On turning 29: my year to Belong

On turning 29: my year to belong

This post was originally posted in a series on doniree.com. I just rediscovered it. It was written 3 years ago. As I’m approaching yet another birthday, I’ll be evaluating what “this is my year to ____” might be for 2014. Spoiler alert, the “boyfriend” I mention in the post that I wanted to belong with, ended up becoming my husband. So, I guess setting my intentions work. Revisiting this post also makes me want to get back to some of the philosophical, analyzing life, kind of posts around here. I hope you enjoy. 

On turning 29: my year to belong

I turn 29 in a few weeks. I can’t say that I’ve ever really thought about being twenty-nine.

When I started blogging I was in the midst of the omgee-now-I-see-why-they-call-it-a-quarterlife-crisis phase in life. At that time I thought about what it would be like to turn 30. For some reason I had made up in my mind that the 20s were the time of figuring life out and magically *poof* at age 30 I’d have all the answers. I never thought about the process it would take to get to that. What specifically 28 or 29 would look like.

As I get closer to that round number, the number that many of my friends have made a big deal over, the more I realize the magic answer in life is there is no answer. In my younger years, particularly in high school, I never quite felt like I belonged. I’m not sure if I could blame it on being an only child or the fact that I was smarter than most of the people I encountered or being an introvert. During the college years however, I found my circle, my group of girls, the ones I could really be myself in. The problem was who really knows who they are at age 19. I dyed my hair red (it was horrible) if that’s any indication to the amount of self searching I was doing during those days.

Towards the end of college, and several years following, I was in a relationship. This relationship changed me. I changed my hair, my clothes, my music taste, the way I spent my money, my relationship with my friends. When that relationship ended I had absolutely NO idea who I was. Was I the crazy artistic clothing wearing, short haired, feisty creative girl OR perhaps the preppy, name-brand, workaholic (in a job I hated), introvert, who had decided there was no time for friends?

It took me quite a bit of soul searching to come back to middle ground. The twenty-something soul searching for me looked like: going on several first dates, firing friends who were really acquaintances, getting rid of clothes I didn’t wear, rebuilding my iPod, emptying my netflix que, reading, and spending more time alone than I was comfortable with, asking myself tough questions. Not to say that I now have ALL the answers, but I do now, more than ever, know who I am. Present me with 2 shirts and I can tell you which is more me. The same for songs/movies/food. And once I reached that phase magically I attracted the right people.

So, 2011 is my year to belong. Online and offline. In a crowded room, on stage, alone or in a small gathering. Belong in my job. Belong in my industry. Belong with chosen friends. Belong with my family. Belong with my boyfriend. Belong in my skin. No masks or pretense, no labels or people pleasing. Belong.

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– See more of the series on Doniree.com