Learning and Unlearning: A Journey of Self-Acceptance

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Reflecting on the year that has gone, and I’m amazed at how harder birthday turn to be the older I get, not because I’m getting older but because the self-set deadlines I’ve put for myself are closing in – fast.

Like, I recently stumbled across a ‘To my 25 year old self’ letter and BOY was I thrown aback. So much to still do, so much left undone just a lot of things that I felt at the time I didn’t have the energy or enough time to do. I saw a tweet the other day that said, “being in your twenties feels like only having 5 years of life left, in which you must achieve as much as possible?” I have never related to anything more in my life, but truly speaking is there a deadline? What if I don’t enter Miss SA and the cut off age is 27? What if I’m 31 and can’t enter Idols anymore, but it has always been my dream? What if I’m 28 and still living with my parents?  Is it the end? Of course not, but it definitely feels that way.

The thing is I’ve been having an ongoing struggle with finding balance between not being too hard on myself and pushing hard to achieve my goals. So as I came to the close of an old year and the dawn of another -  knowing  I had a long list of attainable goals that hadn’t been checked off, I felt stuck.

But what do you do? Because you really DO have goals and things you want to achieve every year? The truth is – I don’t know! I haven't figured it out, I’m not sure I ever will but the skill I’ve learnt is that of resilience. The ability to just to keep moving forward, in spite of the countless L’s I am faced with.

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It really does threaten everything you know to be true and maybe that’s the perfect place to start healing. By unlearning all the bogus and unrealistic expectations we adopt from others and impose on ourselves, because truly there are no ‘average’ person, there is no checklist that you must accomplish by a certain time (or die). There will never be anyone who will live my life, with my set of values and goals, so comparison becomes so baseless that it's actually ridiculous.

I came to learn that the heart and mind truly are very different in purpose. Intellectually, I wonder if there will be any more opportunities, but my heart won’t let me give up – and so I find myself exactly where I started – only this time I know, I will never let myself quit or get caught up in the façade of made up ‘deadlines’ because no one has ever been me, so really – everything is going according to my schedule.