I’m 28!

Today is my 28th birthday, smack in the middle of holiday fun and kinda sorta madness.

I had a wonderful birthday weekend. Saturday was the annual birthday facial at my favorite spa, dinner at Anna’s Greek Kitchen on the north side – which is also the same spot my boyfriend and I went on our first date – and Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo.

And Boyfriend did very well with his present: a KitchenAid mixer in my favorite color. My 2013-era Pinterest pastel kitchen dreams are coming true.

(Author’s note: yes, I’m interrupting your reading for a mixer picture.)

Sunday was a low-key pizza-and-cupcakes party at my mom’s house. I suggested having a McDonald’s themed party, with my mom ordering three 10-piece Chicken McNugget boxes, making my stepfather eat two nuggets and then my meal being 28 nuggets.

She vetoed that one right away. But I can always try again for my 30th.

Since my birthday is the end of the year, where everyone is pumped for Christmas and thinking about the upcoming year, I get more reflective than usual on how much I’ve learned in the past year. I couldn’t think of 28 things I’ve learned, but I can think of a few major things I will and won’t be carrying into the next year with me.

What I will do for me

1.) Put down the phone.

Which is ironic considering I’m on my phone using the WordPress app to write this. But I have a bad habit of getting sidetracked and procrastinating, and scrolling Reddit isn’t helping me get in the shower on time.

2.) Choose which foods I’m eating carefully.

I love Doritos and Reese’s like every leftover kid, but I’m coming to the realization that excess milk and sugar isn’t helping my digestion issues. Therefore, fruits, veggies and proteins are the backbone.

3.) Put on some makeup.

At heart I’m a bit of a tomboy, but there’s something about fixing up the eyebrows, a little powder and lipstick that makes me feel put together and grown up.

4.) Reign in the judgmentalness.

I’ll admit this is one of my worst traits and its definitely one I’ve become more aware of – and wincing at more often – as I’m getting older. I’m supposed to be a Christian, for crying out loud. Going along with that ….

5.) Go to church or at least get back into cultivating that spiritual relationship with God.

Boyfriend and I have kinda sorta fallen by the wayside with church attendance and I’m slowly getting back into praying after … Well, I honestly can’t remember when I last prayed beyond an irritated “Will you strike me with lightening right now, God? That would be an improvement.”

I’m somewhat open about my faith. On one hand, cultivating a relationship with God and choosing to get involved in a church when I first moved out to Columbus – where I have no family and went through a year of growing pains – saved me during one of lowest points of my 20s. On the other hand, I look at faith as being ultimately between me and God. It’s my most personal relationship. Therefore, I don’t feel the need to shout that I’m a Christian from the rooftops and definitely don’t want to make anyone feel like I’m looking for converts and they’re the lucky guy or gal I’m picking.

I’m understanding the people who turn to the spiritual as they get older and it’s definitely time to lean on Him again.

What I won’t be doing anymore

1.) Allowing past upsets to live in the present.

Thanks to my social media fixation, I can tell you exactly what those who have hurt me as a child and teenager are doing. However, I know intellectually that going forward in my life means not staying in little kid or teenager mode. I’m an adult with a good life right here and the best is coming. What good am I doing focusing on the past?

2.) Allowing myself to fixate on physical flaws.

I have acne, which is something I’ve had since I was 10 years old. Starting then well into my mid-20s, anytime I looked in the mirror I could only see acne scars and discoloration from the cystic acne. I still deal with – and probably will continue to have – hormonal acne. Something happened this past year at 27. I realized I had tried every medication and cream and wasted so much time and effort on something that … really isn’t a big deal. So I simplified my skincare routine, quit going to tanning beds (which didn’t actually help dry out adult acne and just made me red faced) and have been making strides in acceptance. My skin is what it is, and it’s okay.

3.) Bringing work home.

I enjoy my job, but it’s been a rough year with technological platform conversions, a shorter staff and general growing pains. I’ve done a lot of complaining privately to my boyfriend and mother, while knowing that complaining wasn’t changing anything. Eventually I felt like a broken record and I realized I really didn’t want to spend our time together complaining and griping about same stuff different day. So stress is what it is and I’m going to keep my personal life safe and make sure it’s a welcome reprieve for myself and anyone else who wants in.

4.) Swearing.

I was raised that heavy cussing in conversation was a sign of low class and low intelligence – “Really, there’s millions of words in the English language and they can only think of the f-word for everything?” my mom would occasionally remark. However, four years of commuting in Columbus has kinda sorta desensitized me and brought forth a bad habit. Note to self: calm down in traffic. And you really shouldn’t drop the f-bomb at work. Even if the computer is being cantankerous and your coworkers are genuinely okay with it.

5.) Comparing myself to other/faster/better runners.

You all know I can’t call myself The Broad Running Broad without referencing running in here somehow.

When I decided to really focus my social media on running, I happily fell into a new world of supportive stranger-friends, gorgeous #MedalMonday pictures and posts detailing training stats. I originally started running with a goal of going to Boston.

Then I realized even with years of hard training I’m just not a fast runner and a Boston qualifying time won’t happen in my lifetime. And I let it disappoint me to the point of where I found myself getting way too jealous of strangers. I carried that jealousy with me to Glass City and Cleveland this year. Glass City broke my heart because it wasn’t a PR; but then having to struggle through a challenging hot day in Cleveland reminded me why I fell in love with the marathon and want to run 50 by the time I’m 50. It is a challenge, and it’s a love. PRs don’t matter; showing up, putting in the work and doing it does.

And that is great enough on its own, so nobody elses success should take away from mine or my happiness. And at 28 years old I’m not letting it.

So now it’s time to get all of our weeks started. Happy Monday friends.

– Allison

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