Life After the Golden Year: A Note to 28

It’s over. 27. The golden year.

The most anticipated birthday year for me. It’s done. Complete. No re-dos or restarts. It came and went so quickly. I definitely took a moment to read my words to 27 while writing this post.

27 was a good year. From traveling internationally for the first time in 4 years to a week-long getaway in the mountains in December, this last year was full.

It was life lived. Life felt. Life experienced. So, a moment of thanks to the golden year.

Thank you for shedding more light on what matters most. Thank you for many weekends spent with heart friends, laughing on kitchen floors til our tummies ached. Thank you for creative breakthrough and new ideas. Thank you for the slow moments.

To the days that felt long and overwhelming. To the nights filled with process and tears. Thank you. I learned and I leaned. There’s no regret in that.

 

Birthdays are my thing. If you know me, you know this. I love birthdays. I love celebration and parties and all of it. But, as this birthday approached, I found myself shrinking back; getting lost in the shuffle of adulting. It was tempting to go against my deep love for birthdays and chock it up to “getting older” and not make it a big deal when really---a birthday is a big deal.

It’s easy to dismiss the in-between years because they aren’t technically milestones, ya know? Obviously, we do it up for the 1st, 16th, 18th, 21st, 25th, and from then on its more like every decade. We graze over the filler years. No shame in that. But, I realized, I don’t wanna do that.

Birthdays may not be your thing. It may just be another day for you and that’s fine and fair. But I realize, every year is a milestone year because---you made it. You’re alive. You’re breathing. You get to shine your light even brighter one more time. You made it through another year---you walked through life—feeling, processing, experiencing.

That’s worth celebrating.

So, in honor of this tradition of sharing my words to the coming year:

28, I see you and I raise you.

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You’re a milestone in your own right. You may not come with extra perks, but you matter.

28, I choose you. I choose the wisdom you carry. I choose the beginnings you will offer me.

I embrace the strength you hold. I lean into the process you will bring. I anticipate the adventures you’ve got hidden in each day.

28. You are life after the golden year and the beginning of the last leg of the 20s.

What. The. Heck. I felt that in my chest as I wrote that. The last leg of the 20s.

 

28, as you begin, a new decade lurks on the horizon. I’m not gonna lie, it’s easy to skip over you and zero in on that horizon. It’s equally as easy to lean into the fear, the what ifs, the shoulda-woulda-couldas.

But, I hear you beckoning me to stay right here. Present. Aware. I will listen.

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28. You are here. This year is what’s before me. I won’t rush you. While you may begin the end of the 20s, you also begin a new year of life lived more deeply, more slowly, more intently.

So, 28. I don’t fear you. I don’t step into you with regret on my shoulders. I’m not drowning in what ifs and shoulda-woulda-couldas. No. I’m walking hand in hand with you. We made it.

I’m holding you tightly; resting in the promises you hold.

28, I feel you. I feel how grounded you are. Not because everything is perfect or will be perfect. But, because there is a surety you carry that regardless of what’s happening you know what’s true and what matters. I feel how free you are. Free to fully show up in any space as is and know that it is enough.

So, let’s do this 28. Let’s lean more deeply into the next 365 days. No regrets. No what ifs. Just life lived fully and deeply.

Cheers to that.

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Photos courtesy of Michelle Dant