You’re 12-years-old and it’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? I’m sitting on the floral love seat in the living room reading Nancy Drew chapter books.

How did you envision your life as an adult? I had plans to be a professional ice skater.

Ask yourself what you want. It can be hard to admit. Admitting means change. Admitting means you’re not completely satisfied with a lifestyle that others might find appealing and out of reach, making it seem like you’re greedy or hard to please. Not at all. I had the goals to graduate from college, move to NYC, work in the retail industry, get a good apartment, and build a network of friends outside my hometown. I met challenges, but I achieved my goals by age 26. I’m happy with what I have accomplished, but now I need more goals. I’m in danger of coasting along.

Once you know what you want, check your attitude. Act like you’re talking to a young child when you consider your options. Be realistic, but supportive. Think like a scientist and refuse to say “I can’t” until you’ve explored your options. Man on the moon, people. If you believe that it really happened. NASA put a man on the moon, but you can’t change your city/job/passion? Give all risks a fair rating. Will pursuing a goal negatively affect your family or well-being? No? Then it’s not terribly risky. And most importantly, give yourself more credit. You have a tool box filled with experiences, common sense, contacts, and passion. This idea of yours is more feasible than you think.

Have a friend read this part to you. Close your eyes. It’s October 2023. Where do you live? In a city? Near the ocean? In the mountains? What does your house look like? Do you have a family? A dog? How do you spend your days? Would the 12-year-old inside you be happy with the choices you’ve made?

Open your eyes. What do you need to do today to be happy in 2023? What steps will you take in the next year? In the next five years? And in the next ten years?

We’re an honest version of ourselves at age 12. Life distracts us, can make us jaded, and it can make us realize that professional ice skating is hard! Eff your adult perspective and make plans the way any 12-year-old would: with excitement in your eyes and an open mind. Best of luck! Let me know if I can help!

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