It’s my 34th birthday today which means I’m officially in my mid-30sWhoa. This isn’t the part where I talk about how old I am because I know I’m not old. But I swear I was just moving to Chicago a month before my 28th birthday. Here are my thoughts on turning 34.

On Turning 34

And now, 34. I recently talked about throwing out those self-imposed deadlines and if I’ve learned anything in my 30s, it’s that sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned. That said, things might just work out even better than you imagined. In an age of blogs and social media, it’s easier than ever to compare ourselves to every single detail of other people’s lives. Promotions, engagements, weddings, new homes, and baby announcements pop up on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, and it’s so easy to feel like our own lives are not enough.

My 30s have been better than my 20s

People always say your 30s are better than your 20s, and most of my 30-something friends will tell you that it’s true. It’s certainly been the case for me. There’s a sense of acceptance and confidence that most certainly did not exist during my 20s A sense of self-worth and awareness of what you want, deserve, and both who and what really matters to you. That dramatic or unkind friend is long-gone, you’ve embraced your pale skin, you’re done dating people who don’t treat you well, and chances are your career is ahead of where it was in yours 20s, too.

Focus on what you’ve accomplished

I didn’t get married and have two kids like I planned, but I did move from Los Angeles to Chicago. I went from working as a graphic designer to launching a women’s lifestyle website. I opened an IRA and a savings account. After my share of ups and downs–ok mostly downs–in dating, I met my boyfriend of almost a year-and-a-half just a few months before turning 33. He came into my life 6 years later than I had planned, but I had some serious growing up to do and know we’re better now than we would have been a few years ago. As cliché as it might sound, I needed to figure myself out.

I pushed myself quite a bit and experienced a lot this year. Let’s review.

Highlights of my 33rd year

Celebrating my birthday with friends. I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to have met such wonderful people in the six years that I’ve been in this city. Even though I didn’t know them just a handful of years ago, they’re why this city feels like home.
Travel. Photographing horses in the Andes Mountains in Argentina, off-roading in Iceland, and hot air ballooning in Tuscany.
Stepping outside my comfort zone by photographing my own home tour, speaking on a few panels, and sharing a very personal story in Rue.
Career. Hiring two full-time employees and getting an office. Designing my favorite sofa (currently on sale!)
Grown-up stuff. Opening a savings account and an IRA. Better late than never.
Making moves. Moving into my new apartment. Deciding to move out of my apartment after less than a year to move in with Conor.
Splurging. Finally buying that suede jacket I always dreamed of (currently on sale!). That’s something I wouldn’t have done in my 20s.

Life isn’t perfect or what I thought it would be, but I wouldn’t trade what I have for the things I thought I needed by my mid-30s. There’s still so much to look forward to, so for now, I’m going to embrace where I am and the fact that I’m not going grey. Yet.

Happy birthday to me!



image via kinfolk