This past May I turned 35! Yay, I am officially geriatric according to most OB-GYN’s. The number of grey hairs on my head should also confirm to the bartenders that I am not underage and that I am in fact, old enough to drink. I feel like 15 years ago I thought I would have my whole life figured out by then and I would be a functioning member of society.
Boy was that a lie!
Let me tell you what I have figured out by the age of 35:
- I am still finding myself…and that is ok. After leaving my corporate job, I am not able to figure out who I am and my identity. What I actually like to do for fun, what I do not like to do for fun. What excites me, and what makes me cringe. What my best self looks like and what version of the past I do not like about myself. I am learning that I am ever changing and the Jennifer from 15 years ago is not the same Jennifer as today.
- Kids suck sometimes… mine included. I always thought that I would have the perfect kid and they would not need to look at any electronic devices at a restaurant just to get through dinner. Y'all…. that is a bull face lie. Everyone has this expectation of how their child is going to be, but then you have them and they give you a complete 180. I love my kids, but sometimes they annoy me. And that is completely normal. Kids have a hard time expressing their feelings and I am not a mind reader. Being a parent is all about trying to interpret what you child actually needs when they are screaming bloody murder and throwing their toys down the steps.
- My body will never look the same as it did in high school. Let us be honest, I looked a little bit anorexic in high school and I SWORE I was fat. Fat where?! There was not one ounce of fat on my body, but I hated the way I looked. Here I am, 17 years later and the heaviest I have been and I lowkey like my body. My body has done so much for me since high school, and I need to love it the way it is. It has carried 4 babies (2 in heaven and 2 on earth) and endured a crazy spinal fusion surgery. This body is fine just the way it is, and I need to learn how to love it more properly.
- Social media is 75% fake news. I learned to stop looking at people’s social media newsfeed of their perfect life because they only show the good things on social media. How often do you hear about women complaining about their spouses leaving their dirty dishes on the counter? Or how they got written up at work for being late? Most of the time they use social media to show off all the good in their life and it has you feeling extremely jealous. Like “Yay Kevin and I bought our second house!” and you’re like “Good for you Karen, now excuse me while I go eat my feelings in the bathtub and cry cause I’m still renting.” But what Karen and Kevin do not share on social media is that their parents paid for that down payment on the house, or that they put in offers on over 10 houses or even better they do not tell you that their marriage almost fell apart because Kevin had to work 70-hour weeks in order to save up enough for a down payment. All you see is the reward, not the work. Do not compare you beginning to someone else’s end. It will drive you crazy.
- Mental health is just as important as physical health. Making my mental health a top priority is something I have been working on in the last few years. Not only for myself but also for my kid’s sake. I am no good to my children if I am in an emotional funk and cannot take care of myself. I am my best self when I am taking care of myself and I am the best mother when my mental health is my priority.
There are so many more lessons that I feel like I have learned by my 35th birthday and too many to write down right now. But if you are anything like me, then do not be discouraged if your birthday comes around and you feel like you do not have your life together. We are all works in progress and you just have to take it one day at a time.