I turned 33 last week. Although I’m not one for celebrating birthdays (the attention makes this little introvert feel extremely uncomfortable) I am one for reflecting at the end/beginning of a birth year.
Some people don’t like getting older. Ever since I turned 29 though, I’ve fallen more and more in love with the process of ageing. In fact, my life seems to get better and better with each year that passes.
Admittedly, I haven’t had to endure any big traumas in my life during this time - an existential crisis, some health issues, a break up and complete change of career, yes. But a big trauma like the death of a loved one or a chronic illness of my own - thankfully, not.
Many people ask me why I feel more joy with every passing year. Why I feel like life becomes more easeful. Why I feel more content and at peace.
It took me a while to figure out why (I thought it might simply be because I was adventuring more) but now I know …
I feel more joyful, content and peaceful, and life feels more easeful, because I have an intimate and loving relationship with myself.
Because I now have a loving and intimate relationship with myself, I make decisions that are aligned with my heart and soul. I know who I am and what lights me up, and I no longer do things or live my life in a way that I think I ‘should’ - I do it in a way that feels fucking awesome and completely aligned.
Has this been uncomfortable at times? Yes.
Have I lost friends because of it? Yes.
Do some people put down and criticise my lifestyle and life choices? Yes.
Do I give a f!ck? No, because I’m happier now than I’ve ever been and I know I’m a kind human with a big heart who is spreading love in this world. #f!ckthehatershaha
Since I turned 29, I:
Quit the career I spent four years studying at University for (and paid a tonne of money to do!)
Started my own business which amply supports me
Packed up everything I owned and journeyed overseas for 16 months by myself (a highlight of this trip was living in a yoga community in Mexico for nine months!)
Found a partner who treats me like the treasure I am (and is patient with me as I endeavour to ‘iron out’ my personality vulnerabilities - which, like anyone else, there’s lots of)
Started preparing to go and live in a bus with my love for an indefinite period of time (we leave in September! You can follow our adventures here!)
Stopped hating my body and instead, started celebrating myself (this has been HUGE for me!)
Made a conscious effort (and continue to do so on a daily basis) to get out of my head and into my heart
Figured out what lights me up and helps me shine - and am active in doing these things on the reg
Got better at forgiving myself when I *F* up. Which I do, regularly, because #human.
I spent years trying to follow the path of the social norm and control and manipulate the unfolding of my life. Thankfully, I had the open-mindedness and courage to do things differently when I saw that, despite my best efforts, that way of living did nothing but leave me with a deep well of unhappiness and discontent in my heart.
These days, I have a very sweet love affair with life. I respect that she knows what’s best for me, and I try my best to dance, shimmy and co-create with her.
She’s shown me that more often than not ...
Life is hard because we humans make it hard
We’re too fixated on how we think things should be
We’re moving too quickly through life to hear the whispers of our Soul that are trying to support us to be our most fulfilled selves
We’re too scared to take a step back and allow life to unfold organically, so instead we push and manipulate.
As you reflect on your own life and whether or not you’re truly living in a way that is right for you, I leave you with these beautiful words from the book, the Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak …
Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part and that’s what you’re responsible for.
OnCe you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.
May peace and complete and utter fulfilment find you in this life beauty,