I don’t know why it is, exactly, but the people with the healthiest self-esteem, are also the greatest at intimacy. I’m not talking about arrogant people. I’m talking about people who know they are both good and bad yet believe at the deepest level they are really good for people. | Donald Miller, Scary Close
♥Boyfriend, Me, and the Niece (Evelyn) about to watch Tess and Steve tie the knot! ♥
This past weekend was filled with close friends, birthdays, weddings, holding babies, and a cute boyfriend in a bow tie and suspenders. And it was absolute perfection. I turned 29 this past Sunday, the day after my father turned 55. We started our celebrations Friday with a low key sushi dinner in Oakland with close friends, followed by coffee
duh and a Disney On Ice show (Grandpa’s treat/birthday celebration for all the kids and grand-kids. Plus me and the boyfriend – the childless big kids). Then continued on to dinner for a birthday celebration dinner with my mom and step-dad. [Side note: Disney On Ice is LEGIT, you guys. Plus I got to watch my nieces freak out about how great it was (and my nephew just absorb it all). I’m pretty sure tiny Evie was the one who loved it the most. Watching her little face light up as she bounced around and waved her hands, trying to clap. It was just so worth it.]
On Sunday, my actual birthday, I was lucky enough to witness my best friend marry the love of her life in a last-minute, incredibly short notice wedding. We picked a spot in the redwoods and it was just so…them. We celebrated at Campo Fina in Healdsburg and delighted in family style appetizers, cocktails, and bocce. Everything about the day was perfectly them, surrounded by the people they love. Which is really all you need in the end anyway, right? Your people – the family you’ve inherited and picked out yourself (your urban tribe) – and the person you want to wake up to for the rest of your life. Sounds pretty nice, if I do say so myself.
I’m feeling lucky these days. I’m low on free time and busier than ever, but I still feel so amazingly lucky. Lucky I get to spend my time with friends like these. Lucky I get to fall in love with the greatest person I’ve ever met. Lucky to be where I am. I certainly have zero things figured out about my life but I’m enjoying the ride. And I’m proud of the people I’ve chosen to enjoy it with me.
I didn’t make resolutions for myself this year and it feels incredibly freeing. Instead I’m focusing my time on one big goal – earning my space in the PhD program of my dreams. Unfortunately it feels like my brain is trying to betray me. The closer I get to the deadlines I’ve placed on myself, the more I find myself procrastinating, making excuses, falling into a hate spiral of insufficiency. Because they’ll never tell me I’m not good enough if I just don’t apply, right? Right.
Most every issue in my life can be boiled down into one thought: not feeling like I am enough. Good enough, smart enough, lovable enough. You name it and even though I logically understand that isn’t correct, my brain makes me feel something completely different. But that’s the funny thing about emotions and feelings – they just aren’t logical. Unfortunately every time I fall into this pit of not feeling good enough for a PhD program, it bleeds into all aspects of my life. I start worrying about things I would never worry about, things I’m not even sure I actually care about. In every interaction I can’t help but think “Did I upset them? Did I say the wrong thing? Did I do the wrong thing?” It’s terribly frustrating and painfully time consuming. I came across this post and I’m trying to take it to heart whenever I feel this way:
“People are usually tired and scared; not mean…How kind we would be if we could look beneath the surface behavior—the unpleasantness, viciousness and desperate grumpiness—and see that what could really be going on is just confusion, fear and exhaustion.”
Doubt is just a thing. Confidence is too.
And I’m trying to just let it all go. To not make large plans for myself this year (minus the PhD) or put too much pressure on myself. To make peace with the unknown – those messy, unstable, grey areas of my life. To embrace the chaos and arrive at contentment.
If I had to wish something for myself this year it would be to take the leap. To make more mistakes. Neil Gaiman said something remarkably beautiful that I keep focusing on:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you’re making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and for all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Cheers to a year of making mistakes, letting go, and attempting to quit worrying.
“You come to understand that most people are neither for you nor against you; they are thinking about themselves. You learn that no matter how hard you try to please, some people in this world are not going to love you, a lesson that is at first troubling and then really quite relaxing.”