Next month will be my 27th birthday. It has beena year of ups and downs. I'm getting comfortable in my own skin and acknowledging my limitations. I've finally understood the things I can't livewithout. I've finally found peace, at moments. Here are my top seven lessons.
1. Move your own cheese.
It's scary to take the leap, but sometimes you have to do it. I was scared going from the private to the public sector, but I didn't want to stay with my previous Global100 company because I didn't know who I was working for--some nameless shareholders? No, it didn't feel right, so I left. As a petroleum engineer, I ended up making a larger salary by working for the government, serving the people.
2. Acknowledge your limitations.
I finally realized I had postpartum depression (again, after kid no. 2), and after three months of talk therapy, surrendered to the fact that I needed to be on meds as well to navigate the situation. Ironically enough, it was the meds that gave me a clear head to finally figure out what I wanted.
Five months after being on meds, I moved my cheese and leaped to Alaska.
3. Revel in the golden triangle: food, sleep and exercise.
If you are feeling grumpy and irritable, ask yourself the following questions:
-When was the last time I ate? What did I eat?
- how long did I sleep for and what was my quality of sleep last night?
-Did I do any exercise in the past week?
You may be able to find the source of your irritability in those basic questions.
4. Know your values.
Or else how do you know that what you're shooting for is what you actually want? One of my former managers and Stephen Covey said, "The worst thing in climbing the ladder is getting halfway up, and realizing the ladder is against the wrong wall."
5. Know what is a good environment for you to flourish, and make it a reality.
I need mountains, cold, snow, and dry air. Houston does not have any of those conditions, excepts for perhaps the freak ice storm. This limited my choices to Denver and Anchorage in terms of job availability. I fell in love with Anchorage after visiting briefly and wanted my kids to grow up there. I want them to know what nature is and to respect the great outdoors. So I did everything I could to move up to Anchorage.
6. Plan like mad and then relax when events don't go according to plan.
What else can you do? "Whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see," sings a classic 1970s song (kudos to whoever can name the singer and song in the comments).
7. Follow your gut.
Listening to myself, honoring that inner voice and then following through may be the hardest thing I have had to do. I've been on the job for about three weeks now, and loving every moment.