Dreading Turning A Year Older

My birthday is coming up, 3 weeks from now, and I will officially be in my mid-thirties.

35 years.

What’s wrong with that you may ask, it’s a good age, not too old, definitely not that young anymore either.

But a part of me is dreading turning a year older.

It feels like age is a train that no one can stop, as do with time. The months fly by, and so do the years, and I wish it would slow down so my maturity can catch up with my age.

A part of me assumed that by my mid-thirties I would have accomplished more and become more than what I am by now.

Not that I feel I am lacking behind, but I wished I had come to the realizations that I have now a little earlier, so that I could have ‘wasted’ less of my precious time in my earlier years.

Maybe, I could have done more, impacted more, or been braver in my earlier days.

Some of my feelings could have been influenced by the pandemic over the past 2 years, the feeling of being pent up and unable to be out there in action. It has also been contributed by me having my third baby during the pandemic, and now barely out of the cave of being a mother to a young infant, who has just turned 2 years old.

That season for me has passed too. The season of pregnancy, nursing, and caring for infants. At least, I’m pretty sure that door has closed. I’d say, 99 percent.

You might say, it’s better now than never, right, but still, time is a commodity more precious than we think.

So what am I working on myself now?

A part of me yearns for more deep meaningful relationships. Connections with people, a two-way street.

When I was younger I was quite content with confining myself in a closed space, using my kids and family as a shield to occupy my time and emotional capacity. I was, and still am, an introvert. Though this is still true, lately, I’ve been looking more into people, hoping to see beyond their exteriors and opening myself up a little more.

Other than that, I’ve been working on my self-worth, being comfortable, content, and even confident in my skin. You would think a woman in her mid-thirties would have overcome that by now right, but not for me, it’s been one of my weaknesses. I’m almost there but not quite, yet.

Another part of me also feels like time is running out, that whatever I wanted to do, but have been putting off in the past, becomes more urgent now.

I listened to a podcast of sorts a few months back, and one piece of advice I heard was that if there has been something you’ve wanted to do that you know will not go away with time, maybe it’s time to pursue it. Playing an instrument, moving to a new job, having kids, or putting yourself out there for new relationships. Maybe writing?

Lastly, there has been a small ache to find more meaning in life, in my pursuits.

Intentionality becomes important in every aspect, in the way I treat my kids, my family, and even at work and in my community, in my faith. I’ve been thinking more about life, in its entirety to some extent, outside of our usual routine, I will write about those thoughts separately, as this post is lengthy enough.

Life is large, it’s huge, and in my belief, beyond the end of our time, there is still eternity.

One chunk of it is already devoted to working, another to family, keeping a functioning home, and the rest are commitments to others, relationships, to the home, and hobbies. What else do you want to spend your time on? Making a change, small or big, in your area of influence? What matters to your heart? Do you already know?

What’s the good part about turning older?

I know what’s important to me, what I love, what I want, and what makes me happy. At least, closer to that. I can say, I am more comfortable now, compared to how I’ve felt in my youth.

Hence the aches arise because it feels like I came to this realization a little late and I now have fewer years to pursue what I want. I do not have time for wasting anymore, and each step needs to bring me ahead in the areas I want to go into.

It may also be impatience, the impulsive part of me wants to jump in and go already, and the reserved and more level-headed part of me thinks twice before making a move, and the timid part of me needs an extra push.

Lastly, I have to acknowledge that I have been pretty fortunate ( I don’t want to overly use the word blessed due to the implications on those who lack it).

Though my life is not perfect, having its shares of struggles, I have been spared the pain of losing any loved ones or having financial instability, family trauma, illnesses and disability.

I pray daily, as my anxiety does not allow me a carefree attitude towards these things, and we should never take it for granted, seeing those who suffer around us. I believe in a good God, but I do not dictate what happens, though I petition for no suffering. It’s another struggle for me, to let go, that is.

Anyway, here’s a little piece of what I have been pondering about the past few months, as my birthday draws nearer.

I hope it’s been a good year for you, and may this post help push you closer toward making those steps towards your goals in life. I wish you well, friend.

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