IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!! Holy geez I'm 25...that is so weird to think about!
Why is it weird? Well, part of me feels older than 25; beyond my years even. The work I do with my clients pushes me to think outside the box and away from the confines of our societal expectations. I am asked to bring new perspectives to "everyday problems" and tackle life's stressors with strategies that require some pausing + thinking qualities.
The other part of me feels younger than I am. I still enjoy feeling taken care of by my parents, I still need reassurance and support when I'm down or feeling sad, and I still crave moments of having fun without any restrictions or rules! So in essence, age is just a number rather than a label. As I reflect back on my quarter-century's worth of time on this planet, I'd like to share some things I have learned along the way!
Age is just a number, not a label so enjoy the number to it's fullest (you only have 365 of it)
Perspective is everything! The mountain you have to climb could very well be a molehill; you just need to take a few steps back to see it for what it is.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Stress is a normal and expected part of life. Don't waste time worrying about things you can't control and as the Beatles said..."let it be."
Anxiety is an experience and not a label. It is not an entity attached to me or a ball and chain I carry. I control the anxiety, not the other way around!
Depression is a real experience too and it's okay to admit that it's happened to you. This is another normal and real part of life. I am human and I have learned that mental health is just a part of my journey.
Take more moments to yourself. You need to recharge. Pushing yourself to the edge is not a good look or feeling for anyone. Burnout doesn't let you do your job to your fullest or participate in the enjoyment life has to offer. Give yourself a break and listen when your body asks for rest.
Take more risks. You became so used to hiding in your comfort zone that you lost confidence in how to grow. Risks are worth taking; the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work out. But...you can always try again.
What doesn't kill you makes you a hell of a lot stronger! The words and opinions of others are just opinions; take them with a grain of salt.
You are so very capable. The road may seem long and winding, but the destination is so beautiful and well worth the journey.
Your work is meaningful and that's what makes the career path you chose SO rewarding. I love being a therapist!
Love is a precious gift. The fact you got it right the first time is one in a million! Hug your peeps extra tight and be thankful for the presence in your life. Life just isn't the same without them.
Patience in life is key. Trying to control and get angry over things out of your control is a silly waste of time. Girlfriend, you know better! Put the stress down and just live it up for once.
Age means maturity. Maturity means growth. Growth means new possibilities.
Trust yourself. You didn't come this far to only come this far.
When you are feeling triggered, take a moment to take 3 deep, mindful breaths. Get present and grounded. Your anger is of no use to your happiness or the success of a conversation/conflict. Take a moment to find your balance, and then start again.
Some people may knock you down for being "too young" to know how to do your job or "too naive" to be able to be a therapist. Who are they to judge you or tell you how to do your work?! Trust in your accomplishments and how you run your practice. Trust your strengths. Trust your knowledge. Trust your abilities. If they criticize something you can't change (like your age) then it's not worth the investment of your energy or time.
Take note of the experiences life has brought you. These experiences have shaped you as a person and as a clinician. Mental health is part of your story, and also part of your success.
Thank those who stood by you through the ups and downs, thick and thin. They are still standing beside you today, telling you how much they love and care for you, and how grateful they are for your presence in their lives. Spend moments reflecting on this gift of life that is so precious and special.
Your life is transforming and this is both exciting and scary all wrapped in one pretty package. You are ready to take the leap, don't let fear of change stand in your way of turning the next page in your book.
Relationships are hard! They are not a fairytale or a Disney movie, but they are certainly worth the fight. Time helps to grow relationships and space helps give us perspective. It's okay to ask for what you need and communicate through the "tough stuff." Love is awesome, patient, and kind!
Work hard, but play harder!! You need to enjoy life rather than watch it pass you by. Reap the benefits of your rewards when you get the chance.
Don't be afraid to be yourself in the therapy space. Part of your personality makes up your practice. Give people the joy of life in the hour they spend learning with you.
Practice mindfulness as often as you can. This practice has helped me find a little bit more peace + quiet when my mind is a little too loud.
You don't have to explain yourself or why you have made the decisions you have in your life. You are only accountable to yourself and nobody else. Make decisions that are best for your happiness + stability.
Celebrate your accomplishments + don't stress over planning for the future. Live in the moment and enjoy the journey. Each day is important and worth embracing.
I thank each and every person who has been a part of both my personal and professional journey in my 25 years of life thus far. My growth would never be possible without your support, kindness and love. Cheers to 25! Another year of embracing life's joys and celebrating the next chapter ahead.