Thoughts On Turning 35

This feels like a big one.  My thoughts, lessons learned, and perspective on turning the big 3-5:

  • When I was in my 20s, I thought people in their 30s were SO old and mature.  Funny how now I still feel young and like I’m not *that* far out of college (I am–2007 grad).   Sometimes when we have a college-aged babysitter, I don’t feel like I’m that much older than them (yet, I know I am…and I’m sure they think I am–ha!)
  • I still think the 90s were a decade ago.
  • Gosh, I’m halfway through my 30s and they’ve kind of kicked my ass in a lot of ways.  I have experienced a ton of growth–in relationships, maturity, my career.  I’ve also experienced a lot of loss this year–in the past four months alone we said goodbye to our family dog and baby at 20 weeks.
  • My mom was 35 when she had me and subconsciously I wanted to be done having kids by now.  Am I done?  I don’t know.  In some ways, I can’t believe what’s happened in the past year.  In other ways, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have two kids of my own.
  • The thought of 35 puts a bit of a lump in my throat.  I’m now as close to 50 as I am to 20.  WHAT?!  15 years ago, exactly, I was studying abroad in Europe–sure doesn’t feel that long ago.
  • I really used to care what people thought of me.  As I’ve grown up, I realize that not everyone will like me and that’s ok.  I think it’s a skill you acquire in your 30s.
  • I’ve changed careers a few different times and I’ve never looked back.  I started out in finance, moved to a retail start-up, and am now self-employed and simultaneously trying to start a business.  Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late to try something new in your career.
  • Home ownership is no joke.  It feels like something is always breaking or needs fixing. And there’s nothing like a major home renovation to test family dynamics.  I think I need to learn some handy skills here soon.
  • I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me but I often feel nostalgic for the days without smartphones and internet.  I guess I should be happy we don’t have smartphones implanted in our eyeballs yet.
  • Friendships are important no matter what your age.  I think I’m currently in the season where they’re hard to maintain due to the ‘busy trap’ but they’re more crucial to my life than ever.  
  • Try to be spontaneous once in awhile.  Once you get into a routine and have more obligations than you can count, it’s easy to say no to things that pop up, but they often make the best memories.
  • I don’t seek out new music; I find myself listening to oldies and songs from my youth more than ever and it’s very comforting.  
  • I wish my grandparents were still around.  I have so many questions I’d like to ask them about their life/growing up now that I’m older.  
  • Parenting is so hard, yet, your kids are the best.  Time smacks you into place often and one day you’re like, “oh my gosh, when did you turn five years old?” or even better “wait, I can’t believe I have kids”
  • Work hard at what you do.  Yet, know that you won’t always be on your A-game every day, hell, you’re going to have less than ideal work YEARS in your life.  A career is made up of peaks and valleys.
  • Reach out to people during hard times–even if you don’t understand what they’re going through.  Any form of communication works, whether it’s via letter, email, text, voicemail, food even.  The gesture itself goes so much farther than you know.
  • But, also don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There’s no shame in needing a hand; in fact, I think it takes a lot of guts to recognize when you can’t tackle something alone.
  • Not that you haven’t already heard this a million times, but: social media is not an accurate depiction of the bigger picture.  I do choose to share some hard things with you all (but I always have–it’s the blogger in me) but even so, I keep it pretty light 90% of the time.  You really don’t know what demons others are struggling with.
  • You never stop needing your parents. Even if the definition of “need” changes as you grow older.  Even (especially?) once they’re gone.  I think about my dad every single day.  I sometimes feel cheated that I lost my dad young, then other times, I feel really lucky that I had him at all.  (If yours are still on Earth, go give them a call today.)
  • Travel as much as you can.  There’s nothing more humbling and fulfilling than traveling to a new place and being out of your comfort zone.  It’s hard to do it with kids but I still love taking them new places.  I look back on all the places I journeyed to in my 20s and how awesome those trips were and then I also think, “man, I should’ve also gone to South America.  Or Thailand.  Or Egypt.”  It’s hard to do on a budget, but it’s worth it.  Take the trip.
  • I mean, I feel like I have to quote my girl Alanis Morrisette from her debut album Jagged Little Pill, “’cause what it all boils down to, is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet.”  She spoke to me in this song as a 5th grader and it still rings true.

Here’s my 34th year recap.

3 comments

  1. 34 year old here, with young kids & just on the other side of a renovation, and I can relate to so much of this!! I started following you because you have the BEST outfits but continue to love your blog above all others for how authentic and genuine that you are. Thank you so much for everything that you share & I wish you the absolute best in your 35th year!!

  2. 39 here. Turning 40 in < 6 months. I was born in 1980. I started my current job in 2011 when some of my colleagues were freshmen in high school. Jeez.

    But the one thing I have to say is I'm so much more CONFIDENT and happy with who I am now. Yes, that skin I live in is saggier (two kids + age left a mark), but I'm happier showing that skin off than I was when I was in my 20s and most of my 30s. And I'm more confident in my abilities as a parent and an employee.

    The one thing I didn't do in my 30s as much as I'd wished was focus more on my marriage. Kids + work + life has left a mark there, too. I thought marriage would be easy. But it's not. Not at all. We're 10 years in to marriage, almost 15 being together and my advice to my 35 year old self is to work on communication with him. I wish we'd started earlier.

    • Love that and it’s SO true. It’s really easy to put relationships on the back burner in this stage of life–especially with someone like your partner. Great advice!

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