On Knowing What You Need, or True North

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Reaching the latter few years of my twenties has me feeling older, but in a good way. Mostly.

Not a crusty, creaky older, but a better sense of who I am and what I’m about. (It’s just occurred to me how ridiculous it is that it takes humans this long to mature, but hey- in the spirit of non-judgement, let’s go with an ‘it’s about the journey’ attitude on this one.)

This year is teaching me a bit about what my default settings feel like, what I see for my future, what it is that I need to be at my best. Where my True North is, if you will.

I started this year with lots of goals, as always. The intention was to build on the furious energy of 2015 and do more.  More of everything! Harder, faster, stronger.

That hasn’t really happened. There’s been a lot of activity, but 2016 hasn’t been the whirlwind of accomplishments that I envisioned for myself six months ago. I found this disappointing at first, but quickly realised that to do more without any raison d’etre was a self-defeating, circular pattern of crashing and burning.

Instead of more, I got depth.

Some space has opened up, allowing me to go deeper and forge more purpose in what I pursue, which can otherwise quickly become a routine of performing the motions.

I’ve been learning a little about boundaries and what mine look like. I’ve learned that time and nothing else is by far my most valuable resource. I’m learning that every few weeks or so, it does a body good to swim in the sea. I’m realising that I actually love spending time alone, and am much happier in my extroversion when I’ve had a few hours to myself to let the internal chatter die down. I’m learning that there are some people who are just determined to be assholes, so rather than being paralysed by the fear of their critiques it’s better to just get on with it and do the damn thing already.

I’m learning that on a practical level, I need a lot of sleep to make Monday-Friday an enjoyable experience. I’m learning that structure is crucial about 80% of the time for my brain, and that the other 20% is best filled with as much of the unexpected as I can find. I’m discovering how important it is to have a concrete why behind my actions. I’m learning more about my idiosyncrasies and edges, how to soften them but not beat them down.

I’ve decided that going to the markets and meal prepping are perfectly acceptable weekend activities. Not every day has to be a marathon, but there is nothing wrong with marathons, either.

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Sometimes drinking wine and watching crap TV on a Thursday night makes me irrationally happy. Sometimes it’s getting up on a Saturday morning and biking 40 kilometres or powering through a weekend of yoga. What I need varies, and I’m learning that too. There are seasons to life, with distinct needs in each one.

It’s taken me nearly twenty-nine years to realise the above, but I’m okay with it. Better that than the alternative of spending an entire lifetime forging a pathway that wasn’t yours to begin with. Here’s to True North, or figuring out what this season’s looks like.

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2 Comments

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  1. Nice post. I guess in the end it’s all about balance.

  2. Love this, Eva! Privileged to be part of your journey this year. xx

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