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It’s hard to believe that I started this blog ten years ago!  I was 21, fresh out of college, and struggling to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was afraid of making the wrong decision about which career path to pursue, and I felt so much pressure to be successful at a young age. Even so, age 30 seemed so far away, and I felt like I had ample time to hit all the milestones I was “supposed to.” I envisioned that before 30, not only would I have a successful career, but I’d also be married with children and own my own home.

As the years passed, I had such a hard time coping–I was constantly second guessing myself, struggling financially, putting up with unhealthy and toxic relationships, (both with romantic partners and friends), and comparing myself to others. As all of it piled up, 30 loomed ahead, and I was convinced I had somehow failed because I “didn’t have my life together.” DSC_0119-1 But then everything changed. Throughout my late twenties, there was a gradual shift in consciousness. I began to realize this “deadline” of age 30 came from societal pressure, not from my actual personal desires. Did I even want to get married? Did I want children? Does it have to happen by a certain age? I began prioritizing my own needs and wants, and realizing there’s no right or wrong path. I decided to look forward to my 30th birthday, not dread it. I planned a trip to Greece with my closest friends and family and literally had the best time of my life. It was a celebration of myself, my accomplishments, and my relationships with people who meant the world to me. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. santorini-group4 greece4 SK-II, the much-adored skincare brand, recently launched a campaign about age-pressure called The Expiry Date, and their video hits home.  The idea of a ticking clock counting down until 30 is definitely something I’ve seen so many women struggle with, and I love that the campaign shows the arc of letting go of that shame. I’ve realized that getting older is a privilege, and it’s beautiful, especially when you’re focused on self-improvement and growth. Not asking yourself “what am I supposed to have achieved by now,” but instead “how can I become a better person?” That shift in thought changed my life, and because of it, I now look forward to what the future brings instead of fearing it.

I still have moments of self-doubt. I sometimes still wonder about certain things regarding my future, and there are definitely still days that I second guess my choices. But I have less concern about it all. I know it doesn’t define me, and I know that if I focus my energy on the person I want to become instead of others’ expectations of me, I will be just fine. IMG_2324 I encourage you to watch below and be inspired to live your best life, regardless of your age. Lastly, you can watch Vanity Fair’s interview with Chloe Bennet about this campaign and her personal experience with age-related pressure here.

This post is sponsored by SK-II