22 August 2012

on goals

22 August 2012
i don't mind my age or the thought of getting older. i think a lot of it has to do with my mom's approach to aging - i grew up hearing her say, "i'm x years old and proud of it!" or, "i've earned every one of the years i've been alive." she's never botoxed or tummy-tucked and taught me from a very early age that moisturizing at least twice a day is the most important thing you can do to keep skin looking youthful.

but despite all that, i realized that i was starting to feel too old. i've found myself questioning if it's appropriate or silly to even start certain ventures because of my age: is it weird that i'm still taking ballet classes or that i picked up the banjo at 28? if i was going to be a ballerina or a musician, shouldn't i be accomplished in those areas by now? i've begun doubting myself and even worse, shying away from starting new things (picking up tap or oil painting again, for example) thinking, maybe it's just not worth it.

via
i know how this sounds and if it was one my girlfriends saying this to me, i'd respond with, "don't sell yourself short!" or "you are never to old to learn something new" or some other encouraging statement because, well, of course my girls are amazing and can reinvent themselves, but me?

i think a lot of it has to do with my personality; like a lot of type-A, over-achieving, perfectionist girls of our generation, i want to excel in every facet of my life. i also have many interests and and so i end up dabbling in many things - dancing, singing, art, music, sports. i've begun to feel like a jack of all trades, master of none.  

this print is just the reminder i need

i need to find a way to reframe my goals. since i'm not in college and in a dance company anymore, dance class isn't about preparing for a big performance. singing isn't about getting a part in the musical, painting isn't about getting an A.

we learn from an early age that success often means medals, trophies and ribbons - it means winning the game, snagging a solo, earning first chair. but goals don't have to be about winning; they can be about personal growth, exploration, and just plain ol' fun!


maybe my goal for ballet is going to class twice a week and working back up to a perfect fouette. banjo doesn't have to be about becoming a virtuoso and starting a band, but i can set a goal of learning a mumford & sons song to play with my husband.

so, tell me, have any of you struggled with defining success as an adult? how have you reconciled the desire to perfect a craft with giving yourself the freedom to try new things?

12 comments:

Alex {Things That Sparkle} said...

I loved reading your post. I am right there with you, but I agree with you. Its never too late. xo

Lindsay K {lastyearoftwentysomething} said...

I love this post! I am quickly approaching 30 and some may feel like life ends at that age, but I am excited to enter a new phase of life! I picked up the guitar at 22 and now perform at wedding ceremonies with my friend that plays violin. I'm going to a hip hop class with a friend tonight just for fun! It's never too late to learn something new. Life is always about pushing ourselves to be better, well rounded human beings at every age! Love that you want to learn banjo!

christin said...

My issue is that I don't want to do anything unless I'm the best at it. Which is like...obviously I'm not going to be the best at it at 28 years old. I'm definitely right there with you! I think it's just a matter of putting whatever reservations we have aside and going for it!

Melissa said...

With so many people doing amazing things at a young age, I sometimes feel "behind" - but then I think about the accomplishments that others have very late in life, and those are just as inspiring. It's hard when we want to be perfect/successful at everything we do, but you're right, the end goal shouldn't matter so much. And it's not a race - we have a lot of life left to live, and the sky's the limit as far as what we can do in that time!

The Now said...

Great post my friend. I deal with the dilemma of being 30 and not accomplishing or even pursuing my dreams. I think we just need to try and even if we aren't successful, it's better than never attempting. Right? xox

Lola said...

How about changing your perspective just a tad to give yourself some extra room? Think of it as "life exploration" be it, hip hop, banjo, tap, or anything else. See where the adventure of "exploring" will take you instead of starting with "set expectations." I took up charcoals and watercolors at 42 and I laugh when I see my paintings, but it is a good natured laugh to see the "progress" from one to the next. Next week I start something new with peers less than half my age, but again, I'm trying to rid myself of expectations and just explore the new path and see where it leads. I love your introspection and it seems many of the other comments have been there/done that too. Be well tiny dancer.

Taylor said...

this is so perfect!!! I am in that boat now and finding it hard - but this is soo inspiring. I stopped sewing my clutches bc I wasn't perfect at sewing and ppl left really rude comments. But what I have forgotten was I was doing it for myself, and it felt great!! You may have inspired me to go get the sewing machine out again!!! xoxo-T

jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

the banjo and ballet!? good for you girl. i want to try more things i just dont have the time to do the stuff i really want to do already!!! but i think it's awesome that you are mixing things up and seriously its NEVER too late to start! youre near 30 not 100! :) xo

Aravinda said...

Learn french, get better at math, keep dancing, take piano lessons, learn photography, write more often...my list is endless. Life is for the living, and you might as well live what you love! <3

Susan said...

First of all I love that quote! I think it reigns so true. I'm trying to re-prioritize as well, trying to practice the piano more often than I have (just for fun, like you and dance), knit more, and try to get better at tennis. And revamp my blog. How will I accomplish them all? Don't know, but I'll definitely make the time. Thanks for this, it was really nice to hear that I'm in the same boat too!

Holly {All Things Charming} said...

I've been sharing the same thoughts lately! Such a great post! xo

diane @ a spot of whimsy said...

meant to comment on this last week but finally getting there: don't ever let yourself give in to the notion that personal goals, bettering yourself just for yourself, is silly or inappropriate. it's what fulfills us the way work and money and even your sig other can't. xoxoxo.

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