Today, I am 34.
I’m not sure why this birthday is hitting me harder than the previous ones in my 30s thus far. I’ve never really felt the pressure of birthdays. Even my 30th birthday came and went without a dent to my emotional bank.
Maybe it’s because I’m inching closer to my mid-30s (is 34 mid-30s?) and my 40s seem like they’re just right around the corner.
Maybe it’s because this birthday coincides with the finality of my pregnancy and baby bearing days.
I see the fine lines and gray hairs that I thought were years away from showing up.
I feel weaker and stronger all at the same time.
And overall, I’m so much more aware of my body and mind than my 20s self who lived life blissfully (and sometimes ignorantly) unaware of it all.
I’m not sure if there’s any singular reason, but this birthday feels heavier than my previous ones.
But, along with the weight of my age, comes the positive sides of growing older. I reflect often these days about the person I am today. I ask of myself as frequently as I can have coherent thoughts, if I am a better version of myself than years prior. And while the day to day may sift back and forth between good days and bad; I like to think that I’ve matured, I’ve grown and I continue to strive to be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend; the best version of ME with each passing year.
Long gone are the carefree, youthful days of my twenties where I selfishly lived day to day with no thought to the future. But, I can honestly say that my heart and soul are so much more content in these happy, chaotic days of my 30s.
The true happiness and fulfillment I feel in myself and my life today weigh so much more on my heart than the mindful realization that I am in fact 34 and not 24.
And I find youthful excitement in knowing that even greater adventures lie ahead.