35. The age I’ve been secretly screaming about inside my own mind for awhile now has come, and whether I’m ready or not, it’s here and I am it, I am thirty.five.years.old. Age is a funny thing; it’s slow and progresses at a pace that you can kind of understand, but then it also seems to just come out of nowhere and slap you in the back of the head saying “Hey! You are middle aged now! Here are some random body pains, screw you!”
Honestly, I’m in a bit of a funk right now. It’s the time of year I know I it, which might be why I’ve never really celebrated my birthday, because the end of March is just…dull. I feel dull. So if this post comes off as a little less upbeat than usual, you can blame the muddy snow outside and the lack of consistent work. But, while I was thinking about what I wanted to say this year about my current state of mind and life, one word kept popping into my head, one word that sums me halfway through this third decade of living, and that’s:
If you’re younger than I am you probably read that and think ‘oh, that’s not good’ or ‘wow, that’s harsh’, and if you are my age or order, you probably read that and think ‘hell yes’! As I wrote about last year when I turned 34, the best thing about getting older is feeling more confident in yourself and feeling comfortable in your skin, and so in the past year I’ve become a bit more…hardened?…in my decision to just live my life and to not apologize for my decisions. Don’t like how I dress or that I bare skin? Fine. Don’t like how I parent my kids or treat my husband? Ok cool. Don’t agree with my business practices or how I act online? Sure. I won’t engage and I won’t defend myself anymore, you either like it and accept it or you don’t, but it’s not going to change who I am or how I’m living my life. Now of course as I’ve become more assertive in my convictions, I have to be careful not to become closed off to new ideas or criticisms (in fact that’s something I really want to work on going forward because I have not been great at it historically), but when it comes to my own happiness, I’m not compromising and I’m not apologizing. We only have one wild and precious life, I’ve said it many times before, I and I refuse to waste it changing or adapting for people who don’t really matter (aka most people). You do you, I won’t judge, and I’ll do my own thing over here.
Now, this isn’t to say that there isn’t a certain malaise to getting older too. I still crawl out of my skin from time to time (though way less than I did in my 20s), and I still have moments of doubt and sadness, just like everyone else, but I am fortunate enough that I am mostly in control of my own life at this point and that I am free to do what I want (something many people are not fortunate enough to have-choice). I still want to try new things, be open to new experiences despite (or maybe because of) the routine and steadiness of my life, and I want to continue growing as a person. The changes between 25 and 25 have been huge, I can just imagine the changes that will happen from 35 to 45 and beyond!
Hello 35, let’s do this (but let’s slow it down with the gray hair, shall we?)
(Pardon the random terrible portraits, I had good intentions to attempt something a bit more professional but couldn’t muster the motivation, but this is me most days at 35, in my workout gear-no sleeves ever-unbrushed hair and tired eyes.)