22 Things I am Still Figuring Out
As of today, I have spent 22 years on this planet, circling the sun at approximately 30km per second and loving (almost) every second of it. I have noticed a popular trend lately where people take their birthday as a moment to reflect on all the lessons they have learned in their lifetime and write them down in a “22 Things I have Learned at 22” – type post. I thought about writing one of those posts but I will spare you. Instead, I want to focus on the 22 things that I am still figuring out.
Don’t get me wrong, I am super proud of where I am and I love to look back and celebrate all of my achievements (don’t we all like to feel good thinking about our successes). BUT… I have noticed that the way I think of my weaknesses needs a major overhaul. For too long I have felt like anything I don’t know how to do or don’t know a lot about should be hidden away in favour of showing off the things I am good at. Which is awful! If I don’t ask for help or advice on my flaws or weaknesses, how the heck am I supposed to improve??
I decided to try a new mindset at work a couple weeks ago, where I chose to view my weaknesses as opportunities to grow, instead of personal flaws to hide or ignore. After one week of trying this, I felt better at work, more confident in myself, and more responsible for my own happiness. I used to feel really nervous that if I asked for feedback or advice, it would come across as a lack of confidence or pride in myself and my work. But I realized that the only way to improve is to really believe that what I offer (at work, or in life) is really good, and that asking for feedback is actually just a way to become even better.
So instead of using this time of reflection to acknowledge the lessons I have learned, I am using this as an opportunity to showcase an equally (arguably more) important area, the things I am still hoping to figure out.
1) How do I meditate?
I can sit or lay really still and focus on my breathe, but I don’t think frantically going through my mental to-do list or falling asleep count as meditating.
2) How do I balance a fun-filled busy life without burning out?
It is a great feeling to have a full schedule, but not when every Sunday night I feel like I need an extra day (or week) to recover.
3) The Problem of Evil
The problem of reconciling the belief in a omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God with the existence of Evil. Definitely look it up if it isn’t familiar to you. It is a fascinating philosophical question that I love to think about and debate, and yet still have not figured out.
4) How do I please everyone while knowing that I can’t please everyone?
I still feel like there could be a way……
5) The perfect crow pose
The yoga pose that I accomplished for about 5 seconds one time a few months ago. I would LOVE to conquer this.
6) How can I make the world a better place?
It can feel so frustrating to know so many things in the world need to be helped, and that my contribution is so small.
7) The perfect studio-lighting set up
The skill of putting together a perfect studio lighting set up for photoshoots is something I need to put on my goal list for 2020.
8) How do I dress like an adult while still being comfortable?
If anyone has some great brand or style recommendations please let me know!
9) The secret to clear & healthy skin
Skincare is one of those topics that I have never given too much attention, so that is going to be a priority in the coming year for sure.
10) How does a mortgage work? Like really?
I attended an amazing workshop on being a first time homebuyer, so I am getting much closer to understanding this one. There are just a lot of equations and specific terms that I need to become more familiar with.
11) What do I need to do to be able to retire?
I have read a few great books on this topic, next is to talk to a few different people who have retired or are about to to see the various ways I could accomplish this (asking for help is not a sign of weakness! It helps us accomplish our goals!).
12) How to create a successful business plan
Again, if anyone has a great blog post/book/resource for this please let me know! I would love to have a bigger vision and more focussed plan for my photography business (I love myself a spreadsheet!)
13) Learn to play guitar
I know some chords and can stumble along thanks to my father insisting on music lessons in my childhood – thanks dad! – now to just improve and keep practicing.
14) The most effective way to budget my monthly expenses
I have tried a spreadsheet filled in monthly, an app filled in daily, and logging expenses in my daily planner, still on the hunt for the most effective budgeting strategy and/or tools.
15) Learn to make my handwriting as nice as my printing
I am super proud of my printing, but my penmanship is atrocious, looking to do some practicing and improving this year.
16) Website design
A skill that would be amazing (and super helpful) to know, especially some coding skills.
17) Graphic design in general
I just love to create, and as much fun as Canva is, I would love to add graphic design to my list of creative skills.
18) How to be more empathetic
I want to be kind and understand what others are feeling or going through to best show kindness, but sometimes it is really tricky for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Do you have this problem? What have you done about it?
19) How to listen without needing to solve the problem
This one is for all my fellow problem-solvers. It is SO HARD to bite my tongue and just listen instead of trying to jump in and solve someone else’s problem.
I want to become a better partner, sister, daughter, employee, and friend. Showing patience with people and situations is something I would love to improve to help me become better in my relationships.
21) How to view a problem as a speed bump, not a road block
Constantly trying to remember that just because I encounter a problem (even a big one) does not mean I should give up or regret my decisions, and instead trying to keep some perspective that one day this will just be a speed bump.
22) How to shotgun a beer
Still have never, and would have no idea what to do if I tried.
Wow, and that is just a small list of things I still hope to learn. I hope you take a minute to think about some of your weaknesses, or the things you still hope to learn. And I hope you see those as positives! We all still have so far to go and the more we can recognize that and then help each other get there, the better people we will all become.
~Belle (who is feeling 22…)