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March 19, 2018

How I Finally Learned at 34 That Age Is Just a Number

Sydne Style shares home decor inspiration with white luxe home furnishingsI’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.”
– Oprah

Sydne Style shares the best chaise lounges for luxe home decor

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.”

Sydne Style shares home decor inspiration with velvet chaise and gold accentsPhotos by Vanessa Tierney

Dress: Wayf
Rings: Gorjana
Table: High Fashion Home (similar)
Candles: Diptyque and Capri Blue

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.

Leave a Comment

11 Comments

  1. The Geek Pub commented:

    I was first introduced to your blog about 7 years ago when we were building a fortune 500 ecommerce site at my day job. Our consultant Elaine pointed to your site with a message of “This girl understands affiliate marketing. Follow her.” So I added your site to my bookmarks (I also have a popular blog on the side). Years later I decided to check in on your site and you were blogging about anxiety, a struggle I had just had to recent problems with myself and found your thoughts very helpful! Although I love your style (and you are very beautiful), I am not your target audience for 95% of what you do here. I do however enjoy articles like this as a guy! So I check in from time to time.

    Here’s my .02. I had numerous goals in my 20s that I did not obtain. Of all my the goals that didn’t happen, I would say that 75% of them I am actually happy they did not happen. The reason? I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And ultimately better things happened as I learned more important lessons about life and business.

    As somewhat of a perfectionist myself I have also learned something very valuable. It is much wiser to seek continuous improvement over delayed perfection. Just make one thing each day better than it was the day before. The rewards are huge and really add up over time. The second big lesson I have learned in life is that just starting is the hardest thing I do. Whether it is a diet, a workout routine, starting a blog article, a YouTube project, etc. Just start. That’s the hardest part. And my number? It’s 46. And I feel like the best is yet to come!

    Published 3.19.18 Reply
    • Sydne Summer commented:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always think of my blog as purely woman focused so it’s incredible to me that as a man you have felt connected with some of my posts as well. Totally makes my day! And thank you for sharing your advice too. This especially stuck with me:
      ” It is much wiser to seek continuous improvement over delayed perfection. Just make one thing each day better than it was the day before. ”

      I’m totally adding that to my journal as I try to keep improving. Thank you again for your kind words and I hope you have the most awesome week!

      Published 3.19.18 Reply
  2. Natali commented:

    Wonderful post Sydne! Reading this text was as if I was reading through my own writing/ thought flow… I agree with you 100%, from being a perfectionist and knowing how to ease down and not be too harsh on myself to the main “challenge” for this year to be more loving and caring towards myself and bettering myself.

    You are looking so charming and ladylike in this beautiful dress! 🙂

    https://lartoffashion.com/western-chic/

    Published 3.19.18 Reply
    • Sydne Summer commented:

      Thank you for sharing Natali! I know, being a perfectionist definitely has it’s upside but it can be rough! We’re so hard on ourselves. I hope you find the right balance as well. We can keep working on it together 🙂

      Published 3.19.18 Reply
  3. Bookwormmoran commented:

    Hi Sydne,

    I had similar worries. You and I share a birthday if your birthday is March 20th. I am turning 57 tomorrow. No one can control their age. The only thing we can control is our attitude. Every day is precious. I know you want someone special to share your life with. He is out there. In the meantime treasure every friend, every joy, and every moment.

    Published 3.19.18 Reply
    • Sydne Summer commented:

      That is so sweet of you and thank you! Happy birthday! So fun we share the same birthday. Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

      Published 3.19.18 Reply
  4. Michael Prill commented:

    Hi Sydne. I have been a fan of yours for a while and have enjoyed your posts including this one. Life has a way of going in a different direction than the one we want as it has happened to me. I have learned to wake up every morning, thanking GOD for the wonderful new day and for the life I currently enjoy. Appreciate everything you have accomplished to this point and learn to enjoy each day with your friends. Happy Birthday to a wonderful lady that you are.

    Published 3.21.18 Reply
    • Sydne Summer commented:

      Thank you so much! It is so true, I am trying to write down what I’m grateful for every morning. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you’re doing great!

      Published 3.28.18 Reply
  5. Kim Evangelista commented:

    Thank you for sharing! My ex-husband left me at 29 with two kids, and it was tough. I remember going through similar things such as changing up the way I look and bettering myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Looking back, I see how strong God has helped me to become. Now, I’m almost 35 and feel I just need to live life and enjoy it. I like your idea of self-love. It’ll be good. Happy Birthday, and thank you for sharing!

    Published 3.22.18 Reply
    • Sydne Summer commented:

      Wow that is tough. But you sound so strong and that is definitely the right outlook on life. Thank you for sharing, it’s so nice to hear that we all go through the same things and can support either. Hope you give yourself an extra hug for being so awesome.

      Published 3.28.18 Reply
  6. Kates commented:

    I am new to your blog (I discovered it through your home tour on Apartment Therapy) and I love it! This post is just what I needed to hear. I turned 34 this year and am single, but have the sweetest pup (Alice Cooper) that has filled my home with so much joy. This year I have put so much pressure on myself regarding where I am in life and where I thought I would be and am too realizing that the number doesn’t matter. I often feel living in the South I am being judged for being in my mid thirties and still alone. But the reality is there is something to be said for a strong independent woman (at any age)! I look forward to reading more of your posts (and seeing more photos of sweet Jack Jack).

    Published 1.3.19 Reply

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