As I wrote the title for this post, I had to sit down and calculate the years to see if I was indeed turning 32 today. Well, it turns out, I am. I’m surprised each year when my birthday rolls around and I start to think about all of the things I have managed to cram into the years that have passed. It has been a lot. I say that not as a way to brag (because some of the moments have been good and others have not), but as a way to reflect on my personal growth.
The last couple of years have been challenging, but each challenge I’ve faced has shown me my strength. And while I’ve certainly had my fair share of ups and downs, I know that I wouldn’t be in the place I am now without them. Each challenge has taught me to embrace the struggle with grace instead of anxiety, come from a place of rationality instead of fear, and take calculated risks instead of play it safe.
At 32, I finally feel comfortable in my skin, have found my voice, am happy with my life, and enjoy a career that I love.
If I could offer three pieces of advice to my twenty-year-old self, it would be this:
Live a little more and worry less about trying to get where you are going: Life isn’t linear, and sometimes you just need to enjoy the ride (as frustrating as it may seem when you are on it).
Embrace every opportunity that you are given: At the beginning of the week, I was presented with an incredible opportunity to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ in Times Square. I first thought to myself, “I have so much to do this week in the office.” Then, I thought, “what an amazing opportunity.” So, I trekked in to New York City. And it was an a-m-a-z-i-n-g experience in every way. And then I saw my photo, standing at the NASDAQ podium, in the middle of Times Square, taking up about seven stories of real estate. The only thought that came to mind was, “wow.” Check out the photo on my Instagram. It really is a sight!
Ditch the ‘Imposter Syndrome’: We are all guilty of struggling with this at one time or another. Right? I felt like an imposter for many years, as I was navigating my career path and trying all sorts of different jobs that just didn’t fit. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer that I began to feel comfortable within myself, which also led to me finding a career path that I never thought of before.
So, as I embark on my 32nd trip around the sun today, I am reminded to be grateful for every one of my blessings, and for the people in my life who have supported me unconditionally during the difficult times and who will celebrate the good times with me today.
Photo Credit: Diana Davis Creative