Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 35. I celebrated by having 1920s Gatsby-themed party, as I love the ’20s. The jazz, fashion, speakeasies, and literature — I wish I could go back in time and experience it! (And yes, I do love Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris!)
Normally, the thing to do when you turn any age and have a blog is to write a post like “35 Things I Learned in 35 Years” and impart some wisdom to the world.
I’m not going to do that. I think the only people who should give life lessons are old people. They lived an entire life. They have lessons to give. But I’m 35. It’s not my place to impart life advice to people. I’m still trying to figure life out!
Travel advice? Business advice? Blogging advice? Sure. I can do all that. Those are things I’ve learned. Been there and done that.
But life advice? No way.
Thirty-five years on this planet has taught me that I know nothing (much like Jon Snow!), for, as John Archibald Wheeler said, “As the island of our knowledge grows, so do the shores of our ignorance.”
As I’ve started to read books, take courses, and listen podcasts, I’ve come to realize the best way for me to live is to never stop learning and improving. To wake up each day and be a better version of yourself is what life is about.
Even if it means taking baby steps, like putting the dishes away instead of leaving them out or making my bed each morning. From many tiny things come big things.
I’m horrible at creating – and maintaining – positive habits and sticking to goals. I set out to do things and I constantly get sidetracked. I pull myself in a dozen directions.
About three years ago, I wrote a list of the 19 things I wanted to do before I turned 35. I only managed to do six of them.
But, while I kick myself for not striking more off that list, I have no regrets. I did what I did. There’s no reason to punish myself or question my actions. You make your decision the best you can.
It’s about progress, not perfection.
And, as I turn 35, that’s all I can realize I can hope for — that today, I’ll make smarter, wiser decisions, reach more of my goals, and that it will be a little better than the last.
We’re currently trying to raise $35,000 and are over 50% of the way there.
If you want to make me the happiest 35-year-old in the world, help make this fundraiser a success. We’re so close to our goal, and it would mean a ton if you could find a way — any way — to help support this organization! Even a donation of $1 helps us get closer.
You can find out more about the program and donate at this link: https://www.crowdrise.com/pencils-to-planes-flyte-summer-2016-abroad-program
Thank you for any support and helping make this happen!!
P.S. – Thank you all for following my adventures and making the last year one of the best. It was amazing meeting so many of you on the road, in hostels, at the meet-ups, book events, random bars, and Starbucks around the world! I especially appreciate the support over the last few months as I dealt with some personal issues and unease. Your comforting emails and letters of encouragement really meant a lot. Thank you for everything.