This week I’m turning thirty five years old. Even as I type that sentence I don’t feel much, which is weird because I thought I would have a lot of strong feelings about turning thirty five. But perhaps not having strong feelings about turning thirty five is a good thing. Right now I don’t have feelings of sadness or regret like I have had during some of my more recent birthdays in my thirties.
I feel very secure in who I am as a person and what a wonderful blessing that is. For some reason turning thirty five makes me think of when I turned twenty five and how turbulent those times seemed. I was single, living alone and not really knowing what I wanted out of life. I can’t say that in ten years’ time I have figured out what I want, but I think I’m heading in the right direction.
In the past ten years, I’ve had to deconstruct myself. This was not by choice, but rather by what life’s circumstances had given me. I do really believe that in my early years that I had a somewhat easier time than others. I did well in school. I graduated college. I played sports and excelled at them.
But all these scenarios were set up for me to succeed. School rewards students that work hard. On the other hand, life after schooling doesn’t play by those rules. So in some ways, my late twenties and early thirties were the hard lessons you don’t learn in school.
When you hit thirty five you are finally getting closer to the point in your life where you have made the majority of decisions in your life rather than someone else making them for you or having to live within a set of rules. There really are no rules in the real world. Sure, some people will tell you that there are rules. But there are plenty of people who aren’t playing by them.
How do you deal with losing your job? How do you deal with losing pregnancies? How do you deal with a friend stabbing you in the back? How do you deal with being thrown under the bus? How do you deal with being sexually harassed? How do you manage the stress of being married to a police officer? How do you deal with asking for help and being told no?
These are the questions that are difficult to ask, but I’ve lived every one of them. So this is where I’ve had to deconstruct myself. I’ve had to take an honest look at myself, beyond my worldly accomplishments and think about who I am as a person. I can’t say that I have the answers to all of these questions, but I do know that I’m not the only one going through them and what a blessing that has been.
Sometimes just knowing that we aren’t alone in this journey of life is all that we need. As I get ready to turn thirty five, I feel hopeful, that major changes to society are coming. We live in an age of vast information that can be easily obtained. We no longer have to ponder or wonder; instead we can easily discover answers to all of it. So maybe now we need to start searching for the right questions to ask rather than thinking we know all the answers.
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.