1. Dropping Out Of College
Yep, when I was 19 I did that. And my parents were not pleased. I wish I could have stayed in my beautiful little beach town and graduated Magna Cum Laude, but dropping out was just something I had to do. I honestly was not mature enough to go to college when I was 19. Sounds stupid, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I was making bad decisions, not focusing on my studies and I had no idea how to turn it around. I knew I would go back eventually, but I didn’t want to be on the path that I was on.
3 months later my dad died. As lame as it was moving back in with my parents, I’m so glad I did. Also, I’m so glad I delayed going back to college until I really really wanted to be there. I had such a great appreciation for it and as such performed WAY better.
Lessons Learned: If your gut is telling you something, listen. If you don’t like where you’re going, there’s no shame in stopping and turning around. If you don’t *want* to be doing something, you aren’t going to do it very well.
2. Fighting for Garrett
Oh doesn’t that just sound dramatic? As if there was hair pulling and cat-fighting involved. Ooooh, excitement! Well, sorry to disappoint, but there totally wasn’t. What I mean to say is, I’m so glad that I didn’t give up early on when the beginning wasn’t rose petals and romance. You see, in my younger days I spent a lot of time Looking For The One. Well, more like Waiting For The One to cross my path. Romantic comedies have just screwed this all up, am I right? Good relationships take work — whether it is at the beginning or in the middle, you are going to have to work at making a relationship successful. I absolutely love love love this Dan Savage video about The Price of Admission. Best relationship advice I’ve ever heard…and seeing as I didn’t meet my “Soul Mate” (barf) until I was 27, I have heard a loooooooot of relationship advice.
Lessons Learned: It is less about finding The One and more about Becoming The One. You really need to figure out who the hell you are if you are ever going be able to communicate what you need in someone else. Not who society thinks you should be, not who your mom thinks you should be, not who your friends tell you should be — WHO YOU REALLY ARE. Then, find someone who thinks that all of those things are the bee’s knees. But if you don’t know what you’re working with, you’ll never know what you want.
3. Giving Up Diet Drama and Learning To Cook
A while ago I wrote a weight loss series and it was sort of a turning point for this blog. So many of you responded and related and it really helped me come out of my little blogging shell and talk about my health and fitness journey. To this day my absolute favorite part of that series was Part Three, which was the story of my Year of Not Giving A Fuck.
I decided I would rather be fat and happy, than miserable all the time worrying about it — and it was the best decision I ever made.
I still stand behind that. Sure it wasn’t the year I lost the most weight ever, but it was a turning point in how much I valued the enjoyment of my life over being thin. Allowing myself to do that let me explore cooking for really the first time ever and I’m just SO DAMN HAPPY I did that. Cooking is now a major passion and developing recipes and sharing them on this blog has introduced me to amazing people. I can’t imagine if I still lived a Life of Lean Cuisines. Oh god, I shudder to think, really…
Lessons Learned: Sometimes when you feel like you aren’t making progress with your goals, you are making progress with your life.
4. Chucking Traditional Wisdom and Exploring Ancestral Eating
This isn’t my advertisement for The Paleo Diet. This is my advertisement for marching to the beat of your own drum. I think that a major life skill that is worth learning is how to deal with nay-sayers. They are always going to be there no matter what you are doing. My advice if you are experiencing a lot of people around you drinking the haterade: Look Inward.
There were many when I decided I would eschew grains, legumes and sugar. GIRL, ARE YOU CRAZY? Hell, maybe I am. But what I realized is that I have every right to pursue what is best for me. I deserve that, and I am not responsible for figuring out what is best for everyone. Oddly enough, having that realization has brought with it some success. Most of the time if I am come from a place of self-care and confidence, people find that easy to respect even if what I’m doing is “crazy.”
Lessons Learned: If you march to the beat of your own drum, at least you are guaranteed to enjoy the music. Try new things, explore many ways to do things — if they don’t work, at least you will have learned something or had an adventure or made a memory. It’s not the years in your life but the life in your years, right? If you are getting a lot of negative feedback, look inside to see if maybe that is just a reflection of your own doubts and then KICK THOSE DOUBTS TO THE CURB, YO!
5. Starting This Blog
I started this blog in 2006 and holy hell was it a hot mess. But at the time it met a need: I needed a place to write. As the years went by I met some other people who enjoyed my silly hobby, and it met another need: I needed a place to connect. In the past few years it has fulfilled my need to share and to create community. As I get older and turn into more of a homebody it is so great to have this little space to talk about things I would like feedback on, and to meet and tell stories with people I would never run across in my day-to-day life. In the future I would like to see this space intersect more with my career goals and my entrepreneurial passions. It has had and will have so many different roles in my life! This has been the best vanity project/time-waster/procrastination-enabler I have ever participated in. I don’t know what I’d do with it. Or without you all. Best decision, for sure.
Lessons Learned: Pursuing and committing to things that make you smile will always bear fruit, even if they seem silly. Allowing evolution in your goals and pursuits is such a major key to your long term happiness.
Want to play along? Ever thought about what your 5 Best Decision You’ve Made As An Adult. I’d love to hear about them. Write a post and link back or leave a comment.
*Inspired by this post