5 Things I Know For Sure At 35
Birthdays are a time of reflection for me. I've been taking a walk down memory lane with photos on my Instagram page and sharing stories about each one and chapter of my life. Each experience has helped to shape who I am today. After it all, these things I now know for sure:
Everything is working for my good. (Despite what it may look like in the moment.)
So many times in my life, my plans did not pan out the way I once thought or hoped they would. Almost every time things didn't go MY way, I would feel the urge to resist change or throw up both my hands and give up hope that anything positive would come from it. Every detour has lead me closer to my destiny and not getting what I wanted has gotten me closer to what I needed. All of my "NOs" turned out to be the greatest stroke of luck and I am forever grateful that the universe knew better and wanted more for me.
Authenticity is the secret to everything I seek.
For many years I filtered or ignored my own thoughts and feeling for the sake of not rocking the boat, offending others or hurting people's feelings. The cost was always my own comfort and happiness. What I now know for sure is that honoring my own thoughts and feelings will not only make me feel better, it will attract more of what and who is truly in alignment with me. When you are in the company of people who are aligned, the support and encourage you to be yourself - despite where or if that intersects with their ideas. Additionally, when you are walking in your own authenticity - you will naturally attract what serves you and repel what doesn't - this applies to love, career, mental physical and spiritual health and more.
There is no right or wrong choice.
I have always been an over thinker. I give the same amount of energy I would in considering what house to buy when making my nail color selection at the salon. I'm light weight serious. It took me so long to realize that 99.9% of things in life are really not that serious. Everything doesn't have to be a difficult decision or stressful if WE don't make it so. I had become an expert at making mountains out of molehills and it was wearing me out. I now try to apply some simple and easy approaches: If its not a "Hell Yes", its a "Hell No" - because there is no room in my life for mediocrity and if I am doing too much debating about something, that means I am not fully sold for one reason or another - so its a NO, and if its not going to matter in 5 min, 5 hours, 5 months or 5 years... don't spend more than 5 minutes lamenting over it. Plus at the end of the day, I believe that our destiny is our destiny and we will arrive at our destination regardless of the route we take. One decision may add 2 years until we get there, while another choice may have gotten us there in 2 months - but either way, we will get there so try to enjoy the journey and not obsess over "getting it all right" because there is always going to be pros and cons for every option. Do what feels right to you in that moment with the information you have and move forward with confidence that everything will work out as it should. Nothing and no one will ever be perfect. Not even me. *moment of silence for the death of this idea* Most of my life was spent attempting to be the perfect person, daughter, friend, girlfriend , employee etc etc and whenever I would fall short or receive criticism I would feel defeated and question my own value and self-worth because I didn't add up to someone's expectations or preferences. I know no for sure, I am not for everyone and that is okay. Just like everyone is not for me. All I can do is my best and that will be just perfect for those things and people who are supposed to be in my life.
Find comfort in uncertainty.
The saying goes that "when nothing is certain, everything is possible." In the uncomfortable moments is where all the growth happens. I had to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Life has many twists and turns and change is the only constant. I've had to learn to pick myself and my ego up, dust myself off and continue or many times start all over (when I didn't want to or feel like it, when I wasn't ready, wasn't seeing any results in that moment and especially when I felt like giving up.) Learning to become more adaptable and less rigid about how things have to be or ought to be has definitely been a struggle. Learning to roll will the punches hasn't been easy but I know that we were given this life because we can handle everything that comes with it!
Connection is king.
At the end of the day, connection is king for me. Relating to my tribe and meeting new people with whom I can relate and engage with is my favorite thing to do (hence my blog and podcast) - and cultivating genuine relationships is more important to me than anything. In moments of despair, I know that I have people that I can call on. If I need a laugh, there are people that I can count on for that. And equally, I take pride in being a voice of reason, a pillar of support and a shoulder to cry on for my friends. These relationships help sustain me personally, but they also help professionally. People with whom you genuinely connect with and mutually respect are the people who will introduce you to their single friend, refer you for your dream job, buy your new book and help you move your furniture up three flights of stairs with no elevator. We need each other! We currently live in a world that puts so much emphasis on entertainment, hustle, grind, money, power, success and sex - we often forget the importance of investing in each other and our relationships. I see many people looking to "network" or "connect" with only an open hand out and intention to take from someone without a true desire to relate. Some relationships feel very transactional and what I know for sure is that doesn't feel good for me. Surface level small talk is no longer doable.
I could go on and on with what I know for sure at 35, but these are my top 5. What do you know for sure?