Navigating Life’s Transitions at 35
It has literally been years since I have written a blog post. The last post I did was a 2021 round-up similar to this post, where I reviewed all the lessons I learned. So why now? My attention span is at an all-time low, I have a constant need to multi-task and my best friend reminded me the main reason I started my blog was to share all of my travel experiences. Nothing brings me more joy than introducing my friends to new restaurants or offering them travel advice; I get second-hand excitement for them. So, you have heard it here first, my Nashville post is coming soon.
Soooooo 35! 30 was one of my hardest birthdays. On paper my life seemed really good, I had a long-term partner, a good job, and friends. I didn’t really have anything to complain about. I felt so unsettled. I think I knew deep down my relationship wasn’t working, there was no part of me that wanted to put pressure on things to take them to the next level. I was emotionally exhausted and I felt like I was doing everything. I was isolated and unsupported.
35 has been a good year. Vanessa and I completed season 1 of our podcast. Diving into the unfamiliar was challenging and I still have not brought myself to watch any of the finalized episodes. I have an amazing new nephew, even though I am not a baby person, I am obviously obsessed with him. I ventured into film photography, still trying to figure out double exposures. I got some really cool trips in, including a yoga retreat which has been on my bucket list for years. Overall, I would say aside from getting older, it was a good year.
I was feeling sad about turning 35, but I decided to take the cup-half-full approach. While I may not have a partner or a child, I also have full flexibility to do whatever I want! I made sure my birthday was being celebrated the way I wanted. My best friend also went over and above to make sure I felt special. Honestly, aside from the changes to my body, extra wrinkles, and thinner hair, 35 is not all bad.
If I am reflecting on this year, I have put together the most valuable things I have learned in my 35 years on this Earth. I would say though none of this is overly revolutionary or inventive but I am easing back into the blogging world, be gentle with me.
Splurge on Yourself Not Things
I have been wanting to play around with video content for years! My phone has other plans, it is constantly full, glitching, or losing my drafts. I have had this internal debate almost every time I am about to leave for a trip if I take the plunge and upgrade my phone. This year I let my frivolous self win. Before I headed to Florida I got a new phone which arrived the day before my trip (almost like it was meant to be). Not fighting with low storage and phone glitches has brought me endless happiness (next step – better storage solutions).
I will spend money on clothes I don’t need or a random home decor item without thinking about it but then I will struggle to spend money on things that have long-term benefits to me. One of the other things I go back and forth on is fitness. I do go to the gym but I have better results when I am held accountable. I am starting not to recognize myself in photos, so that is the next step, really investing in my fitness so I get the results I want.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Your Friendships
I don’t mean to brag but I have amazing friends and I cannot stress the importance of having meaningful friendships. I would rather spend time alone than spend time with people that drain my energy. Having a support system is so important, I know that we will continue to push each other, help each other grow and of course make each other laugh. I don’t take any of these relationships for granted and I made sure I show the people that are special to me that I care about them.
Don’t Let the Timeline Pressure You
Not a hot take, but as you get older, society pressures women to get married and start a family. As much as I do desire both those things, I also want to be able to go on a few kids-free adventures with my partner before we start to have kids.
Dating has become so challenging with the creation of apps, especially in Vancouver, where there is a reputation for guys to be f*ck boys. I have been noticing more and more that people have dating fatigue. The last few guys I was going out with put in little to no effort. I am not saying dating should be a fairytale but why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t care about making you happy/valued?
I know what I bring to a relationship and if you don’t have the energy to plan a single date or try to make someone you care about feel special, you shouldn’t be dating. I am tired of people telling women to settle. I refuse to believe this is the best they can do. At this point in my life for the right partner, I would make things work versus settling for the wrong one.
Don’t Stay in a State of Suffering
Sometimes I can get tunnel vision and obsess about everything that is going wrong in my life. While a pity party every once in a while is needed, having gratitude and being results-oriented is the only way that I really feel better. This lesson is especially true when it comes to work, it’s easy to take the human aspect out of things but at the end of the day getting caught in the weeds won’t give me a better result. If I do lose my temper, I always regret it and feel shitty afterward. Being results-oriented allows me to deal with the situation rather than focusing on my frustration.
My Key Takeaway
I have started to dream again and think of all the things that are within my control that I want to achieve this year. My biggest takeaway, as cheesy as it sounds, is never to stop falling in love with my life. If you feel like I am in a rut, I make a change. If I feel overwhelmed, I reach out for support. Life can be challenging but with all the sad moments there are glimmers of human connection, love, and of course laughter. Right now my greatest opportunity is freedom and I am going to do my best to make sure I don’t miss out on anything that I feel that I want to do.