8 Lessons, 8 Favorites, and 8 Wishes – 28th Birthday
Yesterday, I turned 28 years old. Weird to say. Weird to believe. Usually, my birthday month is super hard for me – cancer tends to complicate birthdays. But this year was different. This year, I was excited for my birthday and I was looking forward to celebrating it. Dustin asked me over my birthday dinner what made this year so different and it took me a minute before I realized why this birthday has been easier.
I am finally proud of the second chance life that I’m leading. It’s not perfect, but I can say at the end of every day that I am trying my hardest to make every second count. I would not be ashamed if any of my friends who lost their fight in this life saw the life I was living. I think they, too, would be proud.
And that is a big big big deal for me. A place I never thought I’d be. A place that I am realizing I need to continuously work on staying. A place that I have to fight for every day.
So, even though it’s now a couple days after the big 28, I’m still riding high on this realization and revelation and want to reflect on a few more things as I enter my 28th year.
8 Lessons I’ve Learned
- You don’t need to apologize for wanting to look your best. While I will always maintain that you should never assign your self-worth to how much makeup you put on or clothes you wear, you should never have to apologize or feel guilty for wanting to invest time into yourself. If wearing makeup or getting hair extensions makes you feel confident in your skin, then you go girl. If you are content to just rock some mascara on special occasions, you do you, boo! However, don’t feel bad for wanting to dress up, put on falsies or curl your hair because if you feel like it’s helping you to be your best self, that’s all that matters.
- After all, you never know if today is going to be the best day of your life.
- It’s okay to say no. And it’s actually kind of fun to say no. It’s actually pretty life-changing to say no. Say no more. Watch your world open up.
- In order to make drastic changes in your life/your habits, you need to understand your personality and tendencies. When you really get how and why you function, it’s so much easier to set and achieve goals – because you know how to specifically set them so you can achieve them. Learning my tendency and personality has changed EVERYTHING about how I approach and set goals – and I’ve never achieved so many of them in my life.
- The internet can be a beautiful place. It can also be dangerous. The comparison trap is real and it can suck your soul out – dementor style. So, I’ve learned to stay in my own lane. Ignore the noise. Do my best to put positivity and kindness into the world. And unplug when my soul is starting to be sucked away.
- Never underestimate a good night’s sleep. Or the power of a nap on a rainy afternoon with the windows cracked open.
- People who you thought would be there for you in your adult life won’t be. They will disappoint you. They will make you sad. They will leave you out (intentionally or unintentionally.) You will do things to try to bridge the gap and you will try to reach out and your efforts will not be reciprocated. Some friendships just die out and even though it will make you sad, you will find new friends who will fill those gaps and heal your heart. So appreciate those old friendships for what they were and the memories they gave you, but don’t let their loss prevent you from making new friends.
- Find something that gives you joy and passion and excitement. Hold on to it. When you are in your darkest hours, cling to it. Pour yourself into it. It will pull you out of the deep.
8 of my Favorite Things
- Jeeps. Jeeps. Jeeps. I feel like a broken record, but man, has owning a Jeep changed my life in so many ways. I’ve learned so much about cars, I’ve been able to hold my own in auto shops when discussing repairs, and most importantly, I’ve become 10X more brave by learning how to drive our Jeep over super crazy terrain. The best part of owning a rig for me, though, has been the ability to take back what cancer has stolen from me (my mobility.) I have seen so many amazing sights and places in the last few months since taking the Jeep out and I am so grateful for not feeling limited by my leg/inability to hike.
- Finally, FINALLY, feeling like I have control over my eating habits. This has been such a long time to come, and still not easy, but it’s the best I’ve done my whole life. I’m sticking to a plan, I’m following through, I feel like I have a control of my impulses and it’s given me the strength to face other habits I want to change, too.
- Loopy Cases. They have saved me from hundreds of dollars of phone repairs. Everyone needs one in their life. Stop the drop.
- Teddy the Goldendoodle. If you watch my Instagram stories, you won’t even question him making the favorite list. He is the best thing to ever happen to our little family (since Rosie, that is) and I cannot imagine my life without him. He is the best little bud there is.
- Hair Extensions. Because I finally don’t see the effects of cancer when I look at myself in the mirror.
- Marshmellow Fireside candles from Bath & Bodyworks. If you smelled one, you would understand.
- Feeling confident enough to wear this dress from the Living in Yellow X Gibson collection for my birthday dinner.
- Home Goods rug selection. I found the perfect rug for my office this weekend and it’s totally completely changed my space. Also, it was a decent price. I’m actually fairly certain that 1/3 of my house is decorated with stuff from Home Goods.
8 Wishes for my 28th Year
- I wish for additional clarity when it comes to my blog and business. I’m currently working through a lot of minor mental blocks – trying to figure out how to reach those I want to reach and how to write content that aligns with my brand. Right now, I’m questioning myself a lot – is my mission statement specific enough, does my content connect enough, do I share anything actually helpful? Should I niche down a bit more? I know what’s in my heart – I just need to figure out how to share it in a clearer way.
- I wish for travel and adventures with Dustin – as much as we can afford (both in time and money.) Seeing Moab in February has stirred a part of my soul that’s been sleeping for a long time and now, I want to see as much as I can before we move forward with our next steps in life.
- I wish for continued peace and purpose in my life. I finally, finally feel like I’m coming into my own. It’s been a long few years of moving around the country as Dustin searched (and found) the right career for him. I don’t resent him for this, but I did have to put a lot of my plans and dreams and wishes on the back burner while he figured things out. Now that we’ve put some roots down, I finally feel like I can blossom. I have a full-time job that I love and a passion for blogging and some side-hobbies. I am finally making this the #yearofme. I am happy with where I am going.
- I wish for continued health and healing. I wish for more good knee days than bad. I wish for 12 years cancer free.
- I wish for a stronger relationship with God. I won’t lie – my faith and testimony took a pretty hard hit after we suffered our miscarriage. For a while, I didn’t have a relationship with God at all. I’m trying now to get it back, but I’m actually finding myself really terrified of him. I’m afraid he’ll punish me if I’m not perfect. I’m afraid he doesn’t want me to have a baby. I’m afraid he will take more things away from me. And I know that’s not how God works – logically, I know that. So I wish to have my heart softened and to have my faith strengthened and to release my fears.
- I wish for our family to grow the way we wanted it to last year. We’re not ready just yet – but I wish for our hopes and dreams of starting our family can be realized sometime this year.
- I wish for alignment, flow, and good vibrations.
- I wish for more time to nap. Naps are seriously the best.
So, there’s where I’m at as I move into year 28. Love to hear what your wishes or lesssons are for your birthday this year!