I think it’s common for people in their 20s to assume that they have it all figured out. How to succeed, what they want to do, even who they really are. But I’m turning 35 in a few weeks and I’m just now starting to get it. Sure, I’ve got a wonderful husband, a great little house, a good job, and I just finished up my MBA, but it wasn’t until I started making some real changes in my life that I started to think, “Wow, I’m really starting to like the person I’ve become.”
I’m a nerd. I don’t make apologies for it, nor do I expect everyone to have the same interests as me. I love Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, old school Nintendo, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and on and on and on. But I also like to do things like crochet and cross-stitch. One of my greatest pleasures is making something for someone that they truly appreciate and will either use or display. A lot of my hobbies are sedentary, individual things. I love my cats – we have four of them, all named after scientists. Darwin, Watson, Newton, and Rosalind “Rosie” Franklin. I prefer spending time with them and/or my husband over most people.
But I had a kind of awakening in January. I was hitting the thick of my mid-30s, I was about to finish a master’s degree, and I still dressed, acted, and thought like I was in my mid-20s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s not who I wanted to be. I had definitely changed over the last 10 years, grown up. Why didn’t I embrace that? Why didn’t I let that person shine through? I was still dressing in beat up jeans, hoodies, and geeky t-shirts. No makeup. My skin was a mess. And I was often mistaken for someone ten years younger, and not in a good way. Mike and I make good money, why was I still dressing like we were broke?
So I resolved to make a change. I signed up for StitchFix because I just didn’t know where to start with my wardrobe. I went to Sephora and had a makeover where they taught me the basics. I started listening to podcasts instead of just the radio. I started eating better, going to the gym (I take my first taekwondo class on Wednesday!). The result? I look my age. I look like I have my life together. I look accomplished. And I feel like a better version of me. I have more self-confidence. The prospect of leaving the science world and entering the business world doesn’t seem quite as intimidating.
I still crochet and watch Doctor Who. I still spend most of my time with my cats and husband, but I’m getting out of the house more with friends. But I’m more involved in diversifying my interests. I’m not as afraid to try new things or go out and meet new people.
The reason I’m writing this blog is to put my thoughts and experiences down on paper. Sometimes I’m sure they’ll be very stream of conscious-like. Other times I’m sure I’ll rant about some political thing or another. I’ll talk about crafty projects or projects around the house that I’m working on. I’ll talk about my hunt for a new career and the ups and downs of that. I can guarantee that I’ll talk about Mike and the cats. If you chose to take this journey with me, welcome aboard.