full life. Grace is the most fucking awesome blessing on the planet, and so are you.
13. And always remember this: beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.