Sunday was my 33rd birthday.
It was a blissfully chill day. My husband took me out the night before (to see Anastasia and to The Polo Bar for dinner), and I spent that day with my family, reading a book cover-to-cover, and eating all my favorites thanks to my mom and mother-in-law. We went out to our favorite neighborhood spot for dinner, and I was fast asleep by 10 p.m.
My 25-year old self would be rolling her eyes. My 33-year old self thought it was perfect.
The older I get, the more I’m aware of how little I know. But these 3 things have had the biggest impact on me – as a woman, an entrepreneur, a wife & mother, and a daughter.
1. The best moments happen offline.
My favorite memories are the ones I have no photos or videos of. They’re the moments watching my son teach himself something new, a deep conversation with my husband, and dinner with friends where we’re laughing so hard that we’re crying.
We all talk about spending more time offline, but we fall into the trap of picking up our phone when we see a notification flash, or in a moment of boredom. I don’t have a magic trick or cure to stop staring at your phone so much, but I’m going to enjoy every moment of MY life, versus scrolling through random strangers’ perfectly captured moments.
2. We need to talk more about mental health.
I’ve opened up about my mental health journey, specifically around postpartum depression and grief. But it took me a long time to admit that I needed help in the first place, and then to openly talk about it.
I no longer have such reservations.
Even today, there is a stigma associated when people reveal their battle with mental health issues. Our first thought is “what’s wrong with them?” instead of thinking about the imbalance of neurotransmitters and hormones in their body.
Mental health is no different than any other disease, when it comes to biology. I hope we all keep that in mind the next time we discover someone’s battle with depression, anxiety, or any other issue.
3. Goals change. Ambition doesn’t.
One of my favorite things about this blog is that it’s a bit of a time capsule. It captures who I was and what mattered to me at various points in my life. Reading old posts makes me laugh – and makes me cringe.
My 30 Before 30 post did just that.
I can’t help but crack up about some of these goals, like learning the guitar just to learn a specific song or perfecting a karaoke song. I’m proud that I’ve accomplished some of the goals on the list – join a board and invest my time in philanthropy, be an active mentor, grow this website. And there are some goals that I’m still trying to achieve – meditation, writing more letters, and learning more about Hinduism in particular.
When I wrote that list at 29, I was so determined to run a major company and get certain things that validated my success.
At 33, time is my biggest luxury. I want the freedom to work on projects that mean the most to me, spend time with the ones I love, and continue to grow my business and as a person.
My goals may have drastically changed, but my ambition to achieve them hasn’t. I wasn’t aware of it at 29. I am now.
As such, I’m focused on allocating that time to strengthen that ambition. I read more personal development books. I’m investing in both therapy and coaching.
And I do try to take that walk every day.