In a perfect world, we wouldn't have birthdays. I've never been a fan. But clearly it's not a perfect world. I know that because I don't live on the Amalfi coast, The Shape of Water stole all the Oscars from The Greatest Showman, and I have 3 forehead wrinkles currently.
But in my defense, wouldn't it be much better to have no concept of age? One day, you just wake up with a few gray hairs and a thigh dimple and shrug your shoulders, instead of dreading each pending mortality milestone and what's to come? I know, you're so sick of me being right.
I will say, 36 is terrifying. I'm no longer sitting on top of the hill, I'm slowly tumbling over to that age I remember all my relatives turning, when all the decorations were black and the cards talked about farts.
But each passing year, hopefully we grow. Hopefully, we learn.
Things I learned from my 35th trip around the sun:
Some people are just in your life for a season... and you have to be okay with it. Not all friendships are forever. Not all people grow together. It's hard to accept, but it's reality. If a friendship or relationship becomes one-sided, toxic, or a chore, you have to let it go. Be thankful for the good memories, and don't waste your time being confused about why it's over.
As a culture, we have never been more stingy and yet wasteful of our time. We can't be bothered to leave our house to buy groceries, but we'll spend hours down the rabbit hole of social media stalking every person we ever knew, dated, or thought about dating.
It really is true that you regret the things you didn't do, more than the ones you did. So get over yourself and your fears —go for the girl (or guy), try for the job, take the trip, start the business. You'll be 100% unsuccessful if you don't.
Those friends — the ones who know your history. The ones who you can go months, years without seeing and it's like nothing has changed. The keepers of your secrets. Those (few) people are the rarest gift in the world.
Being ridiculously tan all year around for your entire 20s ISN'T actually the most important thing ever. You have to live with your skin for a long time—so be comfortable in it, whatever color it is. And please, start taking care of it before you HAVE to.
Quality parents are a rarity. If you have them, cherish them. Stay close if you can. Take care of them, as they did for you. Your good years with them is limited.
Each birthday, I try to reflect and set some new goals. You can tune out now, this is just kind of for me. This year, I needed to stretch myself a bit—to break out of my hermit tendencies that I've been in ever since this health journey started.
SOCIAL. It's like pulling teeth to get me to network or go to events. WHY? I'll never know. I mean, I had a photography business for almost ten years before I designed cards. You know, now that no one uses cards anymore. So this year, I forced myself to SAY YES to more blogger dinners and events — and whenever I go, I'm so glad I did. Connecting with likeminded people IRL is something you can't replace. DO IT.
FEARS. I continued my commitment to getting over my fear of flying (I also figured out how not to get sick every time) and we took two trips. My husband had never been to California, so we went to San Diego to visit my best friend and then wandered around SoCal and Joshua Tree. If you're ever headed there, be sure to check out my Joshua Tree post first! Then we went to Charleston, SC and Hilton Head, where had a wonderful time with 1500% humidity.
CREATIVITY. Pushing myself creatively is something I HAVE TO HAVE. While in Joshua Tree, I participated in an all day, multi faceted desert shoot that was challenging and flooded with all the creative vibes I needed to get me through the winter blues. I also randomly took up watercolor painting, even though I can’t draw a stick figure. Going to focus on LESS SCREENS.
HEALTH. I finally got to the bottom (hopefully) of alot of my health issues. Once I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr, it filled in a lot of blanks.... but it wasn't easy finding someone who could navigate me through it. I am on track with a new doctor and we are working through that among many other things like balancing hormones, blood sugar, and detoxing my liver.
So, cheers to another year, let's be better than we were last time.
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.