- As your life changes and progresses, your priorities and responsibilities can shift significantly.
- Here, author Jennifer Still details seven things she’s completely changed her mind about over the past decade.
It makes sense that as we grow older and experience more of life, our thoughts and feelings about certain things change.
Beliefs we’ve held for years that we believed we’d never budge on are suddenly seen in a different light and we realise we may have gotten it wrong. It’s called growing as a person, and it’s a good thing.
While I’ve certainly evolved my way of thinking about many things over the past decade, these are the seven topics that I’ve done a complete 180 on.
1. Having children
While I was never gung-ho about having kids to begin with, I’ve definitely become vehemently against the idea over the past decade. I’m simply too attached to having freedom with my time, money, and energy and realise that I’m not selfless enough to even want to give that up for a child. No doubt parenthood is rewarding, it’s just not for me.
2. The institution of marriage
One thing I was definitely certain I would never do is get married. While I had nothing against the institution as a whole, outdated and unnecessary as it is, I’ve always supported couples who wanted to declare their commitment to one another via a legal contract. My lack of personal investment in the idea all changed in 2014 when I did actually tie the knot, albeit in a civil ceremony with only our witnesses present.
3. The value of work
While I was raised to appreciate the value of hard work and have pretty much always had at least a part-time job, even as a teenager, I admittedly never really took pride in what I did. It wasn’t until I found a career I was truly passionate about – writing and editing – that I began to understand how good it feels to invest a lot of time and energy into something and proud of how it turned out.
4. Health and fitness
When you’re young and healthy, it’s hard to consider a time when you won’t be either of those things. I used to take my health for granted; I had a diet that consisted of a lot of fast food, takeouts, and other processed crap. I barely exercised.
I knew I needed to get my act together if I wanted to avoid the health issues that run in my family, but I always thought there’d be time to do that later. Thankfully, entering my thirties was that time and not only have I shed 120 pounds, but I’ve also completely overhauled my lifestyle to maximise my health and wellness.
5. Standing up for my political beliefs
I’ve always been more liberal and open-minded in my approach to politics and that hasn’t changed. However, I’ve definitely become more vocal about those beliefs and even more active in the world at large in order to fight for what I believe is right.
I used to believe it was up to everyone else, people who were “better” at it than I am, to speak up, but I realise now more than ever that if everyone thought that way, nothing would ever change in the world. Politics are always personal, and it’s up to all of us to stand up for our beliefs.
6. Family problems
I had a rough relationship with my mother for most of my teenage years, and we’re still estranged to this day. However, while I spent most of my teens and my twenties blaming her for being a terrible mother, with time I’ve developed the ability to see things from a more mature perspective.
I now understand that my mother did the best with the tools she had and that her behaviour was due to an undiagnosed mental illness rather than genuine malice. That has allowed me to find love and appreciation for the good times we did share instead of being angry for all that she lacked.
7. Having it all figured out
When you’re young, you assume that you’ll have life all figured out and have your act together by a certain age. When I was 16, that age was 21. When I was in my 20s, that was moved up to 30. Now that I’m 34, I realise that I’ll likely never have it all figured out and that’s OK because no one does.
We’re all just doing the best we can and working things out as we go along, and that’s what makes life so interesting and so exciting. Ask me again in my 40s, though – I may change my mind about that.
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