Some of the Best Things About Turning 35

On December 22nd I turn 35.

Unlike most people, I enjoy getting older.  Just look at Jane Fonda!  While some women obsess over looking 21 again, spending thousands of dollars on Botox and anti-aging products, I wouldn’t trade anything to be in my 20s.  Sure, it’s important to moisturize, but why does society glamorize being young?

I’d rather have a few wrinkles than that 20-something soul of mine.

No, I wouldn’t trade years of experience, wisdom, and lessons to go back in time.  That girl was so lost and confused.  She had yet to discover her worth, her values, or how important it was to be herself.  She didn’t realize it was okay to just stay in on the weekend, or that being in a relationship wouldn’t complete her.  She didn’t know it was okay to simply be her.

~

As years go by, I feel I better embody the person I was always meant to be: an old soul.

No longer infatuated with nights out, chaos, and what other people are doing with their lives, 35 is a nice age to settle into who you are- and what your life will be.

Since moving back to Michigan, my external life is finally reflecting how I have felt for so long on the inside.  It’s peaceful, quiet, and full of love.  It’s authentic, and it’s meaningful. Although society wraps up the “American Dream” in a mortgage with two kids and a pet dog, mine looks a whole lot like this:

At 35, you realize the joys of simplicity.

One of the best things about turning 35 is people stop consistently saying things like, “don’t worry, you’ll meet him someday,” or “you’ll change your mind and decide you want kids!”  Yes, these statements are completely stereotypical and old fashioned, but until I hit my early 30s, I still listened.

I thought, maybe I’ll change my mind. Maybe I’ll be happier if I had a boyfriend.  Society says so, right?  Wrong.

These are simply toxic messages that are illusions into thinking a milestone or another person will make you complete.

First, you have to feel complete on your own.

Another great thing about turning 35 is being confident about the choices I have made.  After 12 years of post-grad experiences, living in many big cities, and having endless dating stories, I’m certain about what I want- and what I don’t.

At 35, I live by myself with my cat, have an extra bedroom, spend my time writing, and take public transportation, Uber, or walk instead of driving.  By New York City standards, this would be considered luxury.  By Michigan standards, I am probably considered unfortunate.  Nevertheless, this is me living my best life- and it’s the life I chose.  

At 23 I may have had the house, the fiance, and the two car garage in the suburbs, but I knew that life wasn’t for me.  Each night I felt empty inside, drinking wine until I fell asleep to “According to Jim.”  Today I no longer have to explain to anyone why I left and moved to San Francisco, why I bounced from New York to Boston, or what made me decide to get sober.  It was my journey to live.  Although I’m happy to write about these experiences, it’s not up for discussion or debate with anyone else- and today, I finally know that.

At 35, I know my life is meant for me to live- and no one else.

Stop Doing Things You Don’t Want To Do

Did you realize you’re confusing the Universe when you continue doing things that aren’t authentic to your truest self?

Sure, there’s a thing called “compromise,” but why hide your true feelings from others?  You’re not hurting them when you’re dishonest- you’re only hurting yourself.

It may be a job, an interest, or compromising your values.  Maybe you started applying to jobs that pay more, but you’re not passionate about.  Perhaps you told your date you like dogs when in reality you’re 100% cat person.  You may have even agreed with something that goes against your actual opinion.

This used to be me.

I remember going on a Tahoe ski trip with my ex ten years ago.  Although I tried to enjoy the mountains, it wasn’t something I was comfortable with.  I was miserable on any hill other than the greens, and I just couldn’t get into the enthusiasm that the others shared.  In reality, all I wanted to do was sit in the lodge and drink beer.  The trip finally ended with me sitting silently in the car ride home to San Francisco, bitter and resentful, all while my then-boyfriend and friends in the backseat had a great time.

~

I love spending time alone, enjoying evenings at home and working on something creative.  Whether it’s cozying up to Netflix or writing, I’m a total homebody.  I used to fight my natural state, though- I used to think I needed to be a social butterfly to be liked or accepted.  Since I’m an introvert, being overly social wasn’t my cup of tea- and alcohol helped to ease my empath tendencies.  I no longer picked up the energy of those around me when I was drinking- but was it really worth it?  Drinking never ended pretty for me, and I did endless things that compromised my morals, values, and who I am as a person.

The moral of this story isn’t to stick it to the man and say “hey!  I don’t feel like going into work today!”  It’s not to defy the needs of other people.  The moral of this story is to remember to listen to your heart.

Do you feel good doing what you’re doing?  Do you feel authentic?  Are you attracting like-minded people?

When you are true to you, the rest falls into place.  I promise.

Ollie Orlando

Meet Oliver!

I brought Ollie home after his long (but loving) seven month stay at the Cherryland Humane Society.

Formerly Orlando, Ollie Orlando is now enjoying his forever home with me.

On his first day, he immediately ran behind my living room couch. After staying there for an hour, I brought him upstairs to my office (temporarily the “safe room”) to ease into townhouse life. He certainly has the life here, but it’s a lot for him to handle all at once.

I’m so grateful to have found Ollie; I needed him as much as he needed me. As much as I love living alone, I have wanted a feline companion of my own for as long as I can remember.

He is a shy but affectionate cat who loves gazing out the window at the trees, getting scratches on his head, and finding hiding spaces to keep him safe.

Don’t worry, little one, I will take good care of you. ❤️