I turned 29 this past weekend. And, in the midst of this annual turning point, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about this decade of my life coming to a close soon. Something about knowing that this era is almost over has made me want to look more closely at how I’ve spent the last 9 years.
Originally, for this blog post, I was going to share 28 things I’m grateful for as a tribute to my 28th year (similar to my last birthday post). But after writing most of the list, I just wasn’t feeling it. Reflecting on my twenties these last several days has pulled me in a different direction.
It’s made me realize that I really want to focus on integration this year. I’ve learned more than I could possibly keep track of over these past nine years, but my hope is to embody all this gathered wisdom as I enter the next decade. To integrate it into my character and choices of the future.
So for today’s post, I’d like to share just a few of the most recent nuggets that I’ve collected instead of the longer list of gratitude I had planned at first. Because focusing on these specific experiences and lessons that I’ve gained in the last year feels more meaningful than my original idea. And they’re among the pieces of wisdom that I’d most like to integrate going forward.
All that being said, here are three treasures from my 28th year that I’m carrying into this final chapter of my twenties and beyond.
- Every struggle is also accompanied by blessings. For me, the blessing has often been within the struggle itself. Because eventually it forces me to slow down. Or better yet pause. And take the time to come back to myself. To get closer with God. And to let go of the burdens I no longer need to bear.
- Health is not just a physical experience. Our wellness also depends on mental, emotional, and spiritual factors. And these parts of ourselves need just as much tending as our physical body. This is a truth that got a lot louder for me this year. The older I get, the more I notice little changes in how my body responds to certain situations – I recognize how things like lack of sleep and eating certain foods affect me a bit differently than they did 10 years ago. I’m not always as cognizant when it comes to my mental, emotional, and spiritual health though. Sometimes, it takes me longer to notice or respond when I don’t feel as good in these three areas. But a few months ago, I found myself in a place where I couldn’t afford not to pay attention to them anymore. I was wading through some major changes and keeping up with the rest of my life started to feel really hard. Even while I was taking some time for self-care, I constantly felt depleted. It wasn’t until I had actual physical symptoms though that I realized how direly I needed to do something. I’ll be sharing this whole story in another blog post soon, but the experience was the spark that helped me start getting back on track with tending to my mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
- Nothing lasts forever. Life changes. Constantly. Some of these changes are wondrous while others are agonizing. But in both cases, it eventually goes on. I wasn’t sure what life was going to look like after my sister moved away in January. This was brand new territory for us. And, at first, I wanted nothing to do with it. I couldn’t bear to think about how different everything would be. Surprisingly though, I ended up coming to appreciate some aspects of the experience. Of course, it’s still tough being far away from my sister and nieces and nephews, but the distance has brought us even closer in some ways. And it’s made me value our time together more than I ever used to. The change has also helped me deal with some of my fears related to loss. It’s brought me face to face with certain topics that I’d typically avoid. And although it’s been painful, I’m grateful for the perspective I’ve gained through the feelings that came up.
With my birthday and the start of Ramadan being so close together this year, I’m feeling even more reflective than usual. But I’ll end my ramblings here.
Before I go though, I do want to thank you for sticking with me through year 28. I so appreciate you taking the time to be here with me. And I also want to wish a blessed Ramadan to everyone observing this holy month. I pray that it’s a fulfilling and worthwhile time for us all.
Have YOU got any reflections on your mind lately? Or maybe some birthday advice? I’d love to hear them both in a comment below this post or an email!
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.