Note: When I started TatianaInFlux.com, I had a feature called Dispatch From Abroad. It was basically a weekly column–sometimes silly, sometimes serious, sometimes downright philosophical. I tweaked the blog a lot this year and for some reason, decided to stop writing my dispatches. Well today, I’m bringing em’ back. And on that note–Guten Tag, y’all!
“There are years that ask, and years that answer.”
I love this quote by Zora Neale Hurston; don’t you? Let’s talk about it. So. It’s clear that your twenties are years that ask, but as you approach your thirties, you expect the years that answer to come flooding in. It’s a surprise that it just doesn’t happen that way.
Maybe this is because as women, we usually–and at some point very early on–decide on a template that our life is going to follow. Finish school, start a career, fall in love, have a child, live happily ever after.
Y’all are smart, so I don’t have to tell you that it’s not that simple.
So many of my friends are entering their thirties, and instead of having all the proverbial answers, we find ourselves full of questions: Is this what I want? Is this where I should be? What I’m doing–is it working? Will I have children? Do I even want children? How do I find my place in a new city/state/country?
As I approach the three-year anniversary of my move to Germany, I find myself asking a big question: How exactly am I going to make my life here meaningful? Through a career? Through building community? I don’t have answers yet, but I’m confident I’ll figure it out. Here are some ways I’ve learned to deal with the years that ask.
Realize You’re Not Alone
You’re not the first person to get divorced. You’re not the first person to get pregnant without planning it (see: my first pregnancy). You’re not the only person who’s ever gotten fired, and you’re not the only person searching for someone to settle down with. This isn’t a case of misery loving company; rather, this is a reminder that other people have been where you are, and that they made it through to the other side.
Talk to Someone Who Has Your Back
It’s always helpful to be able to talk to someone you can trust when you’re in the midst of figuring something out. The important thing, though, is to pick the right person. I can’t tell you who the right person is, but I can tell you who you shouldn’t talk to: someone who always second guesses you; someone who always tries to override your opinion; and–especially– someone who’s always too afraid to risk anything.
Take Extra Good Care of Yourself
My friend Stevie recently went on an 3-day Alonecation, and it looked like absolute bliss. Her plan mostly entailed “… going somewhere simply divine, reading the bible a great deal, journaling [and] being around lots of water…” Yes. Ma’am. We ALL need time to recharge ourselves–spritually, physically, mentally. Doing something special for yourself, alone, will give you time to process.
Make a Decision
It’s very easy to get to spend so much time analyzing possible outcomes that you end up not making a decision. But here’s the thing: you can’t predict the future, and there’s no way you can know every single effect your choices will have. Since this is something you can’t control, just let it go. Decide, and move forward. If you need a little help with the decision making process, I HIGHLY recommend this post from The Simply Luxurious Life.
Take Things One Day at a Time
It sounds so cliché, but it’s true: we can plan for the future and we can reminisce about the past, but the only time we can actually live in is in the present. So, embrace the moments that are before you. And keep moving forward.
These are the things that I do when I need to find answers; what do y’all do? How do you handle the years that ask?