On Monday I celebrated my 29th birthday. I had never known what to expect with regards to ageing and growing older.
Firstly, let me say, yes, I realise I am by no standards "old" and still have plenty of maturing to do. But, I am talking about the end of my most significant decade so far and lets not even get into how society can write a woman off when they reach a certain age.
There were two main things I fully expected to happen with age. Firstly, I thought that getting older would mean more achievements under my belt. I suppose that has been partially true, though not necessarily in the order I had thought they would happen. I had also always thought that my changing body would have caused me emotional turmoil and had worried, and thought it likely that my anxiety and mental health issues would worsen.
As it stands, on the latter point, things have actually vastly improved. I've just had my third daughter and I am loving being a stay at home parent, something I simply didn't think was "me". Perhaps this is due in part to having some work I can do from home and the right people around me. A sense of purpose other than being the world to a tiny being which is both a privilege and an exhausting, often thankless task. Perhaps also I have just reached a stage in my life where I'm mature enough to enjoy what I have and feel secure within myself. Whatever it is it's unexpected and fantastic.
I have taken control of many of the aspects of my life that have in the past exacerbated my anxiety. I've put myself out there when it comes to social opportunities and learned to take care of myself. I care less about what other people think, have become more confident in my own opinions. Though it may seem contradictory, this has made me more accepting of other people's beliefs, views and stand points. I am far more assertive and not afriad to stand up for myself and others and I find it much less easy to suffer fools!
From being a very shy child who wouldn't speak to anyone and found socialising difficult (but wanted to constantly please everyone despite myself) I am proud of how far I have come. It all most feels as that I have actually grown into some semblance of the woman I always wanted to be.
Of course, there are still aspects of my life that I have not achieved what I thought I would or would have liked to – I never made it to University, and I don't own my own home to name a few things – but I am satisfied that I have the foundations to get there. I also know that life rarely goes to plan, especially when you are as impulsive as I am (my closest friends call me "free spirited" but I know what they really mean…) but that's actually okay.
So, I suppose the point of this post is not to gloat because my life isn't that remarkable or special, but to show that, no matter how crap you may feel about yourself; regardless of what life throws at you or what path your life takes, things can always change for the better. If you'd have asked me at 22 in the throes of PND how I thought I would feel in the last year of my twenties, this would maybe have been what I'd hoped I'd have been writing but not what I really thought I would. Life is full of surprises!
This is my post for this week's Best Boot Forward. If you would like to join in I urge you to do so! Find out all about it here and keep an eye on Kate on Thin Ice's blog for the next set of challenges set on 21st March!