All throughout high school and college I had ideas for where I would be at 29. High School Me thought I would have had a master’s degree, a husband and a child or two. College Me hoped I could at least be married, if the having-a-baby-before-30 part wasn’t in the cards.
Now that I’m actually 29, I can’t help but smile at what I used to think the year before 30 entailed. I’m not married and definitely not a mother. I don’t have more degrees than a thermometer (full disclosure: I didn’t make up the thermometer line. That credit goes to Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church. He’s got some wonderful sermons on YouTube.) The original career path didn’t pan out and neither did Plan B.
In short, nothing is as I expected. But that doesn’t mean it’s been a bust either.
28 was a tough year, but it was also transformative. I started out with a major upset and then I was working from home, which provided relief I wasn’t getting driving into the office. There was no need to dress up or put on my face, and I didn’t have the the access to junk food I over-eat from boredom or being tired. I didn’t feel like I needed to perform or maintain a poker face. I felt more relaxed.
While relaxing and being mostly isolated – save Marina and Sam coming over in the evenings – I started to see Old Me come out again. I saw teenage and college Allison who loved reading, writing and being active, who lived for sunny strolls in the afternoon and late morning cuddles with Marina. My apartment has never been cleaner or better maintained – which was something that fell by the wayside when I was battling depression – and I felt like I could really cultivate a space that brought joy.
In a way, 28 simplified me and helped me drown out the fluff to reset my focus, which is what I’m carrying into 29.
At 29, I’m settled in who I am and know myself to a tee.
I know what brings me joy – blogging, reading, playing with new recipes in my kitchen and cuddling a certain fluffy cat. I know what makes me feel accomplished – deep cleaning the bath tub (I know this sounds superficial, but my bath tub was looking rough), creating a lifting or training plan and sticking to it even when I have no motivation or interest in doing so, or finishing a race when every little voice in the back of my head isn’t exactly encouraging me. I know what gives me meaning – spending time with God, cultivating my relationships, and stumbling upon the reminders that I’m not the only person in the world and that’s great news.
I know what I don’t have the time for – speculating on what others might be thinking about me, mainly because 95 percent (okay, I’m guessing that figure) of all people have their own challenges and priorities and holding opinions about what I’m up to just isn’t one of them. I have no interest in having to filter or conceal or fluff up my responses or views. Pretending to care about topics or trends that are boring at best and ridiculous at worst is another one I don’t have the time for.
Ironically enough, in spite of blogging, I’ve finally reached a point where I don’t feel the need to write long captions insisting I’m happy or okay with something that in real life is driving me crazy. I don’t need to pretend my acne scars are profound or that weight fluctuations are the ultimate marks of my divine beautiful womanhood yada yada – they just are, and they don’t change my day-to-day. My relationship is a joy and a comfort, and I love sharing funny anecdotes or compliments about Sam. But I don’t feel like I need to go on and on and on with performative pictures and captions on Instagram, nor do I want to anyways.
But then again, he’s pretty private and told me straight up he wouldn’t be in a relationship with a performer anyway. So that all works out swimmingly well.
Coming into 29, the final year of my 20s, I know the nooks and crannies of my mind, I know the motivations and those deep yearnings in my heart I don’t even share with people close to me. Ultimately, I know me after going through a long time where I couldn’t connect with myself fully.
This past year of being 28 stripped me down to my core and re-introduced some parts of me that I hadn’t paid attention to for a long time. It refined me alongside madness and life changes.
Today, going forward into 29, that core of who I am is front and center. I can strike the next year with focus and purpose regardless of who’s president or what’s going on in the pandemic. I know where exactly I need to go and what I need to do, and nothing can stop me from making 29 into great transitional year to the woman I’m meant to be.
Thanks for reading friends. I hope you all have a great day ahead.
Yours in writing,