As part of the Blogging University 101 exercises, we had to write, or improve our About Me page. The following day’s assignment was to use something in our About page to inspire a post.
When I looked at my About section (that took several attempts to be satisfied with), two things stood out: I love being 35 and I enjoy being me. Those weren’t easy places to get to. At all. So today’s post is just to say: being in your 30s is awesome, no matter what people say.
I love being 35. Really I do. I wouldn’t want to be 16 or 21 or 25 again. I’m sure when I’m 45 or 50, I will say the same thing about being 35. At this point in life, I can apply the things I’ve learned from my 20s and early 30s to make better choices now. I’m wise enough to know I still have a lot more to learn. I’m not a slave to what people think. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I can give advice to other women younger than me and have a hint and a half what I’m talking about.
My FSIL (Future Sister In Law) will turn 30 in a few months. Talking to her about some of the things going on in her life now and planning how she’ll celebrate, I started thinking about when I turned 30. Picture it: Northern Virginia/DC, 2008. A pretty awesome year. I started graduate school, I finally got out of a toxic relationship, I made a decent salary. Life was good. In fact, that year, particularly that summer, came to be know in my circle as “The Summer of Fun”. No one had babies, or husbands, or even a serious boyfriend. We would decide on a whim on a Wednesday that we were going to happy hour. We went to concerts, we drank a little too much, we danced, we shopped. I think that was the most fun year of my life to that point. We celebrated President Obama… 2008 couldn’t be beat. Period. As 2008 closed and 2009 was around the corner, so was my birthday: The big 3-0! (I have a beginning of the year b day) I didn’t feel sad or depressed like I though I would. I was excited! I took a few days off from work so I had a 4 day weekend to celebrate. A happy hour Thursday (where I met a gorgeous guy I dated for about 3 months after), a spa day Friday, and a house party Saturday. GO 30!!
2009 was OK, but it was no 2008.
When it was time to turn 31 the next year (2010), I was sad. I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday. My friend had to talk me into even doing a girls dinner which we always did. I was dissatisfied with my life. I didn’t have the things I thought I would by 31. I hadn’t done all the things I thought I would by 31. My new job was not working out like I thought it would, I had money issues, I had no boyfriend or prospects. I actually went into a mild depression. I went to a therapist. But, I still wouldn’t trade that for the world, just like I wouldn’t trade 29. In that year, I started to really grow up. I started to look at myself as a full person with good qualities and things to work on. I began to see the good and flaws in those I loved as well, which actually made me appreciate and love them more.
What is the point of saying all of this? I slowly began to learn that, my journey is my journey. All of the wonderful things that have happened in my life, and all the not so wonderful things that have happened in my life were all to help make me me. Without the high and the low, I wouldn’t know life.
I wouldn’t be confident in myself today if I didn’t know the pain of not being confident and feeling inadequate. Now I know I am enough.
I wouldn’t be able to have a successful, functional relationship now if I hadn’t had a dysfunctional, co dependent relationship that I fought to get out of. And I know now that the lack of self confidence is what kept me in that relationship. I learned what love didn’t look like.
I wouldn’t be able to be a leader, if I did not follow and also try being a leader and fail.
Everything that happens in life is preparation for the next moments, whether we know it or not. I can enjoy being me now, because I accept myself: flaws and all.
I look back on my “Summer of Fun” because I realize memories that were created. I look back at turning 31 and see those friendship bonds strengthen in times that were hard. I learned love, because while I was having a rough time, I could still celebrate the joys in the lives of those around me. Most of all, I see me growing spiritually and emotionally.
I love being 35 because I can see life a little more clearly now. I enjoy being me because that’s all I can be.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.