Today I’m starting another trip around the sun and I am oddly excited to welcome 35. I realized that I haven’t done a birthday reflection in 2019 and to be honest, I’m not really surprised. January 2020 was filled with so much excitement for me followed by the realization that normal as we knew it wouldn’t exist for quite a while. Last year was still a little uncertain, so I’m going to chalk that up as to why I didn’t have any written reflections here. It was last year that I decided to change the way I was looking at my goals for the year. I decided to focus on things that made me truly happy and spend more time doing those things. It completely changed my trajectory for the year and it is something I am continuing into this year. With that in mind, I’m welcoming 35 a little more confident, a little more comfortable in my own skin, and really excited for what the future holds.
In December 2020, while having a catch up on the phone with a dear friend in another city, she mentioned in passing that I just didn’t seem like myself or happy in my career at that time. She didn’t say it with judgment or with a solution in mind, yet it really resonated with me. While I could feel something was off, I wasn’t sure how to name it. I couldn’t tell if it was because we were (and still are) living through a global pandemic. Or because things were particularly tumultuous or what. Regardless, her identifying that was really empowering and helped me begin focusing on my goals for the year more strategically.
On my birthday last year, I shared in an Instagram post that I wanted to be bold and authentic. My word for the year was audacity. For me, after years of being on a search of happiness, I realized slowing down, living in the moment, and not being scared would be great places to start. And wow, was I right. Instead of filling my calendar with things, I opted for slow weekends of reading in bed with the boys. Of trying new restaurants and new dishes, while still finding time to visit trusted favorites and enjoy those. I decided to explore more of what was close by and continue to grow my knowledge and understanding of my home state. Furthermore, I made a big decision to consider a career change.
For years, my self-worth and story was directly connected to my work. While it was (and still is) something I felt incredibly passionate about, I was no longer showing up as my best for myself or my family and friends. My health was being negatively impacted and I was simply unhappy with those impacts. And, if we’re being truly honest here, I was experiencing imposter syndrome and was generally questioning that self-worth. You may know that I am a firm believer in setting and maintaining boundaries, advocating for oneself (because who else will?), and knowing ones worth to act accordingly. I truly began feeling like I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching, and that didn’t feel l was living up to those goals of being bold and authentic.
All of that to say, I took a big leap. I spent almost a year soul searching. Thinking through what made me happy, what I enjoyed, and what would ultimately bring me peace and joy in my day-to-day. In November, I made that change and while I miss aspects from my previous career, I am thrilled to be trying something new, not letting fear (of failure, of the unknown, of other people’s expectations) hold me back, and living that truth of being bold and authentic.
So, my hope for you is that you will try one thing new this year, whether it’s a new coffee, a new dish at your favorite restaurant, a new form of travel, a new place, or trying out wearing sequins on a random Monday just because you can. Whatever makes you happy, I’m here cheering for you!
Photos by GloryRoze Photography