Personal

On Turning 35

I’m celebrating another birthday this weekend. More specifically, I’m celebrating my 35th birthday this weekend.

When I turned 30, I hit what thought was my scary age. Then 35 became the new 30 and I’m here and shocker – it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I wish I could say I felt all hell yes I’m 35 – go me a few weeks ago but it was more like “holy sh*t you’re 35 and now you’re advanced maternal age.” My doctor assured me that I should not feel doomed and neither should you.

I just talked about why I’m glad things didn’t work out as planned and needed to read my own words to remind myself that I am exactly where I should be. There’s so much pressure coming at us from every direction to have a great job, get married, have kids, keep your skin firm, and generally look like we’re not aging. But (and work with me here) – what if we try being happy and grateful where we are right now?

After trying really hard to make our wedding happen before my birthday, I just had to let it go and realize how pointless these timelines are, but it’s still a struggle. I was still putting limits on myself — deciding what my life should look like at 30 and 35, even after I’d found the happiness I was seeking.

I didn’t get married by the time I was 30 but I started over in a new city at 28, made my own circle of friends, traveled, launched and grew a business, relaunched my blog, and grew personally. I got to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I know who my real friends are, what I need, what I really care about, how I deserve to be treated, when and how to say no, and that I can handle just about anything if I try.

I was just thinking about how miserable I used to feel whenever I had to be photographed for anything. It’s still not my thing but a few weeks ago, I confidently grabbed Buddy, jumped up on the kitchen counter, and smiled for the photo above.

I finally made it to Europe for the first time shortly after turning 31, a year after my “make it to Paris by 30” goal. I didn’t make it to Paris on time but I also never thought I’d travel to France and Italy (again), and then to Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, and Portugal.

Call it a perk of aging, but it wasn’t long before I came around and realized that I have learned too much to waste any time worrying about getting older or wishing that my life be anything other than what it is right now. My 30s have been so much better than my 20s, so what am I holding on to? Probably firmer skin, but whatever. I’ll keep using this really great skin cream and continue to enjoy my life. To have hope that things will continue to work out like they should.

We never have it all figured out, even after writing blog posts that sound like we do. But the best part about this life thing is that we’re always learning. 28-year-old me would say I’m five years late on marriage and kids. But she’d also be so proud of the life I created for myself. 35-year-old me would say I’m really happy and wouldn’t change a thing.

So hell yes. This is thirty five.

  • Sarah Topar

    I really appreciate this idea. I realized recently in the past four/five months that I need to let go of my timeline too. It has been hard to accept that I am not comfortable with moving ahead and having children yet, even though I want them. I think in a way being true to yourself rather than your timeline is important. Putting it aside doesn’t mean you don’t value it, it just means you are trusting in yourself and that you will know when it is right.

  • I totally had a timeline for having kids. And it’s so silly because you never know where you’ll be 5 years from now or what you’ll want. Mine was pregnant by 30 (I got married at 25, which was not on any timeline but just happened that way) and as I got closer to it I started to realize I may not be ready and that there was no age to put on these things. Then baby fever totally kicked in, so I ended up being pregnant right before I turned 30 but that was because I decided I was ready.

    Definitely getting older has been awesome and I’ve felt more grown into myself in my thirties. I’ll be 35 in February and while mid-thirties sounds scary, the actual aging part isn’t!

    Happy Birthday!

  • Brittany Cerminara

    Happy birthday! Hoping you have a wonderful 35th year.

  • Julia Haried

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Enjoy the beautiful weather and thank you for sharing/posting

  • Jessica

    Happy birthday! In the words of Samantha, welcome to my box. ; ) I turned 35 earlier this year and completely understand it being a scary age. I’ve spent more time than I should have this year obsessing about all of the “adult” markers I haven’t reached–owning a home, getting married, having children, traveling to more places, financial security, etc. And it’s not that I’m over not having anything on that list–I’d happily take them all–but lately I’ve been better about appreciating what I do have and what I have accomplished, simply because it’s my life that I’ve built and doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. I hate all those lists of “x things you should do by 30, 40, 50, etc.” Doing anything that matters to you at any age is a gift. I hope 35 is fabulous for you!

  • Happy birthday! You are wonderful and such a blessing to us all.

  • I love that you are letting go of these perimeters that we sometimes put on ourselves. I’ve never been one for age and planning to do things by a certain age, I mean seriously who cares!! I’m married now but would have been totally happy unmarried at my age (34). Life was meant to be enjoyed not stressed about. Happy Birthday, I hope it’s amazing, you deserve it!!!!!

  • Happy birthday weekend!
    I’m 34 & in the last few days I have been asked (by a stranger) if I was my Dad’s wife instead of daughter…um, ew and no; and have been ID’d buying a lotto ticket for my grandma (legal age for lotto is 18 in Ontario). Both prove age is just a number and not anything to be concerned about. Thanks for taking your internet friends along on your life journey. xx

  • Kaz

    Happy birthday Danielle! When I read these pieces I feel like I’m chatting with you over a coffee! Thank you 😊

  • I’m about to turn 28 and have been feeling literally the entire gamut of emotions about it, especially as I’m getting ready for some big life changes coming up, but this post has seriously encouraged me to get over it and push forward. Thank you!!

  • Happy Birthday Danielle! You have accomplished so much and you are truly an amazing person. 35 is going to be one for the books!

  • Liana

    A very happy birthday.. enjoy… you are beautiful inside and out and that is what matters….

  • Happy Birthday Danielle! You have so much to look forward to!!!

  • Francislaura Caldeira Aguera

    Happy birthday Danielle. You have no idea how much you inspire me 😘

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