Most people probably don’t consider twenty-nine to be a milestone birthday. Turning thirty is more often celebrated (or dreaded, depending on the person), but for me twenty-nine carries more weight. In my twenty-ninth year I will face some pretty significant life changes. In my twenty-ninth year I will get married and I will become a stepmother to two children. In my twenty-ninth year I will change jobs (I will change jobs, I must change jobs), hopefully starting a career. In my twenty-ninth year I will move to a new town or city, or at the very least take concrete steps in that direction.
The ways in which my life will change this year are beautiful and positive. There is a lot to look forward to and celebrate. But in the midst of my excitement and happiness I also feel unsettled, scared, and stretched in too many directions. Simply put – change, no matter how wonderful, is scary. And I am someone who doesn’t always handle change well. Especially not a lot of change at once. I’m easily overwhelmed and not the best multi-tasker.
I am not sure exactly when it began, but in my twenties I became anxious. I worry more than I should and I struggle with negative thinking. My stress manifests in physical ways – tension in my back or shoulders, difficulty breathing, overeating, and worst of all my quality of sleep. I don’t sleep well anymore; some days I feel like I don’t sleep at all. I think too much and I have trouble turning my mind off.
My mind races not only at night lately, but all day long. I constantly obsess over my things like my financial goals and worry about wedding planning. I over think everything from the simple (household chores) to the complex (“what am I doing with my life?”). My desks at home and work are covered in to-do lists and frantically scrawled post-it notes. Even more post-its are crumbled in my purse and stuck to virtually every surface – my cell phone, laptop, iPod, and car interior. I write and re-write lists of things to do, things to think about, things I don’t want to forget. It’s embarrassing. I’ve become a little scatterbrained and have trouble staying focused. On my most negative days I wonder “why can’t I handle life? What am I doing wrong? It shouldn’t be this hard.”
Apparently I’m not alone. Before creating this blog I googled “significance of age twenty nine.” The results of that search directed me to this article by astrologer Skye Alexander. According to astrologers I am experiencing my “Saturn Return.” This can be an unsettling time, where one phase of life is ending and another is beginning. The author claims this Saturn Return marks the end of my youth and the beginning of my productive adult years. No pressure, right? I feel unsettled because I’m struggling to define my life, fit into new roles, and find my way.
I want to learn to embrace change, because this is life. Things aren’t going to slow down or get less complicated as I get older. Life events are not going to happen in single file, one at a time, nice and neat. I won’t always have time to fully adjust to each new stage. Experiences will inevitably overlap and I need to get better at juggling. Starting this blog is a small part of it. As I said in my first post, I hope this blog is a place to put my thoughts to rest.
As unsettled as I have felt lately, I also feel motivated and inspired. I have always loved new beginnings. Brand new school supplies, coming up with New Year’s resolutions, the first signs of a new season. I have always looked forward to birthdays and anniversaries. I love fresh starts, setting goals, deciding who I will be and what I will accomplish, remembering the past while planning for the future.
My twenty-ninth year should be my best year yet … at least until I turn thirty.