I usually wait until my birthday to write this post, but I feel like I’ve learned so much this birth year that I can share some of that with Y’all.
Do you remember having conversations in middle school and high school about what your life would look like when you got older? I was going to be married by 22, have all the spawns I planned to have by 25, and a homicide detective by 30. Those plans changed after I got a little older. 21 came and I realized I didn’t want to be married. I wanted to adopt children and after seeing my first human autopsy, I gave up the detective bit.
That has obviously changed quite a bit as I’m now engaged, living in Arizona and I’m a full-time content creator. The point is, things don’t go as planned, and I’m a planner. I need to know what’s happening at all times. I like dates and calendars. I love me a good schedule and I hate surprises. 28 was full of a lot of surprises, and I’m not even mad.
Here are a few things that 28 taught me:
I’ve been going to therapy for about 7/8 years now. It’s been incredible for my mental health and my emotional health. You can read about my therapy journey HERE. This year I learned that no amount of therapy will help you if you don’t do the work. You learn to talk about your feelings a certain way. You learn how to suppress emotions and you sort of get used to a ‘healing’ routine which is dangerous. Especially when you’re experiencing things for the first time and you’re dealing with them in a way that doesn’t work.
So I learned to be honest with myself and with others. I learned that it was okay to give people an honest response when they ask how you are. I learned that it was okay to respond to a text with “I’m not in the right headspace to have this conversation right now. Is it okay if we talk later when I’m in a better place?” Which I’ve preached about all the time, but this year I saw how amazing it is when you put it into action. I guess I also learned how to practice some of what I preach. That part is a work in progress.
Like most people, I like comfort zones. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a good challenge, however, I like doing what I know how to do best. Living on auto-pilot is easy, but a lot of that changed for me when Chase and I decided I would move out to Arizona. The moments between deciding I would move and actually moving were some of the scariest I’ve ever experienced.
I wasted a lot of time entertaining my fears rather than spending time enjoying my last few months back home. I know it’s natural to be afraid of life changes. We’re only human, but as humans, we get so caught up in the fear that we forget to look at anything else around us.
Acknowledging that I was afraid, working through it, and then getting over it allowed me to be present. It allowed me to enjoy the time I had left with my friends and family. It allowed me to function like a normal human being. I still had insane anxiety and doubts, but I didn’t let my fear paralyze me.
JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS NOT FOR YOU DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE A BAD PERSON
This one was tough. I’m guilty of thinking people are trash if they are no good for me. That’s just one of my faults as a human. If we don’t vibe on the same frequency then your vibe is awful and useless. I had to unlearn that. I had to learn that just because someone isn’t good for you, doesn’t mean they aren’t good.
I also learned that people that are good to you can be bad to other people and eventually that catches up to you too. I also learned the cliche lesson which I feel I learn every year. When people show you their true colors, you have to believe them. I’ve always known that, but I learned that there is no exception. Even when we really want there to be.
This one was my favorite lesson of birth year 28. I won’t go into gushy stuff like how much my fiancé loves me, and OMG we got engaged. I mean like friends and family.
If you’re a giver and a do-er like me, you spend a lot of time doing for other people. I am a service provider. My literal job is to do stuff for other people. For a really long time, I felt extremely tired of doing shit for other people. Especially when it’s not always received with gratitude.
This year I learned that there are people who really love me and showed up for me even when I didn’t ask them to. People that just knew I needed a call, or a hug, or a coffee date. If you’re one of those people, know that I love you and you were my favorite part about 28.
I can probably fix your website. I’m sure I can build your Ikea furniture. I can take your procure. I can take care of your kid and I can make you dinner. I know a lot about a lot of stuff. 28 taught me that I don’t know anything. Everything that I planned, worked for, strived towards. None of that mattered because I didn’t even know what I wanted in life.
As the micro-managing, controlling freak that I am, this year I learned to let go. I learned that I don’t always have to have an answer and sometimes it’s nice not to have one. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after. Hell, I don’t even know what’s going to happen ten minutes from now. I have my suspicions. I can plan and I can add 567 things to my calendar. But if life has other plans, I just have to roll with it and that’s cool too.
My absolute favorite lesson of year 28 is this:
Everything that I need to build the empire that I want to build is already available to me. Some things are in my possession, and others I have to work a little hard for. However, nothing is impossible, even when I tell myself it is.
29 is a few weeks away. Here’s to being free and caring less about what people think. Here’s to working smarter not harder. Here’s to Marie Kondo-ing relationships and wardrobes. Here’s to continuously being honest even when it hurts. Here’s to achieving greater success, and here’s to building an empire with the best team I could ever ask for.
2019 gave me a new life, a fiancé, a puppy. All of these amazing things. But 28 gave me wisdom, perspective and new tools to navigate new challenges.
I’m so proud of the woman that I am and the woman that I’m becoming. 28 was really really good to me.
PS This dress is from Rent the Runway. I get a sweet shipment every month with their unlimited program. You can try RTR Unlimited and get 40% off your first month using the code DENISSEPERK40. If you check it out let me know.
*All images by my love, @nofacechase_