On Turning 34 Tomorrow

by Darcie
birthday girl

Tomorrow is my 34th birthday!

4 years ago, when I turned 30, I made a list of 30 things I’ve learned in my 30 years.

I wanted to post those 30 things today and offer some reflections. 

Tomorrow I’ll post 34 new things to commemorate my 34 years because I really liked the exercise last time, and it’s fun to look back on what I was thinking 4 years ago.

Here we go:

  1.      You don’t have to have everything figured out. In fact, some days, you may have nothing figured out. That’s okay.

This was really important to me 4 years ago. At that time, I was healing from a broken heart. This statement was me practicing self-compassion even before I knew what that was.

Some days I feel like I have nothing figured out, and I fail to practice self-compassion.

I’d like to thank 30-year-old Darcie for the reminder.

  1.      People are going to criticize you no matter what; let them. It has no affect on you.

Wow, wow, wow. I LOVE this one.

It’s something I struggle with, especially recently. Most days, I feel confident in who I am, where I’m at in life, and how and with whom I spend my time.

But there are moments when criticism hits hard and deep.

A similar thought: you can never please everyone. No matter how hard you try, so if there’s one person I should try to please, it’s myself.

  1.      Some friendships aren’t meant to last a lifetime. If a person is bringing you down or simply not building you up, let them go.

Needed this reminder too. I find it really difficult to let go of people in my life, even when they aren’t serving me.

The words “let them go” make it seem so easy, and maybe even a little naive, because it can be really hard to let someone go.

I’m reminded of something my mom has told me: people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I want to continue to try to look at the people in my life with this in mind.

  1.      People you trust will disappoint you. Don’t let that stop you from being intrepid.

I remember writing this one. It was all about my ex, and how I didn’t want his betrayal to stop me from opening my heart to someone else one day.

Even in the depths of my heartbreak, I wanted to remind myself that there was hope that I would be brave enough to love again.

So sweet to read this now when I’m just months away from getting married.

I was intrepid. I loved again, and it’s truly a great and wonderful love.

  1.      It’s never too late to say I’m sorry.

The window of apology never expires. What a reminder this is.

It truly requires humility to apologize, especially after much time has passed. But an apology can be such a powerful act of connection.

  1.      You can forgive, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget.

This one is hard for me. I think this one was about that relationship at the time. I tend to forgive very easily (if there’s an apology), but “forget” is a tricky word. 

Of course you’ll never forget what someone has done because you’ll always have that memory, but you shouldn’t “not forget it” because you’re holding onto resentment or keeping it in your back pocket as a weapon.

Today I would rewrite this to say: you can forgive, but that doesn’t mean everything is okay right away. It takes work to repair the damage and heal the wound.

  1.      Complimenting a stranger can make that person’s day.

YES, YES, YES.

The look on a stranger’s face when you give them a compliment is priceless! And when I get random compliments, it seriously makes my day.

  1.      Travel as often as you can. You’ll be surprised and amazed by how you change into a person that’s greater than you ever could have imagined.

This speaks to my soul, even after not traveling outside the country last year. This year, I returned to Bali with my mom and will return again in October for our wedding and then go to Hong Kong for our honeymoon.

Travel takes me outside my comfort zone in so many ways. I’m exposed to new food and ideas, a different routine, religions, and languages, I could go on.

Travel has made me a kinder, more compassionate, more open-minded person. As long as I’m able, I plan to travel.

  1.      Integrity is everything. Be real. Be honest. Be true.

Betrayal makes you focus on how valuable being truthful is.

Nevertheless, I still really believe this even though I’m not in the midst of healing from a betrayal.

Logan and I try very hard to be real, honest, and true on our blog. We really value authenticity and try to reflect that here and on Instagram.

  1.  If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

This one is tough. I believe in being nice (or rather, kind), but sometimes we need to have difficult conversations, and hard truths need to be spoken.

If being nice means not speaking your truth, that’s not okay with me.

But if it means speaking your truth in a loving way, then yes totally valid.

  1.  Trust your gut; it won’t lead you astray.

I still believe very much in intuition. Our bodies are powerful measures of what’s going on internally. The more you know your body (meaning the sensations you experience in different moods), the more you’ll be able to respond in a way that’s in line with who you are.

  1.  Another glass of wine is always a good idea.

Haha, I love 30-year-old Darcie. As I’ve gotten older, alcohol has become less important, though there’s no doubt I still enjoy wine.

A girl’s gotta live!

  1.  If you hate your job, figure out a new one. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

I wrote this following my exit from practicing law, and I’m SO glad I made the change. At the time of writing this, I was writing freelance and working on a novel that never got published.

It’s amazing to me that I wrote this at a time when I was not exactly settled in a new career, but I knew that it’d been the right decision to leave law behind.

Now that I’m a therapist, I really believe in this one and recently wrote a post on passion and purpose.

I do have a caveat, though: I recognize that it’s not possible for everyone to leave their job because circumstances sometimes preclude it. If that’s you, my hope for you is that regardless of the work you do, you are able to find meaning in it. 

