So last week, I turned 37. It’s not a huge milestone. It’s not an exciting or lucky number. It just is. Thirty-seven. In my spirit, I feel 25. In my bones, I feel 85. It’s a weird thing, this barrelling through life at an astonishing rate. It feels a bit like a dark and twisty waterslide… fast, exhilarating, yet terrifying, completely out of control, and a sense of knowing that it will turn out alright.
I think I’m officially considered a millennial, but maybe getting married at 18 and having 4 babies by 30 sets you apart from the average Joe. Maybe having 9 older siblings, a 9th-grade education, a media-free childhood, and moving away from all friends and extended family at age 11 makes you a little different, a little older, than your peers. Whatever 37 is supposed to feel like, I have no idea. I only know there’s a richness to life when you’ve lived a few decades and you feel the depth and wildness that there is to this one precious life. Each year, I feel wiser, a little “less wrong” as Mark Manson puts it in his book that shall remain unnamed on this blog. (Feel free to check it out here if you’re not offended by language. Expletives aside, he raises some great points in his book.)
Less wrong, but at the same time, so much less sure that I’m right. So much less convinced that there is only black and white.
So what I have learned, in my first 37 years, is this:
- People are people. Period. It doesn’t matter if you grew up Mennonite, Muslim, Mormon, moneyless or millionaires, we all bleed red. We all want to belong in community. We all want love.
- All good things take time and effort. Sitting on my butt, whining and wishing I could do more, be more, and have more… has pretty much the opposite effect I want. BE committed to DO what it takes to HAVE what you want.
- Travelling alone is highly underrated. I’m so glad I took the plunge & you can too! You may find out you hate it (I didn’t!), but on the other hand, you may discover worlds about your beautiful self and our world that you never knew!
- You can only change yourself. Nagging & begging won’t change the people around me. Taking the time to develop ME and discover my own gifts and potentials, will change how I view others and possibly encourage growth in them as well.
- Expectations = premeditated resentment. The unspoken scripts I run in my head can be so damaging to my relationships. When dealing with unmet expectations, I do a quick check on whether I actually communicated what I wanted.
- No one lives forever. We only have today. Right now. It’s not enough time for complaining, criticizing, condemning, or comparing. It’s just too short to not fully seize the day and LIVE.