Today I find myself in a place that I never imagined I would be: 28. It’s not that I thought I would die before today, I just had no fathomable way to imagine what life at 28 would be like. 21, yes – easy, 25- cool, great, I’ll be married and move to New York and have a sick job doing something enviable and chic, 27- passionately involved in the rise of my personal and professional life and be so cutting edge and cool, but 28? No, I’ve never envisioned who I would be now. (Also it’s worth noting that none of my expectations of 21, 25 or 27 were accurate.) I can even imagine myself at 30 and 35, but 28 seems like a weird in-between age where you aren’t young anymore but you aren’t yet 30. It’s the age where you are forced to come to terms with the fact that you might just be aging out of all the goals you set for yourself in your twenties; I might even say that twenty eight feels kind of sad. It’s probably not sad for Blake Lively or Shay Mitchell or even Lizzie McGuire (wow we’re old), but to me, 28 feels like life’s force majeure that is making me reconcile with the me of today and not the me that I thought I would be when I exited my 27th year of life, arriving at this awkward mid point of my late twenties.
Here’s who I thought I would be by this day:
- Rich (for SURE rich).
- Successfully running a career that I was the boss of.
- I would have a healthy relationship with my body, food, alcohol and fitness.
- Brunching every weekend with my best gals, eating dinner weekly at New York’s best restaurants.
- Debt free.
- Fluent in another language.
- Very close to getting on a 30 under 30 list, if I haven’t already made one of course.
Here’s who I am:
- Most definitely not rich. Like, MOST DEFINITELY not rich.
- Thankfully I have a job, but I’m definitely not the boss.
- Not working out consistently, drinking too much wine and eating far too many simple and processed carbs.
- Rarely eating New York’s best food (see points 1 and 5).
- Most definitely not debt free. Again with the emphasis on not.
- English speaking only and often confused on what a verb and adverb are.
- The only 30 under 30 list I’ll be on at this rate is a list of 30 people under 30 who have given up on succeeding before they’re 30.
In summation, I am a poor, overweight, almost 30 year old with no significant accomplishments to date outside of managing to (barely) stay afloat in one of the most expensive cities in the world and finding someone to marry me despite my obvious and pervasive shortcomings. Speaks one language, not very cultured, drinks too much wine and eats macaroni and cheese most nights because it’s 1. cheap and 2. always good. (Side note: do you think that has anything to do with point 3?).
Twenty seven felt hard, and in many ways that I am not proud of, it looked a lot like quitting. On many occasions, I chose the path most followed, rarely foraging my own way like I was so accustomed to doing as I started this year 365 days ago. But in truth, I feel okay about that. Twenty seven was a year that represented rest (more than I probably needed as it often bordered the line with apathy), a time where I allowed myself to just be — to not be constantly striving, to not beat myself up over every moment where I could have done more, to eat what I wanted and to sleep too much and to reset my priorities.
So while twenty eight isn’t starting with a penthouse in New York and a vacation to the Greek island of Paros, it is starting with a heart filled to the brim with gratitude for the life that I do have and for this past year that taught me perspective, painful growth and how to truly just rest.
Other things I’m grateful for:
- To be alive and breathing.
- For the grace of God that I simply do not deserve.
- To have a husband who feels it all with me. I am grateful that I picked a good teammate to do life with, and I am grateful to be his wife.
- To have a family that loves, cares and prays for me unconditionally and without question.
- To have friends that anchor me, that have done all the good and the bad of life with me and have yet to leave me.
- To have a job with co-workers that I laugh with all day, and to have a job that surrounds me with beautiful things and beautiful people day in and day out. I work with an living icon, and that’s something that most people don’t ever get to experience.
- To have the freedom and opportunity to evolve and figure out what comes next. To live in a country where I am free to be a woman who chooses her career and not have one forced upon me for survival — a privilege that I should not only be grateful for daily, but one I should fight for on behalf of those who are not born into a world with such immense opportunity.
- To have my health and a body that wakes up everyday and takes me where I need to go, despite my often abusing it with processed food and fermented grapes.
- That I live in the greatest city in America. I hate it, everyone does if they’re being honest with themselves, but it’s exciting and passionate and it’s a place that allows me to truly pursue something, anything, that I want.
I am starting twenty eight with a fresh perspective, a reinvigorated sense of purpose and a new confidence. To new things, new wine skins and new dreams.
Twenty eight, I’m so happy to be here.