With my 29th birthday coming up on February 10th, I’m beyond elated to become another year older. I’m not one to shy away from aging, because it’s apart of life. Plus, with another year comes more wisdom and experience. In the past, I’ve shared my love of celebrations like birthdays. I’ve also shared a post with 28 lessons for 28 years.
Rather than share a list of 29 lessons, I want to just talk about what all I’ve learned this year. There’s been so much growth on my end when it comes to self-love, confidence, parenting, blogging, and just life in general. So, I’m going to share all of the lessons that I’ve learned this past year.
Every single year on my birthday, I secretly hope that someone in my family or my husband will plan a surprise party or a big celebration in general. Honestly, I just want to have a day where I am celebrated. More often than not, I’m the one celebrating others and sharing advice on how we can learn to celebrate ourselves.
While I know how to celebrate myself, sometimes it just feels amazing to be celebrated. I used to think it was selfish to want a bit of recognition or appreciation. Now, I know that’s not the case. Of course it’s okay to want others to acknowledge the positive growth in us. Pats on the back and encouragement are good for the soul.
You’ll never hear me say it’s just another day. Birthdays are special to me. Even though I’ve never had the type of celebration I’ve always dreamed about, I’m grateful for the ones I’ve had. I can’t wait for this year, because regardless of what others have planned or lack there of, I’m going to celebrate myself and love every minute of it.
Self-Love & Self-Care Lessons
This has been the first year of my eating disorder recovery that I was able to finally say that I do not want to have an eating disorder and stick to those feelings. Those of us who struggle with EDs know that it’s a toxic relationship, and while of course we don’t want to have an eating disorder, part of us wants to continue down that path hoping that the weight loss will equate to happiness.
This is the year that I learned that weight loss does not equal healthy or happy. This is the year that I fully accepted, embraced, and loved my body without backsliding into relapse for the umpteenth time. It was so challenging, and I had a very rocky start in the beginning of 2019. However, I ended 2019 with the mindset I have been aching to achieve- all bodies are good bodies, and all bodies are beautiful.
I even wrote a letter saying goodbye to Edie, my eating disorder. This year also taught me that self-care goes beyond pampering ourselves as a last resort when we feel burnt out. I learned that we all need to have a self-care routine and continually need to practice self-love.
Another thing I managed to do this past year was publish my first book. At the age of 28, I became a published author and accomplished my biggest dream. It wasn’t all parties and celebratory times though. I learned who had my back, supported me, and most importantly, I learned to be my own biggest fan.
I’ll continue to grow my dreams and goals. Writing books is something that I won’t have a one and done moment. I’m an author, and I will continue to be an author. Not only was writing a book my dream, but growing this blog into my career has been a dream.
Sure, blogging as a full-time job is incredibly challenging. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want out of life through blogging. Some of my biggest revelations happened right here at Housewife Hustle.
I used to think I couldn’t be a blogger who gives blogging lessons. Originally, I just wanted to share my experiences and tips as a blind mom. My ambitions grew though, and I’ve always had a love and desire to help others. That desire allowed me to help other bloggers find their voice, and now I couldn’t imagine not helping others on their blogging journey.
Housewife Hustle has grown and evolved into this multi-niche and inclusive brand. This is a place known for helping and understanding others. At this blog, all are welcome, and individuals are celebrated. Creating this and being a part of it every single day is an absolute dream come true. It’s exhausting, frustrating, magical, and incredibly wonderful. I can’t wait for many more years with Housewife Hustle.
Yes, I know people hate that label. I just went over why I don’t mind it here. Running Housewife Hustle is different than being considered an influencer on social platforms. I am also known to be very outspoken and an online advocate for mental health, disabilities, and body acceptance.
Being called an influencer for the first time this year didn’t actually make me cringe. It made me realize that I am making a difference, regardless of how small my numbers are. Having someone tell you that you inspire or influence them to love themselves just as they are is such a lovely feeling. I can’t really put it into eloquent words. The only way I can say it is that it’s fucking amazing to help someone see their worth.
Being an individual who works online is challenging. I get a ton of hate messages and negative comments. Also, I’ve had to learn to handle myself with grace while not compromising or stifling how I really feel. That shit is hard.
For every IG post where I give women tips for accepting their bodies, I get a handful of cruel messages telling me to kill myself or that I’m disgusting for promoting obesity. Those are the times that I have to adjust myself, take a deep breath, and remember why I do this. I have gained strength through all of the good and bad while being an online presence, and that’s something I genuinely appreciate.
This is the first year I didn’t chase people to be in my life. I let go of so many connections, because they drained my positive energy. Letting others drag me down used to be something I was okay with, because I wanted to be the best friend possible. However, I learned that I was letting people take advantage of me.
Protecting my energy has been so important during my self-love journey this year, and I’m taking those same vibes into my 29th year of life. I’m done letting people tear me down and use me. Letting go of negativity has helped me learn to love and trust myself more. It has been freeing and empowering.
I became a mother in 2015 and again in 2017. We also experienced a miscarriage in 2013 that shook me to my core. Motherhood has been my favorite journey, but it’s also been the most unpredictable. Honestly, I didn’t ever think I was going to be a mom. Once my husband and I took our friendship to the next level, I just felt more at home than I had ever felt in my life.
My previous relationships taught me a lot, but none of them made me want a family of my own. As soon as I got with my husband, who I have affectionately called Ginger since we were in junior high, I instantly knew I wanted to build a life and family with him. As intimidating as children can be, it just felt right to have babies with him.
Becoming a mom transformed me. It helped me grow my self-love in ways I didn’t think was possible. I struggle every day with wondering if I’m doing a good job raising our kids, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. This past year has taught me that my babies don’t need showered with things continually. They just need their parents and love.
Both my husband and I didn’t have a lot growing up, so we wanted to spoil our kids in ways were didn’t always experience. It’s wonderful to give them things we never had. I’ve learned so much though about myself and how to be the best mom to my kids this year. I used to be so high strung, but my babies taught me patience and how to let go of so many stresses this year. Above all, they are taught me more lessons in gratitude than I can even count.
Always A Lesson
The biggest thing that I have learned this year is that there is always a lesson to be found. Whether it’s in our mistakes or successes, there are lessons learned every step of the way. I adore that life is always about growing and learning, because learning is one of my absolute favorite pursuits in life.
Turning 29 may seem like just another day or just another year older for some people. However, I believe we should be reflective and appreciative each and every year on our birthdays. Another year means more time to grow and work on becoming my best self, which let’s me set my shoulders back and breathe a bit.
This year has taught me so much patience, because rest and acceptance of the things we can’t change are immense for our mental and physical health. While I still struggle with anxiety and a few other mental health issues, I’m going into this birthday with more wisdom and strength than I ever thought possible for me. I’m proud of 28 year old Jenni, and I can’t wait for 29.
What are some lessons you’ve learned this past year? What do birthdays mean for you, and how do you celebrate? Let’s chat!