What does turning 35 mean to me?
When I think about turning 35, it feels like a milestone. When I reflect on turning 35 to those close to me or even through thought – sometimes I think “wow, I never thought I would make it this far.”
When you have been through hell and back from a young age and have an ever-growing list of health issues – the thought of aging can be a celebration. “I have made it this far!” is a great thought and feeling to hold within.
A lot of people, or maybe even most people, fear aging. For me it is quite the opposite.
Every wrinkle and every year I complete around the sun is just a blessing and something I am grateful for.
One of the health issues I have is endometriosis. Endo thrives on estrogen and as I have said since my teen years – “I can’t wait for menopause!” In this light, turning 35 is another year closer to menopause.
Just yesterday I was getting a Pulmonary Function Test for asthma (a new health issue) and the Respiratory Technician thought I was in my early 20’s. Then she looked at my chart and saw I am 34. It was nice to hear she thought I looked quite younger than I am; but at the same time, it wouldn’t bother me if she hadn’t commented on my age at all.
As much as I do not mind earning my wrinkles and aging; I am happy I do not look older than I am. From my honest perspective, if I looked older than I am, I would perceive that as my not having taken care of my body as well as I could have.
Regarding aging in the sense of “You don’t look 34” (which I get a LOT) I have always been quite the strict person and hold very high standards for myself. Even in my early teens the thought of smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or doing drugs was never something I would consider trying.
At most, I have cooked with liquor a handful of times. White wine sauces for a chicken broccoli dish or a lemon chicken pasta type dish but even using it for cooking has happened less than 10 times in my life.
Smoke cigarettes never appealed to me because it smells awful and feels like I would be polluting my body. Vaping feels similar but in a “damp” sense. Where cigarettes feel intuitively dry to me; vaping feels damp. Either way it is pollution to the body.
Then, drugs. Nope. Never wanted them.
An interesting thing to me is how I was never drawn to any of it and stayed away from them because I know my family has a history of addiction and I did not need any more health issues. I knew if I started them, I would have trouble stopping. I did not need that.
Years ago, I learned the kids these days have a label for such a person – “straight edge”.
A couple years ago I decided to try CBD. I was paranoid about trying it and it honestly felt “wrong”. I was worried I would be getting myself into something bad or that I would be perceived as such. After talking to some coworkers, it was normalized.
I tried and still occasionally use CBD (without THC) for anxiety, inflammation, and pain. The best brand I have found is Martha Stewart CBD gummies. Some other companies add herbs so make sure you know what’s in it before taking it. Some others taste bad. I tried one of the oils from a different company and hated it. I attributed it to what I imagine licking the lawn would taste like.
I don’t use CBD often primarily because they are wicked expensive. But, if you get a good brand, it helps.
Back to aging. I attribute my “looking early 20’s” when I am mid-30’s to staying away from these things. I also don’t drink coffee (too bitter and not allowed to have caffeine due to anxiety issues.) I stopped eating most fast food in high school. I got takeout off and on but tried to aim for high fiber stuff, lower in fat too. These days the only take out I get would be Chipotle, or steamed rice and veg or vegetarian sushi from a Chinese food restaurant.
With all the health issues I have, I have been offered pain medication throughout the decades. I tried pain medication one time in college for endometriosis but after one dose I hated it. I felt like my head was in a cloud but I was still in pain. I dubbed it useless. From then on, I use Advil or Tylenol but only when necessary. I was offered gabapentin back in 2006 for pain but it wasn’t until 2018/2019 I started taking it.
I have been experimenting with my diet since 2004 after seeing a nutritionist. She recommended high fiber, low fat. When I eat in the opposite way, it doesn’t help me. Fat “sits” really heavy in my body and I find it hard to digest. Anyway, a naturopathic physician suggested gluten free dairy free eating back in 2006; which was hard and didn’t last. But in 2009 it became my norm. I am happy it became a fad – now there is more available to choose from. I have experimented with gluten and dairy off and on and find I feel best without them.
In 2006 I also started getting into holistic health, alternative medicine, integrative health, mind/body medicine, healing, yoga, meditation and more.
You would think being what most doctor’s label me as “in a state of chronic high stress” would make me look really old but I think that has been off set by all the things I chose to stay away from and the like.
I am 34 for another 8 days and I think it is a blessing to be turning 35.
I think every birthday we have needs and deserves to be celebrated. I even get my fiancé hyped up about his birthdays. We go through a lot in this life and we deserve to celebrate the completion of each year.
I am excited! 35 is coming!!