I have a love/hate relationship with my January birthday. While it’s a great place to start fresh with the calendar’s new year, it’s also a sober month that leaves celebrations feeling a touch lacklustre. The older I get, however, the more I like the peaceful and reflective month of January. This year in particular saw a lot of growth over the year previous — which is really saying something.
Without further ado, here are my biggest, personal takeaways from 2019 at age 33.
Your life isn’t an accident
This is a big one. One that I’ve grown to understand over the last few years, but really only took advantage of at 33.
Yes, some things happen to you and are out of your control. However, the majority of your life, your happiness, and your day-to-day are constructed by you through the choices you make. Choices like how you interact with other people, how you take care of your mind and body, what you do for work and for fun, and who you spend time with weave together to become your life.
It’s a little scary when you remove the victim mentality and take ownership of where you are. But it’s empowering. Extremely empowering. If you don’t like something, change it. If you have something to say, say it.
This could mean letting go of things and people you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into. But, I promise you, it’s worth it.
Cherish your true friends
My Baba used to say if you can go to the grave with five true friends then you were as rich as a person can be.
While friends and acquaintances are easy to come by, tune into which friends see the magic in you even when you yourself don’t. Those priceless friends that are willing to shoot straight while cradling your insecurities, and even if you haven’t spoken to them in a month, would be there at the drop of a hat. Friends who just get you, and celebrate your unique differences.
If you have people like this in your life, let them know what they mean to you.
Baba, you’d be proud — I’m as rich as a person can be. (+2)
Love — the real stuff — is better than you could ever imagine
Alex isn’t my first love. Hell, he’s not even my second. But from day one, there’s been something about our relationship that’s different than anything I’ve ever experienced. We’ve been a mirror for each other and expected more from each other. We’ve held space to become the best versions of our independent selves. We’ve forgiven each other and grown together a little more each day. We’ve laughed a lot and been grateful for one another. We’ve been true partners in life together.
2019 brought me an engagement to my best friend, and the guy I know will always be there in the morning hitting the snooze button three times before bringing me a coffee. That sense of security and unconditional love really does something to a person. For me, it’s allowed me to flourish and given me the drive to be a little better each day.
The year ahead is teed up to be another one for the books. Yes, I’ve had an amazing few years, but I’ve worked my ass off personally and professionally to get where I am today.
This is my life. And so, I’ll be steering my own damn ship.