  1.  Eat the cheese and chocolate tonight. Go to the gym tomorrow.

Haha, I love this. I try to live my life with balance, the key word being TRY. 

  1.  Your journey is not someone else’s; don’t project yours onto them.

I need to hear this one again. I struggle at times with holding others to my personal standards. It’s something I really work hard not to do because my dad has done this with me, and it never feels good.

My mom always says not to measure others by your own yardstick.

Words to live by, I tell you.

  1.  Sleep is important. Give your body time to recharge.

I’m still the girl who loves to sleep. I definitely need the time to recharge my body. I’m a different person (and not the best person) when I don’t get 8-9 hours of sleep.

  1.  But also, stay up late sometimes. You never know what kind of fun you can find when the sun goes down.

YASSSSS.

I posted on Instagram a couple months ago when Logan and I went to a concert. We don’t stay out late very often, but we had the best time together.

It was a reminder that changing up the routine is so important to avoid stagnancy in life.

  1.  Listen to live music; it’s good for the soul.

Haha, I swear I wasn’t looking ahead with my last comments. Obviously I still believe in this one.

  1.  Take care of your body, but don’t obsess.

This is SUCH an important reminder.

I’ve gotten questions about diet and exercise recently given my wedding coming up in October.

It can be hard not to get wrapped up in wanting to look a certain way on your wedding day, and I get it for sure.

I can be overly critical of my body at times. One change I’ve made recently is when I think of things I’m grateful for, my health and mobility are the things I choose. I do this intentionally to focus on being able-bodied and physically healthy instead of being grateful that I’m “thin” or fit into a certain outfit.

  1.  Spend time with your parents and grandparents; they have so much wisdom to pass on to you.

This has been no truer to me now than it has ever been. My parents have had various health issues in the past year, and it’s been really scary since they have always been very healthy.

Time is a valuable resource, and during our goal-setting pre-marital counseling session, Logan and I identified spending time with my parents at least once a month as one of our goals.

So I’d say this one still rings true for me.

  1.  Be grateful for what you have. Be content in the moment.

I 100% believe this and would like to practice it even more. I get caught up go, go, go that I forget to slow down sometimes.

I also have the tendency to focus on the future instead of being in the present moment.

  1.  But also never be complacent.

Always keep on growing. I live by that motto.

  1.  Look forward, always progress. But don’t let that stop you from amending past mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes. We can choose to stay stuck in the past or we can move forward.

I still definitely believe in moving forward.

At the same time, peeking into the past can be helpful when there’s something there that’s unresolved and causing present distress.

  1.  No one’s life is perfect. Everyone has insecurities. Say this whenever you feel envious.

Words to live by. That’s all I have to say.

  1.  Disconnect. Let yourself enjoy time with just you. It’s important to self-reflect and be comfortable alone.

I need to disconnect more. I enjoy time alone quite often, but I don’t disconnect at much as I’d like to. Part of that is being a blogger and part of that is using social media as a tool for my business.

But that still doesn’t mean I can’t have boundaries, and I absolutely can be better at this.

  1.  Say I love you. You can’t say those words too much.

When Logan and I first started dating, we didn’t say I love you at the end of our phone calls. That was Logan’s idea to avoid the words being rote. 

We totally say I love you all the time now, but somehow it doesn’t feel rote. I want to say those words because I really, truly feel them.

So yes, say I love you when you mean it. It’s never too much.

  1.  Comfort zones are good, but they take no courage. Stepping outside of them can be scary, but much more rewarding.

Oh, yes. I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone in the past two years SOOOO much.

The obvious one is going back to school to get my master’s degree, but also in online dating and meeting Logan on Bumble. Never in a million years did I think I’d meet my future husband on a dating app. I’m being totally honest in saying that I thought I was meant for a better story. Ha!

If I hadn’t stepped outside my comfort zone and signed up for Bumble on that Sunday, I probably never would have met Logan.

And then there’s writing on this blog – with all of the vulnerability, I’d say I’m stepping out of my comfort zone on the reg!

  1.  Don’t give up on someone you care about. If you need to distance yourself for your own sake, do it. But don’t give up.

This speaks straight to my relationship with my sister. Right now she’s distancing herself from my family, but I will never give up hope that we will be back in each other’s lives. I love her so much and believe that reconciliation is possible.

  1.  Confidence can get you anywhere; arrogance will get you nowhere. You are not better or worse than anyone else.

This latter part of this came from my ex. It’s still a wonderful sentiment to me. We are all equal and should be treated as such. 

  1.  The best is yet to come. Always believe that.

I don’t know if I still believe this. I have had beautiful moments in my past, and I also believe that I will have beautiful moments in the future.

I hear a flavor of hopefulness in this statement which I appreciate, but I don’t see a need to compare levels of “best.” Beautiful moments come in all different forms, and all I hope is that I have more beautiful, meaningful, purposeful moments in my future, without needing them to be “better” than moments in my past.

Stay tuned for 34 things in 34 years tomorrow! Yayyyy, it’s almost my birthday!

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

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