My life at 29. How I’ve changed, what I’ve learned, and where I’m going next.

Photo credit: Pyro Jenka

I turned 29 last week, and honestly, it feels a bit surreal.

Part of me is like, “Am I actually 29?

And another part of me is like, “Wow, I’m actually 29.

Part of me feels like I’m supposed to be wiser, make better decisions, be “further ahead” in life, and have my life more… together.

And another part of me feels very content and satisfied with how life has been going the past few years.

6 years ago, I left a job that had a very toxic work environment and culture. I was constantly told and reminded that “I needed them” because I didn’t have a college degree and that I would “never amount to anything” on my own. Yikes. (P.S. They were wrong.)

I don’t talk about it much, because that also feels surreal at times, like wait… did that actually happen?

And also because it took me 2 years to process, recover, and heal from.

I’ve grown a lot since then, especially in the past few years.

I’ve gotten better at setting boundaries, at knowing what it is I want (or at least, what I don’t want), asking for help when I need it, not abandoning myself when it seems like everything is crashing and burning, and in the midst of it all, actually enjoying life.

I’ve learned that life keeps going. Plans change. People change. Things change. And sometimes, things don’t last forever. Even when you really wanted them to.

So why did I bring up leaving the job 6 years ago?

It’s a long story… I’ll give you the short version.

After quitting that job, I decided to start an online business. And long story short (if I were to go into all of these long stories, we’d be here all day): I didn’t know what I was doing.

Until I did.

And for a while, I was really good at it.

Until I wasn’t.

A couple of things in my life happened and my self-esteem and any amount of confidence I had went out the door with it.

In short to say, entrepreneurship is a wild ride and adventure. But honestly, I’d do it all over again.

And actually… that’s what I’m doing now.

Doing it all over again.

But this time, with a little more compassion, patience, and trust.

Let’s just say I was not very kind to myself the first time around. Let’s see how that goes. I’ll keep you updated on my journey.

Speaking of journeys…

A lot of people are already of getting older.

They’re afraid that time is running out for them, and I get it.

In a world that consistently promotes how this person reached this accomplished by this age, you start to wonder “what’s taking you so long” and if “there’s something wrong with you.”

To that, I say:

  1. We’re all on our own timeline. There’s no need to rush yourself just because everyone else is rushing themselves. (As the old adage goes, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?”)
  2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and you do not need to “prove yourself” to be here and to be enjoying your life.

Focus on creating the life you want to live, and stay in your lane.

While I am happy with the life I have now, I know there’s so much more that I want for myself.

For example, I want to know what it feels like to live in Paris, in Barcelona, in Budapest, in Lisbon, in Taipei, in Bangkok, and different cities and countries around the world.

I want to travel, eat different foods, experience different cultures, hear stories from different people from all walks of life.

In a nutshell, I want to experience more of what life has to offer. Because I know there’s more than these four walls I’m looking at right now.

Here’s what I’ve learned in the past 6 years and my advice for anyone who’s reading:

  1. Decide what kind of life you want. (And really think about it too. Don’t think of what might be impressive to others like your family, friends, or society. But ask yourself what you really want.)
  2. Ask yourself how you can get there. (But also remember the enjoy the journey of getting there.)

I know it’s easy to get carried away and distracted by all the possibilities, all the “what if’s”, all the shiny stuff people are showing you. (I’ve been on both sides of it.)

But I’ve learned is that… slow and steady really does win the race. And you’re not racing with others. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a race.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that slowly and steady can give you what you want, even though I know the promises of “instant success if you just buy this one thing” seems really, really tempting.

I promise it’s okay to go at your own pace.

Trust yourself. Trust your journey. And keep going.

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