The near death knell of my wasted twenties is drawing nearer-we’re five days away from my 29th birthday- so I created a short list of goals to accomplish in the next year. Here they are:
- Saving your own ass
- Being a good person
- Learning more
Primary goal: Saving your own ass. You’ve discovered that a) no one can save yours, and b) you can’t save anyone else’s. The painful truth is that we are all responsible for our own choices in this world, and the best we can do for others is to try to set a positive example.
Achieve this goal by:
- Staying sober. Stay accountable, open, and humble. With the help of others, you can achieve anything.
- Focusing on schoolwork. You’re probably not going to marry a rich man or inherit a bunch of money, this is the path to stability for you.
- Keeping busy. 90% of the bad things in your life happened because you were curious and bored. As a child, you were curious, bored, and left to your own devices so you stuck your finger in an open light socket. Now you’ve moved onto more complicated versions of the same action.
- Keeping and creating open, constant, and sincere friendships. Maintain the healthy ones, and meet new people. Romances don’t tend to work out well for you, please stay single or make a stable & sane person work their butt off to win you over.
- Taking care of your physical body on a daily basis. Start out by focusing on healing the muscles in your left leg, and strengthening your left knee. Move toward walking and body weight exercise. Gradually move toward a more healthy and consistent diet. Keep your supplement use to those things that don’t alter your consciousness in a noticeable way. Cease and desist doing weird, drastic things to yourself.
- Taking care of your mind. Make yoga, meditation, and daily writing a normal part of your day. Find positive role models, and try to combine their strengths. Stay on your antidepressants. You might not like being on them, but things get pretty lame and whacky when you’re off them.
Secondary goal: Being a good person. Not because you hope you’ll benefit from it in the afterlife, and not because of that good old Catholic guilt complex you have, but because the world needs more good people.
Achieve this goal by:
- Helping others, but protecting yourself first. Do not put another’s welfare above your own. You’ve been doing this for 28 years. Each and every time you do this, it wears you out, and instead of getting the other person out of their hell, you end up in it with them. If someone is making a sincere effort to change, provide love, support, and information when and where possible, but maintain an emotional distance, do not be afraid to take time away for yourself, and avoid basing your self-worth on their progress. Run like hell if necessary; key phrases here are “radical acceptance” and “detaching with love”. Seriously, Joss, this is what puts you back in therapy every time. STAHP.
- Staying grateful and content. Things could and have been much worse, and each day is another chance to get it right.
- Managing your behavior and emotions. Realize that responding, not reacting to stimuli is the best path for you. Asking for time to process your emotions and thoughts before you respond to something consistently leads to better results.
- Learning more about yourself. Discover your interests in better detail, learn to strengthen your positive qualities and work on mitigating your weaker points.
Tertiary goal: Learn more. You feel like you wasted most of your brain and life, and it’s time to make up for it.
Achieve this goal by:
- Exploring new media. Read 50 books this year, listen to one new album a week, and watch one movie a week.
- Learning or enhancing at least one skill. You’ve enhanced your social skills in the last few years, which has been extremely beneficial. Now look for something else to learn. Arbitrary suggestions: Keep a dream journal and learn to interpret your dreams. Totally up your weird tarot card and crystal loving alley. Learn more about the technical aspects of the Myers-Briggs system, since you love putting people in neat little boxes so much. Also, try to work on rebuilding your skills in writing and grammar. U finna end up slingin dope with the way u talk. (Translation: Your relaxed and natural pattern of speech makes you sound like you should be on the corner selling dope or doing something of that nature.)
- Asking for and listening to others’ advice. Sometimes, listening to others is the only way to avoid learning the hard way, and you’re already mastered that.