On Turning 35

I’m celebrating another birthday this weekend. More specifically, I’m celebrating my 35th birthday this weekend.

When I turned 30, I hit what thought was my scary age. Then 35 became the new 30 and I’m here and shocker – it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I wish I could say I felt all hell yes I’m 35 – go me a few weeks ago but it was more like “holy sh*t you’re 35 and now you’re advanced maternal age.” My doctor assured me that I should not feel doomed and neither should you.

I just talked about why I’m glad things didn’t work out as planned and needed to read my own words to remind myself that I am exactly where I should be. There’s so much pressure coming at us from every direction to have a great job, get married, have kids, keep your skin firm, and generally look like we’re not aging. But (and work with me here) – what if we try being happy and grateful where we are right now?

After trying really hard to make our wedding happen before my birthday, I just had to let it go and realize how pointless these timelines are, but it’s still a struggle. I was still putting limits on myself — deciding what my life should look like at 30 and 35, even after I’d found the happiness I was seeking.

I didn’t get married by the time I was 30 but I started over in a new city at 28, made my own circle of friends, traveled, launched and grew a business, relaunched my blog, and grew personally. I got to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I know who my real friends are, what I need, what I really care about, how I deserve to be treated, when and how to say no, and that I can handle just about anything if I try.

I was just thinking about how miserable I used to feel whenever I had to be photographed for anything. It’s still not my thing but a few weeks ago, I confidently grabbed Buddy, jumped up on the kitchen counter, and smiled for the photo above.

I finally made it to Europe for the first time shortly after turning 31, a year after my “make it to Paris by 30” goal. I didn’t make it to Paris on time but I also never thought I’d travel to France and Italy (again), and then to Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, and Portugal.

Call it a perk of aging, but it wasn’t long before I came around and realized that I have learned too much to waste any time worrying about getting older or wishing that my life be anything other than what it is right now. My 30s have been so much better than my 20s, so what am I holding on to? Probably firmer skin, but whatever. I’ll keep using this really great skin cream and continue to enjoy my life. To have hope that things will continue to work out like they should.

We never have it all figured out, even after writing blog posts that sound like we do. But the best part about this life thing is that we’re always learning. 28-year-old me would say I’m five years late on marriage and kids. But she’d also be so proud of the life I created for myself. 35-year-old me would say I’m really happy and wouldn’t change a thing.

So hell yes. This is thirty five.