This Is 36: Healthier and Happier Than Ever Before

This Is 36: Healthier and Happier Than Ever Before

Last Friday was my 36th birthday. After a really hard couple of years, this birthday finds me in a healthier place. Most days, at least. I shared this post on Instagram the next morning with a photo I quickly snapped as I was getting ready to head out the door. Some of my favorite people in the world are in a cover band and they had a gig. I wanted to do something for my birthday that makes me happy and that was a sure thing. Usually I’d opt for jeans and a cute top, but it was my birthday. I wanted to feel fancy. So, I dug this killer little black dress out from the back of my closet. It’s one I bought on a whim a couple summers ago, but never had the confidence to wear. 

I shared this sentiment: This is 36, unfiltered, feeling more comfortable than ever in my own skin, my own identity. This year, I want more life — I hope the year ahead is full of adventure and love and growth. I dream of days with spontaneous road trips and finding the best tacos and laughing so hard I cry. I want to dance in the rain and walk barefoot in the grass. To fill my days with more of the things I love, the things that bring me joy. I want to work my ass off and to make all my wildest dreams become my reality. I think this just might be my best year yet.

It’s a stark contrast from how I felt a few months ago. The last couple of years felt like some of my most challenging. But, I did a lot of inner work — work that continues and work that will never end, if I’m doing it right. There’s always room for growth, for self-improvement. It’s work that’s changed me in ways I didn’t even realize. Like this dress and a newfound give zero fucks attitude. After two years of collecting dust in my closet, I wore the damn dress.

I wore the dress despite all the reasons I could have given myself to take it off and stick with the jeans. All of the bullshit reasons I told myself for years. That I’m not at the weight I’d like right now or that it didn’t fit quite the way I’d like. I wore it because I felt confident and sexy in it (two adjectives that I never thought I’d ascribe to myself). I don’t want to live a life that always has me waiting for the right time. Now is the right time. I get this life, this chance, this day. So, I’m taking it. 

Because, here’s the thing with the “I’m not at the weight I’d like right now” argument or whatever reason you tell yourself that results in putting off what you want. With that attitude, I’m learning, right now will never be the right time. 

Even in January, at my lowest weight ever on this journey, I wasn’t happy. I still wanted to lose more, despite everyone telling me that I was getting too thin. I loved my flatter stomach, but I didn’t have abs yet! Or, my legs still had some serious thunder thigh action. Every little thing to criticize, likely flaws that only existed in my self-critical eyes, I picked apart every time I looked in the mirror. If I couldn’t be happy at that size, I realized as I wore the dress on Friday night, I would never be happy.

More importantly, if that’s the thing I continue to focus all my energy on, I’m missing out on so much more in my life. So, this is 36. This is me, choosing a different mindset and a better way to live. 

This is 36. Happier and healthier than ever before. It’s raining as I write this last sentiment, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go splash in some puddles and dance in the rain.

Photo credit(s): Pixabay

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