The conversation goes something like this...
Person who isn't me: "How do you feel to be 34?"
Me: "I feel f-ing fantastic!"
Person who isn't me has a momentary dumbfounded look on their face, then realizes I meant it, smiles and says: "Wow, that's great!"
Let me explain. When I was approaching 30, I couldn't contain my excitement! I felt a surge of ownership coming into my 30's. I knew it was going to be a time for me to discover so much more about myself that I hadn't yet, and to really sink into my purpose in life.
Skip 4 years ahead and BAM! That's exactly where I am. No, I haven't figured it out, but I do feel like I am settling into knowing more about the person I am and continue to strive to be, and I feel like I'm riding the wave of passion and purpose while living in a dream.
With every passing year, I feel a stronger urge to reflect on the year that's passed and see how I've changed. This year I get to share my reflections with you!
WHAT MATTERS MOST TO ME
Just kidding. Sort of.
But seriously, freedom, connection and the little things matter most to me now.
I remember reading an article in my early 30's by someone in her 60's about lessons she learned at certain decade milestones in her life. It was enlightening and her words stuck with me. She mentioned the things you focus on so much in your 20's seem so trivial compared to what matters most in your thirties, a cycle that repeats each decade until the most obvious, most basic, most important things are what you live for. I can certainly relate.
I also remember hearing from a few people who are a generation or two ahead of me who mentioned I seem to have a lot more figured out than they did at my age, which made me grateful and confirmed what I was feeling about the life I was leading. See, it was in my early thirties when I 180'd my life. I upgraded the food I ate, got rid of the majority of my possessions, moved to a place where I knew I was comfortable living, exercised a lot more, enhanced my connection to my spirit and the spirit world, judged less, loved more, became more gracious and empathetic, listened more, and developed a stronger sense of self. I started questioning what was really important to me and latching on to the dreams I was concocting - dreams I knew and still know to be true and worthy, that are shaping who I am right now.
I've tended to be a person who is genuinely positive, sees the beauty in everything, loved spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones (and dogs), and put my heart and soul into my work. I always knew these were staples of who I am, but I never understood that they were enough. Everything else is minutiae compared to the feelings of love, comfort and purpose that living a connected life can bring.
WHAT DOESN'T MATTER SO MUCH TO ME ANYMORE
Stuff. Money. Options. Overindulgence. Abundance (of physical objects).
(Mom & Dad, don't freak out. This house matters to me. It's just an example.)
Let me boil it down:
First: Function. If I don't use something on a regular basis I don't want it. I feel cramped and uncomfortable keeping more than I need on hand. What's the point anyway? More stuff breeds the need for more stuff anyway, and I just don't have a need anymore.
Second: Quality over quantity. For instance, if I'm going to buy a new shirt it's going to be because I need that shirt to get by in life. And I'm going to take my time deciding which shirt to buy. It may take me a few weeks to find it and it's not going to be the cheapest option. Instead, it's going to be something I'm really excited about, something that is functional and looks good. Most importantly, it'll be something that'll last a long time.
Third: No more drama. Other people's opinions of me, looking perfect before leaving the house, making mistakes, and so many other wasteful stresses have no place in my life anymore. They're not worth sweating. I don't remember the moment these things stopped being important to me. I just remember my feelings shifting as other things - making stronger connections with the people in my life, connecting to my life's purpose and being grateful for every day - became more important.
WHAT SCARES ME
I'm going to be brutally honest here. These are the things that scare me most at this time in my life:
my business will fail
I won't ever be financially stable doing what I want to do in my life
getting on an airplane
I won't see my family again, or enough before it's too late, because I live across the country
I'll regret not having a family of my own if I choose not to have one
I'll never move on from my attachment to my past and start commiting to my own life
I'll let my fears run my life
I know I don't believe these ideas, but I haven't stood up to them enough and that's why they're running my life. I'm building toward overcoming them in my thirties, which feels as scary as it does amazing.
WHAT EXCITES ME
All the possibilities in life!
This year I started my business. This alone is a milestone for me and I refuse to look back now.It was the easiest decision I've ever made and has felt like a holiday ever since. Not because I don't work hard, but because I LOVE what I'm doing and I get to create my work. I'm excited that I get to continuously help people and by doing so, I get to see where my career takes me and who comes into my life because of it.
I can feel myself riding the wave. Being aware of my place in the world feels great because I can shape it how I want. I'm excited to keep going in this direction. I look forward to all the nooks and crannies I'll fall into along the way that'll keep me growing and learning and exploring myself and the world around me.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MY LIFE (and life in general)
I've been told I live a bit of a naive life. I like to think I'm childlike instead. I believe in possibility. This year is one where I've seen my dreams begin to come to life. I'm not afraid to shout them from the rooftops because I see them as a reality for me. Sure there are boundaries and roadblocks in life, but for the most part we put them there ourselves.
As I've grown and my perspective on life has shifted, I've learned to turn the lows into highs because there's always a high note in every aspect of life. I know there's more than one way to look at something and I choose the way that leads me to be happy.
Life really is beautiful at any age. Take a good hard look and you'll see what I mean.