I’ve always had an obsession with numbers. Throughout my life, I’ve created timelines for myself, thinking that I had to reach a certain level by a determined age. In my 20s, I decided I was supposed to be married by 28 and editor-in-chief of a major magazine by 30. Needless to say, my 27th birthday was quite disappointing. I was newly single and had just left my editor job at Style Network to go off on my own and start a blog.
Tomorrow I turn 34. The months leading up to my birthday left my quite lost. After I adjusted my timeline from my 20s, I had a new timeline in my head: married by 33, children by 35 and reaching a long list of professional goals. I find myself single again and nowhere near the professional milestones I created for myself.
So I was left with a choice: have another birthday of being disappointed by where I was in life or celebrate what I have in the present moment. I’m happy to say, I chose the latter.
“Age is not lost youth,
but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
– Betty Friedan
I’ve decided that 34 is my year to be the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. It’s created a new excitement for me, and has adjusted my thinking about numbers and timelines.
Ive been working really hard on myself this year. I’ve been meditating every morning (it’s still tough but it’s all about progress not perfection). I’ve been reading a variety of self help books (I’ll share what’s worked soon). And I’ve been learning to live in the moment. That’s been the hardest part but I’m slowly realizing that appreciating the little things in life is truly what makes life worth living.
“Living in the moment means
letting go of the past and
not waiting for the future.
It means living your life consciously, aware that
each moment you breathe is a gift.”
Through journaling, I’ve been learning so much about myself. And I’ve realized what’s beautiful about being in your 30s: You can really start to come into who you are as a person. Sure I may not have the perfect life I created in my head. But is there really such a thing as perfection? My new motto is:
Perfection in Moderation
Yes, I’m a perfectionist. And that’s ok. I just need it to not take over my life. Striving for perfection has lead me to success in my career. But I’ve learned to celebrate the small milestones, whether it’s gaining new followers or getting an opportunity with a brand I love.
As for my love life? I’ve decided 34 is all about self love. I’m learning to love myself for who I am, not for where I am in my life. I’m learning to love myself for all my accomplishments and all of my imperfections. I’m also learning that self love is a journey… and I don’t need to get there fully by 35. I read a quote on Instagram the other day that really stuck with me and has helped me with being calm during this journey:
“There are no rules to life.
You don’t get special points for
achieving certain things by a deadline.
Just go at your own speed.
It’s not a race.”
Photos by Vanessa Tierney
If you’re still reading this post, thank you for coming along my journey with me. I’m so happy I didn’t reach my timeline of being editor-in-chief of a magazine by 30. Because as I walk into 34 I get to have my blog and my Sydne Style family. I love being able to inspire you with fashion tips but even more to share my life with you, the highlights and the struggles. I’d love to hear if you’ve have had any frustrations with age and numbers. We’re all in this together, and the more we share, the more we can learn from each other.