Categories
self discovery

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.

Categories
mindfulness self discovery

The Elder: Standing Strong

Happy October! It’s a new month, a fresh week, and time to let go of the old. As the leaves begin to fall, we also remove the parts of our lives that no longer serve.

Last night I was introduced to Denise Linn’s Native Spirit Oracle deck, where we went around a circle to reflect on the messages of each card we chose. As I picked my card, “Elder,” I smiled and thought about the old soul I have always identified with. Always feeling a bit like the outsider yet content on my own, this card strung a chord with me.

“Confidence. Entering your power. Standing strong. You are a leader. Stepping into the light. Let your truth be heard and felt by others. Make a stand in life. You carried deep inner wisdom. You are a teacher and a leader in the deepest sense of the words. You are a beacon for others.”

The Elder card was confirmation I am on the right path by speaking my truth, sharing the stories that aren’t always very comfortable, and stepping forward even when I question myself. Having confidence in my creations is key for me to free myself from holding myself back from happiness, success, and serenity. Much like the crab who tries to escape, I must learn not to let others hold me back from the path I know I’m destined for.

Lately I’ve been around a lot of negativity, gossip, and pessimism- but the only way I’m getting through it is to rise above, share my insight, and continue to do what I know is right. I’ve learned to let things “roll off my back” and to stay in my own lane; although these things aren’t taught growing up (“be a part of the crowd!”), I’m content with being an individual as an adult.

The Elder may look on to the rest of the group, standing tall, alone in their journey, but I do know one thing: if you can’t stand strong and in your own truth, there isn’t any room to grow.

🦌