So I have a birthday next week. I am turning 38. It seems old, like a number I didn’t think I’d reach for awhile, but with it comes so much clarification about how I want the next 38 to go, and it surprised me that the advice I’d been given by my slightly older friends is now ringing true.

One of my close friends, who I lunch with often, told me about a year ago, when I was going on and on about how unfair a certain situation was that when I reached 40 I just wouldn’t give a shit about so many things anymore. It was what sparked me to start this blog and deem it “The Year I Don’t Care” — because I care WAYYYY too much about things that I either can’t change or shouldn’t care about changing.

I don’t think I did a great job of this at first. I am very sensitive and my feelings get hurt easily and often. I don’t think people intentionally set out to piss me off but social media sure has made it easier to expose when someone blatantly does something offensive toward you.  I would obsess over the why, the how the hidden meaning, like I was a profiler on Criminal Minds. But seriously, why waste my time? And that tidbit of information from my friend creeped further and further into my psyche.

As I approach 40 in a few years I have already become healthier, not just physically but mentally.

-I’ve shortened my list of friends to those I really enjoy being around. Those who have been consistent and cared when I needed someone to care.

-I started only making time for family on weekends, unless it is a special occasion. And when it is a special occasion, I don’t go overboard and invite a million people over, I keep it intimate.

-I don’t check the mirror when I leave in the morning, or before I meet up with someone. I do the make up, hair thing and leave it at that now. If you like me, you really won’t care how I look right?

-I’m much more honest these days and much less of a people pleaser. I have a major gluten problem that I used to be apologetic about. But now I am honest and ask that if you want to dine with me, you pick a place that has an option so I don’t have to cart a carry on of food wherever I go.

-I don’t try to be something I’m not to anyone for any reason. I have flaws, don’t you? Let’s embrace them, they make us who we are. And eventually our craziness seeps out anyways.

-And most importantly I’ve stopped feeling guilty for things in the past and things I can’t change. I’m not perfect. NO ONE IS. I try my best and do what I can to be a good person.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that being 38 is refreshing. I know who I am more than ever and I spend time bettering myself and reflecting on how far I’ve come this last year, instead of letting petty things drag me down. I hope 38 will be a year I can look back on fondly, because it’s been an uphill climb for awhile. I’m ready for a leisurely stroll to 39.

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