10 Lessons Lived & Learned by My 35th Birthday!
Are you one of those people who love their birthday? Do you hide under your covers hoping no one remembers it is your birthday? Or are you the type of person who is in complete denial about getting older? I am one of those people who loves celebrating my birthday! I will typically start counting down the days starting on October 1st, will buy myself balloons and even treat myself to something nice as the day gets closer. I also typically plan a trip for my birthday because I love celebrating my birthday! My mom told me when I was little I would stop getting presents when I stopped celebrating my birthday, so I've never stopped celebrating!
Birthdays are also a good time to reflect on what has happened over the past year and start to plan and make goals for the year ahead. Questions like, Who am I? What's my next step? What do I want to achieve over the next year?, always pop in my head around this time of the year. I know everyone thinks New Year's Day is the time to think about these things, but why not think about them around your birthday as well? Everyone tries to make changes on the 1st day of a new year, maybe we should be thinking about these things throughout the year or at different times throughout the year.
As I approach my 35th birthday, I want to share 10 lessons I have learned over the past 34 years!
It is okay to say NO! This is something that took me a while to learn. I used to say yes to everything and then try and figure out how one person was going to do everything I said yes to. I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so if I already had plans I didn't tell anyone. I just kept saying yes until I had to finally break plans with someone.
Traveling is the best! I went to Europe right after I graduated high school and really didn't do too much traveling after that. I planned a lot of trips to Disney, but when you go there so much (and live 2 hours away) is it really traveling? Going to Banff this year has opened up this part of me who wants to travel and see everything! I find myself creating travel bucket lists on Pinterest and planning future trips in my head! Disney will still be someplace I visit every year, but I want to see it all!
I LOVE Naps! I really want to go back and tell my younger self to embrace every opportunity to nap! Being an adult is hard, so when there are days where I can cuddle under a fluffy blanket and take a nap, I take full advantage of it! When someone asks me what I did over a weekend, I will gladly tell you I was able to take naps on one or both days!
Some people like me, some people don't and that's okay! This is one of the hardest things I have learned in my life because I am known to be a people pleaser and wants everyone to like me. The pressure we can sometimes put on ourselves so people will like us is pressure we don't need in our lives. I have gotten to a place in life where if you like me, that's great, let's see how this friendship/relationship is. If you don't like me, that's okay too. I'm not going to spend my time stressing about what I can do to make you like me.
Several places in this world are my happy places! I used to think, being from FL, that the beach was my happy place. When something was going on in life and I just needed a place to think, I would go to the beach and just sit on the sand and think. There is something therapeutic about watching the ocean and it really helps you think about life or hard decisions you have to make. Now I don't live near the ocean, so I've found if I want to clear my head I need to get away and head to the mountains. There is something just as soothing in the mountains!
My anxiety will not control my life. This is something I have been working on lately because I haven't had anxiety my whole life. I've noticed it gets worse as I get older, but I am tired of letting anxiety control my life. Having an anxiety or panic attack for no reason and then having to try and explain what is going on to someone who doesn't have anxiety isn't fun. I am working on deep breaths and examining the situation before the anxiety kicks in.
I may or may not get married and that is okay! I used to be that person who wanted to be married by 27, then I was in a seven year relationship and that didn't go anywhere. I've dated here and there, but I'm not willing to settle on a man just because I want to get married. Would I love to have a big white wedding, yes, but I want to make sure it is with the right person. If I don't end up getting married, that is fine! I will fill my life with great friends and family! People ask me all the time why I'm not married and I just tell them it hasn't been in God's plan thus far.
Laughter is the best therapy! There is nothing better after a rough day than hanging out with some friends and having a great laugh. I am lucky enough to have friends with some amazing stories that will make you laugh until you cry. A great laugh will help you forget what made you have a rough day. Even the corniest "dad joke" will change your whole day!
Listen. Then listen more. I talk and I talk a lot! I went to school and got a degree in a profession where my job would be to talk. What do I do all day at work? I talk. We all talk to be heard, to be seen, to feel validated and it frustrates us to no end when we feel like people aren't listening. The more we listen and engage in conversation the more people feel like they have been heard. We should be listening to others the way we feel like they should be listening to us.
Who I was, Who I am and Who I am becoming is more than welcome! This one is a big one for me because I used to pretend to be two different people. I was in a long term relationship with someone who wanted me to be the same person I was in high school, even though I had graduated college and was trying to figure out who I was. When he was in town, I tried to be the person he wanted me to be and when he would go, I would get to try and find the person I wanted myself to be. Over the past 6-7 years I have been able to grow into the person I was intended to be and I am loving every minute of it. There is nothing better in this world than having the ability to be your true self!