lifestyle

29 and Feeling Fine: Reflecting on the Last Year and Celebrating the Start of a New One

Today I am 29 years old and I have to say, I’m not as upset about it as I thought I would be. 

Around my 24th birthday I started worrying about getting older and the negative effects that could have on my body and my life, but my perspective on aging has really shifted in a positive way over the last couple of years.

Today, I find myself assured and excited for what 29 will bring.

Part of my newfound excitement about getting older is due to the great last few years I’ve had.

It seems like every year has brought big life changes and wonderful things to look forward to for me and, though hard times certainly do come along with the good ones, it’s all a part of life and a part of who I am and eventually will become.

Today I’m looking back on this past year and everything that being 28 has brought me. I’m also thinking about my goals for 29 and how to make the most of my last year before turning 30.

What I’m Proud Of
At 28, I trained for and ran my very first marathon, and I got to run NYC!

This has been a dream of mine for a while, but that I was unable to accomplish in years past because of a recurring ankle injury (I’ll probably do a separate post on this at some point, because it’s quite the story).

Training for the marathon was really, really hard. And running it back in November was even harder.

Even with all of my training, my determination, and the support of my loved ones I still questioned whether I could finish the race or whether I should have even signed up in the first place.

But guess what? I did finish. And I learned way more about myself and my body than I expected to that day.

I learned how much inner strength I have and I was reminded that, even when I feel like I have nothing left, I am always able to push myself a little harder. 

Another life-changing moment I had at 28 was losing my Godmother to cancer.

She left us sooner than expected and, even though she had been sick for a while, her parting was abrupt.

I didn’t get to say goodbye or to see her one last time, but I find comfort in remembering the times we had together and in knowing that she was aware of how much I loved her.

I got to honor her while running the NYC marathon for a charity that raises money for critical cancer research.

If you’ve read my other posts you probably already know that I got married a couple of months ago, which was obviously the highlight of this last year.

I had the most perfect wedding and, more importantly, my husband and I officially became family.

I’ve grown so much over the past few years that we’ve been together, and the year leading up to our marriage was no different.

At 28, I still had a lot to learn about compromise, personal growth, and being proud of who I am.

Planning a wedding with my husband and completing every step in the process alongside one another was a really positive experience for us.

So it’s not just the wedding or the marriage that 28 gave to me, it’s everything else I gained leading up to it.

What I Struggled With
A huge misconception I’ve always had about aging is that once you get to a certain age, you have it all figured out.

At 28 I learned, once again, that no one really knows what they’re doing in life (regardless of how old they are). 

I definitely made mistakes at 28—I found myself getting caught up in drama and pettiness that I should have just turned the other cheek to. 

Getting pulled into the unhappiness of others is something I’ve struggled with before, but this past year I got better at recognizing it and started to practice distancing myself from certain people or situations when necessary.

I also learned to prioritize my happiness—both at work and in my personal life.

Agency life gets crazy, especially during the summer and winter months because there’s a ton of work that needs to get done all at the same time.

28 brought plenty of late nights, 60-hour-weeks, and frustrated tears that I’d only let loose while sitting in traffic during my morning commute.

It’s hard to find a good work-life balance in most professions, and it gets even harder when you’re set on proving yourself and trying to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible.

I definitely overworked myself last year, and it wasn’t until I almost hit a breaking point that I realized things needed to change.

Overall, it ended up turning to a positive situation because being at that low point forced me to set more boundaries and take a stand for myself and for my own mental health. 

It also motivated me to speak up to my superiors about what I want and need in order to do my job as effectively as possible.

Because to be successful and to produce great work, you have to have the energy and motivation to care about what you’re doing.

In terms of my personal life, I noticed at 28 that I was regressing back into a state of trying to impress people and caring way too much about how others perceived me.

I fought really hard throughout high school and college to love myself and not to let the bitter, harsh words of others affect how I viewed myself. 

But years later there I was, lying awake at night worrying that what I wrote in my Bridal Shower Thank You cards didn’t sound grateful enough.

That people thought I was ugly because I opted not to wear makeup to parties I attended.

That my future husband’s family disliked me because of rumors they’d heard from other people.

Around the same time I hit a breaking point at work, I was also hitting rock bottom in terms of my personal life and self-esteem.

I was worrying too much about pleasing others and obsessing over every random “what if?” that popped into my head. 

Eventually I was forced to accept that no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I was never going to get everyone to approve of everything I did.

I decided to focus on what was truly most important—the person I was inside, the way I treated others, and making time for the things I enjoyed and was passionate about.

Once I decided to concentrate on those things, I spent much less energy on the things I couldn’t—and shouldn’t even bother to—change.

I realigned my priorities and all of the other nonsense became white noise.

I spent my time working towards what I really wanted and enjoyed and that confident, optimistic, relaxed version of myself returned just in time.

Looking Forward
There is a lot I want to accomplish over the next year, and I’m ready to work for it.

I will definitely be working hard to grow my blog and Instagram.

There is so much I want to share with all of you and so much that I can learn from you, as well. I have big goals in mind and can’t wait to see how much I can accomplish.

It’s going to be wonderful writing my “Turning 30” post a year from today and reflecting on how much my more life I’ll have added to my blog by then.

I have big fitness and running goals that are still shaping themselves in my mind—I’d love to run another marathon.

I’d love to finally get a defined 6-pack. And I DEFINITELY need to replace the unhealthy foods in my diet with fruits and vegetables (or art least find more of a balance).

I also have a lot to look forward to over the next 12 months.

My husband and I are building our forever home and will likely be moving into it before my next birthday.

I’m getting closer and closer to a promotion at work—the position I’ve been wanting to reach since much earlier in my career.

My sister is getting married and two of my best friends have new babies that I’ll get to love and watch grow.

There is so much excitement and happiness surrounding me on this day and in the near future, and my main goal for 29 is to keep this feeling and this attitude even when things aren’t looking as bright.

I know new challenges will present themselves to me over the next year.

Old challenges will surely resurface as well, and I may end up re-learning some old lessons that I thought I had already mastered.

But this is life, constantly testing and humbling us. If I can stay true to myself and my morals in the face of all adversity, then I know I’ll be just fine.

Thanks for taking this journey with me. When is everyone’s birthday and how old are you turning? What are your big goals for the next year of your life?

Share with me below!

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