With a little less than one week left in my twenties, I’ve been asking myself “what advice would thirty year old Katie give twenty year old Katie?” As soon as the question comes to my mind I can rattle-off a million lessons learned. Ha, if you know me well you know I didn’t exactly float through my twenties. And then I think “what would forty year old Katie tell thirty year old Katie?” and I realize, the advice would probably be exactly the same. The hardest lessons to learn are the ones that take vigilance. To keep doing what you’re doing is easy; to challenge yourself and society, admit and forgive your own mistakes, love wildly, take huge, life-altering risks and to tell yourself the truth regardless of everything that’s going on around you is nearly impossible.
So this little conversation with myself had me questioning whether I really am following my own advice. I look at the people in my life, the things I’ve done, the places I’ve visited and it all looks pretty good – in fact I am one lucky person! What more could I want? So I go back and read through the list of ‘must have experiences’ (now commonly referred to as the bucket list)– and I’m discouraged. I come up with excuses on how ‘I don’t have enough time’, ‘there’s not enough vacation days’ ‘Maybe I’m pressuring myself and just need to slow down’ ‘things are good enough – why change?’ Hmmm, this isn’t sounding like I’ve learned my lessons. This sounds more like a programmed reaction, like I’m telling myself to just keep doing what I’m doing. Seriously, I didn’t get through one hell of a decade to lay-down and admit defeat on my list already! I’m seriously fortunate – crazy blessed – but to those that much is given much is expected. “I don’t have enough time” doesn’t sound like a good enough response. So, I challenged this and come-up with my short-term, mid-term and long-term plan.
The short term is all about what I can do today, in this moment. And in about 48 hours worth of moments I’ll be checking off a few biggies. I’m jumping on a plane to South America with three of my closest friends, spending ten days in Peru, four of which encompass hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. More on the significance later, but basically MP is an old Incan Empire that was so well hidden that it went undiscovered for 400 years, through the Spanish Inquisition, until the early 1900s. You may recognize it in the picture above. As luck and perseverance would have it – we’ll be arriving in Machu Picchu the morning of the second anniversary of my twenty-ninth birthday (who says I can’t be forever 29?)… April 23rd.
Oh – what about my mid-term and long-term visions you ask? Maybe I’ll fill you in on that later, hopefully soon enough it will be the short-term… and maybe I’ll be wrong, and thirty-year old Katie will admit her mistake and move along.
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