Today is my 35th birthday! Out of all of the milestone birthdays I’ve had, this one is by far in the strangest time of my life. Today, I want to share some of my thoughts on turning 35 and document where I’m at in this time.
35 Is Just A Number
This age for some people probably leads to a lot of tears. It’s another year closer to 40 and another year closer to going “over the hill”. But the truth is age has never bothered me. I’ve never been one to mope and moan about getting another year older (another year wiser). Every year lived is another year to celebrate. This year is going to be so exciting in so many ways! Whether I’m turning 35 or turning 60, I’m going to thank God for another year with my husband and daughter. I try so hard to live my life with zero regrets, so instead of worrying about how old I am, I focus on how I can live abundantly today.
35 Is “Advanced Maternal Age”
As everyone knows by now, I’m in the midst of going through embryo adoption. Had we done this years ago before the miscarriages and before this age, it would have been less complicated. It doesn’t bother me at all that I’m now of advanced maternal age. There are plenty of women in their late 30s and 40s who have amazing pregnancies, and some of those pregnancies are healthier and less complicated than for people in their 20s. Every pregnancy is different so I’m not going to allow my age to deter me from chasing my dream of growing our family. In fact, our new doctor said: “your health is more important than your age, I’ve seen women have success in their 50s!” So the whole advanced maternal age thing can go out with the 80s. Yes, I admit that I have always been hopeful that we’d be done growing our family by 35, but that’s clearly not what God had planned for me. I’m okay with that.
35 Is Confidence In Boundaries
In my life, I’ve had to place the most difficult boundaries around my family to protect us from toxicity. Setting boundaries against toxic people is not easy, especially when those toxic people are blood relatives. Often, people who don’t have to face what I’ve had to will make it sound so easy to reconcile. They tell you that it’s the right thing to do to allow toxic people back into your life… that it’s the Christian thing to do. That extending grace is our job. And believe me, I totally get this to a point, but this can also be dangerous. I’ve learned by now that boundaries are necessary, even for Christians, and when an offender continues to repeat the same offenses your entire life (bullying, threatening your wellbeing and security, etc.), you have to cut them off permanently at some point. At 35, I can say with confidence that I’ve managed to do that and I have zero regrets. I’m 35, I’m an adult, and I’m responsible for what I allow in my life. No one has chains on me.
35 Means I’ve Changed
Usually, people use the phrase “they’ve changed” in a negative way, but I’m here to undo that phrase! People should change for the better. I am most definitely not the same person I was in high school, in college, in my 20s, or even when I turned 30. There is nothing wrong with that. As I’ve aged, I’ve matured a lot. Things that once bothered me just don’t anymore. There are certain divisive conversations I refuse to have with people (politics, for example) because maintaining relationships is more important than trying to convince someone that my way of thinking is as acceptable as theirs. With this change comes boundaries and maturity. I’ve changed and that’s a good thing!
35 Is Beautiful
Before 35 I started to gain more confidence in my own skin, but I feel like it really started to peak during my 34th year. When I wear makeup, it’s because I want to, I feel like it and actually enjoy it, not because I feel like I have to. I’m not embarrassed to go out in public without makeup, without my eyebrows filled in, without flawless skin because the truth is: I didn’t step out of Photoshop. I’m a living, breathing woman with scars, stretch marks, and imperfect skin. Due to hormonal imbalances, I still get acne (although it’s less frequent now that my thyroid is under control!). But by age 35, I’ve come to not care. When I wear makeup, it’s because I think it’s fun and I enjoy it, but gone are the days where I feel like I need it. Some women never wear makeup and have always been happy that way, and all I can say is good for you, ha! I wasn’t that woman for a very long time, but now I am confident in me and I’m happy about it.
So here I am at 35 years young at the peak of my life, pursuing embryo adoption and embracing who I am in Christ abundantly. I have a good life… a great life. I’m so grateful and so blessed. Life never pans out the way we envision when we’re young, but it’s up to us to embrace it and flow with the waves of change. You either choose to live life abundantly in spite of the hurt and disappointment, or you allow it to engulf you forever. And believe me, I’ve been through my fair share of pain. When it comes down to it, I have a choice. I’m choosing life abundant. Welcome to 35!