I just celebrated my birthday a few days ago, so I’m reflecting on the last 12 months as I prepare for my next 12 months. I try to learn from my mistakes and I hope you can learn from my mistakes too.
As I stood on the corner of 34th street and 7th avenue, I was in a full blown panic. I was too weak to stand on my own, so I leaned against the grimy wall outside New York Penn Station and waited for an ambulance to find me in the middle of Manhattan.
Just a few hours earlier, I was happily dancing at a friends wedding.
A few days before that I was filming my first national segment for the Today Show during New York Fashion Week.
I had no idea that while I was laser focused on supporting my friends and pursuing my passions, my body was quietly falling apart.
Which brings me to the most frustrating adulting mistake I’ve made this year….
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I Didn’t Put My Health First.
Due to a blood clotting disorder, I take a tiny blood thinner pill every day. It’s not that big of a deal to me anymore, I’ve been taking it for years now, so it’s just a part of who I am at this point.
But in the craziness of New York Fashion Week I simply forgot to pick up my prescription.
It crossed my mind a few times to go pick up my meds, but something always seemed more important– a client meeting, a fashion show, taping a segment on the most popular morning show… I put all of that ahead of picking up my medication.
Skipping my meds for a few days was all it took for me to go into a major medical crisis that had me in the hospital for a month.
Here’s what I learned: not everything that is URGENT is IMPORTANT.
The most important thing I could have done that week was go to the drug store and get my medication, but I let dozens of urgent things like emails, texts, meetings, etc. and exciting things like fashion week and TV appearances take priority.
I am the only one who knows what is truly important to me, so whether it’s calling my 95 year old grandmother, taking a boxing class or picking up a prescription from the drugstore, successful adulting for me will always include putting important things, like my health, first.
I Confused “Alone” with “Lonely”
I live alone in New York City.
I work for myself, by myself.
I’m not married (yet).
When I used to say those things out loud it sounded pitiful to me. All I could hear was the void of what I didn’t have. I would whine about wanting a partner. Complain when I wanted to do something but didn’t “have anyone to go with”, blah blah blah…
Then one day I took a chance and bought a ticket to a concert.
I didn’t wait for friends or a date to agree to come along, I just bought the solo ticket and went by myself to the show… and guess what happened?
I had the time of my life AND I met a group of amazing women who I actually became friends with in real life (Hey, Erin! Hey Leila!).
After that concert a shift happened in me– instead of seeing being alone as a sad state I now see it as a space of infinite possibilities!
I have people in my life who I can hang out with when I choose to. At the same time, I can do anything I want and go anywhere I want– all by myself! I don’t have to ask permission, sync calendars, wait for budgets to line up… it’s all on me, and it’s kind of amazing!
When I look at my friends who are married and/or have babies, it can be so complicated for them to take a few hours and do something they’re interested in. God, willing one day that will be my problem too, but in the meantime I’m taking advantage of every solo adventure that I can think of from afternoons in the park with a book to trips across the country… I’m doing it alone and I’m never lonely.
I Waited for Marriage
My Dad is a pastor and I was raised very conservatively. If you know anything about conservative Christians they’re very passionate about “waiting for marriage” for intimacy. But something I realized is that I was waiting for marriage for a lot of things.
I’ve been wanting a dog for a long time and one day I realized that I saw dog ownership as something that would happen for me when I was married and living with my husband.
Why can’t I have a dog now? I began to ask myself… and there was no real reason that I needed to wait. I have a flexible schedule and the means to support a pup. So why not?
I’ve always wanted to be a homeowner, but I never envisioned purchasing a house on my own. I figured buying a home would be part of “settling down” when I got married. Maybe I saw it that way because my parents purchased their first house together, who knows… but now being a homeowner is something I’m looking at as a personal goal, not a goal saved for marriage.
I’m now saving to purchase a home and I’m starting to get very comfortable with the idea of having a home that I buy all by myself– it’s going to be such a major accomplishment, I’m excited!
So now I’m combing through all of the things I’ve ever wanted and exploring what it would look like to do them when I’m ready, not when I meet someone (because, what if he’s not ready?)
It’s funny because I’m always saying “Don’t wait on your weight to live the life you want” but maybe I need to add “Don’t wait on a husband to live the life you want” ha!
So those were the three adulting mistakes I’ve made in the past year– I love a cautionary tale, so take my mistakes and make them your own so you learn from them, okay?
If you’re feeling brave, leave a comment below and share an adulting mistake that you’ve made!