Embracing Change as I Grow

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 34. I must say, I don’t feel like an adult. Or, rather, I don’t feel like I thought an adult would feel. I still have insecurities. I still have doubts. I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I count myself lucky because I know I’m in good company.

As I reflect on the past year, I have more questions than I do answers; there is more uncertainty, more possibility, and more untapped potential.

I love that my birthday is in December because, not only am I getting one year older, the world is getting one year older too. I get to celebrate turning a new age and the world soon after celebrate a new year. I can not only reflect on how the year has gone, I can also reflect on how my 33rd year on Earth has gone.

I’m excited about getting older. My dad said I would grow out of it but that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t understand people who dread birthdays because I count it as a blessing to turn one year older.

I want to take time in this post to talk about some of the things that have been on my mind recently as I approach my 34th year. Many of the changes I have felt have been internal—mindset and belief changes.

One of the most profound things I have been trying to wrap my head around is that I can be anything that I choose to be. I used to think I had to be one thing, even though I have many different interests, but I’m starting to realize I can stop doing something that doesn’t feel right or that I feel served the old me but will no longer serve the me I want to become. It is fascinating that we can choose to live our lives in a way that will give us the most joy and we don’t have to look to anyone’s approval but our own.

We’ve been taught certain rules for life but those are just rules other people thought up because it suited how they wanted to live their lives. In reality, everyone is just winging it and hoping they are living the best lives they can.

I’ve realized that I’ve cared too much about the world and trying to do what is “right.” I am learning that “right” is subjective and that we can create meaning in our lives rather than having a meaning appear before us; that life is best lived on our own terms than someone else’s.

Another thing I am learning is a fallacy is the nature of age. I have a co-worker who is turning 30 next year and is trying not to think about it but I have found that my 30’s have been pretty amazing and I have been able to learn so much about who I am. I have another co-worker who turned 31 recently and she was also apprehensive about what turning 30 would mean but has learned that being in her 30’s is not bad at all.

We are told that at a certain age we should expect life to go downhill. We are told that our youth (and even our 20’s) should be the best time of our lives. I have found that not to be the case. My youth was decent, my 20’s were, to be honest, pretty shitty, but my 30’s have been the best decade so far. At best, I have 50+ years to live—that’s longer than I have been alive today!

It is a lie believing turning a certain age is supposed to stop us from striving for more. On the contrary, I am able to reflect on my past and see how far I have come and look with excitement on what else I will be able to accomplish.

This next year for me is full of unknowns but one thing I do know, I want to start really living my truth. I want this next year of my life to be the best yet. It will take some hard work and effort on my part because I don’t want to be in the same space this time next year. I’ve grown a lot this year and I look forward to more growth in the year to come.

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