When I turned 35 I had this lead-up to my birthday of total dread. It happens with any birthday for me. But 35 felt especially so. It was kind of a milestone number. Halfway to 40. Halfway through my 30s. No longer in my early 30s, officially in my mid-30s. It was just a big number for me. And much of that heaviness is also due to the expectations we tend to put on ourselves. I wish I had this, I wish I lived here, I thought I’d be with my forever person. You know the drill. It’s the set of expectations I, and maybe society, have put on ourselves. And it always weighs more heavily around birthdays for me.
I wrote about these feelings in a newsletter to my subscribers recently and someone wrote me back something that has stuck with me ever since. And it was actually the culmination of two things happening. First, I received a response back from someone telling me that my fear of there only being 5 years to 40, is really that 5 years a lifetime away. It’s 5 whole years. 5! I read it, and thought, yeah sure it’s a lot of years I guess. It made me take a second look at what five years really looked like. It helped. For sure. But what really brought this to light, was me stumbling onto my blog post I wrote 5 years ago when I turned 30. Then it all hit me.
5 Years really is a lifetime.
5 years ago I not only looked totally different, but I was wearing a ton of clothing I don’t even own anymore, and a hairstyle I barely recall having, and oh the list goes on. But looking back at that moment, a moment that we captured in a photoshoot one gloomy January afternoon truly felt like an *actual* lifetime ago. So much since then has changed in my life.
My friendships have drastically changed.
People have come and gone in my life in those five years, both positively and negatively. I’ve dated good guys and bad ones, I’ve traveled the world beyond what I could ever imagine possible, and I’ve grown my business to a point that I feel more confident than ever in. Anything can happen in five whole years.
And as I look back on my turning 30 blog post where I stress about things like not having a house and a yard, or a cookie-cutter job, I can confidently put a few of those fears to rest. I am more confident in this job as an influencer today than I was five years ago. Because it’s grown and it’s more steady for me. I’ve planned for my future with retirement where I won’t need someone to help me, something that brought me great anxiety many years ago after leaving a corporate job with a 401K.
I can do it on my own. I also think having a few close blog friends make the switch from a blog career to a traditional job within this field has also given me the solace I needed that I’m not wasting my time on some bizarre career. That this can transfer over to a 9-5 if I god forbid needed to.
But yes, I still am sad that the housing market is insane and that I can not afford a big beautiful home in the city for me and Pork. That may be the one and only thing I still struggle with internally. However, I am shifting the mindset because I do love my home. I am so lucky to have this space. And that’s something I am learning now, five years later.
And that’s the thing I’ve realized.
I still have five whole years to 40. Things can change. I can buy a new place, I can buy a second place, I may meet someone and we buy a place TOGETHER OMG how great would that be? Or, I could spend the next 5 years exploring the world even more thanks to affordable rent and stability that this “thing” that has caused me to feel a bit stuck at times. It’s all about mindset. And that’s something I am learning and shifting over time.
If you’re feeling like me…
If you’re feeling like how I was. That life is moving too fast, or that you’re having a woe is me moment. Maybe try what I did. Actually, scroll back on your phone in your photos to five years ago. And take a look at where you once were. Both physically and mentally. I think it can really kick things into perspective of how much time has gone by. How many things you’ve done since then. It really helped for me and I think it’s a great way to look back too. Seeing the things you used to do, used to love, used to hate and aren’t doing any longer. Or maybe it’s a wake up call that you WERE doing something you loved and you let it fall to the wayside. It happens. But take that look back and see how far you’ve come, grown and changed.
I’m so thankful for that reader who wrote me back when I was in my doom and gloom of turning 35. And thank goodness for stumbling onto that blog post from 5 whole years ago. It snapped me out of it. It helped me with my outlook on how much time there still is. Because yes, five years may not sound like a long time. But looking back, it really is truly a lifetime ago.