On the eve of my 29th birthday, I wanted to share what’s on my heart. I debated whether to write and publish my thoughts or just keep it in my head. But the amazing thing about having a blog is the ability to reflect on a time of your life in the future. So as I enter the final year of my twenties and as a little gift to myself ten, twenty or thirty years from now, I wanted to document and also share with you some thoughts. My lessons, hopes, fears, dreams and gratitude… I wonder if you ever feel the same?

Dear Lauren 29th Birthday Letter BW

I just can’t believe I’m turning 29. Honestly, I can’t. If someone asked me how old I am, my first instinct would be to say 26. I don’t know why, I just feel as though I’m still in my mid-twenties. If someone asked you the same question, what would your gut reaction age be?

Through experience, I’ve learned so much over the last decade. Part of me wishes I knew then what I do now. That I had the confidence and self-assurance I now possess, but I guess you can’t develop that without enduring conflict situations. The journey you go through to understand who you are, what you stand for, your values, beliefs and standards is an amazing one. I feel like towards the end of your twenties, you come into your own and have some answers to what you once questioned. People have come and gone (unfortunately sometimes you just lose touch and some I’m pleased to say are gone!), but those who I’ve chosen to continue to grow with are truly cherished. There are friends I know will be life-long and some live thousands of miles away, but the connection is never in doubt and you know no matter what, when you see them it’s like no time has passed. I remember my Dad once said, if you can count your true friends in life on one hand, you are very blessed. I believe my twenties were a great time to establish genuine friendships and discover which ones will go the distance.

I’ve changed a lot in ways I didn’t expect to. For one, day-to-day I live in ballet flats now. Not heels. There’s just something about being comfortable that seems to grow more important and outweigh the need to be entirely unpractically glam 24-7. Oh and I think I’m becoming my mother.

My ultimate learning? Always listen to your instincts and have the confidence, conviction and trust in yourself to follow them. Over the last year particularly, this has enabled me to pursue my dreams and with hard work, dedication and focus, make them a reality. My hope for the future is to continue evolving and to live my life with purpose and passion.

This extends beyond a professional sense and into my personal realm too. I hope to live consciously. To soak in all the magical moments, big, small and seemingly insignificant.

The last ten years (and longer) has gone by in a blink and to be honest, that scares me. Over the last few, I think I have become more aware of appreciating life and the people in it. My sister and I have taken turns living overseas and as a result, our family all being in the one place at the one time hasn’t always been possible. This year, she has been back with us and it has made me so happy. The times we are all together are precious and I have to admit, in those moments I sit back and try my hardest to soak it all in. I want it etched in my memory forever. I also can’t help but feel a little pang and lump in the back of my throat because I think, “right now, right here in this very second, my world is perfect”. Because it is and I fear knowing one day it isn’t always going to be like this.

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I dream of wondrous things to come. Making a difference and putting my mark on the world, achieving goals professionally and personally, a family of my own, time spent creating memories with loved ones, continuing to travel and delighting in the opportunity to learn, grow and experience.

I have so much to be grateful for and live a truly blessed life. Above all, I am thankful for family. It’s an incredible feeling to know that no matter what, you have people who support and love you unconditionally. I have immense gratitude, admiration and love for my parents, who provided me with everything from a happy home, to a brilliant education, to simply always having time to talk. My sister, Georgia, is without doubt my best friend and over the last ten years, time and again, has proven she always has my back (as I do hers… maybe more than she wants sometimes, but she is my little sister after all!). I feel thankful to have met my boyfriend, Chris, when I was 26. It’s the most spectacular thing to meet a prince after years of toads… am I right ladies? I have such respect and love for him, he’s a true gentleman and I’m excited for our journey.

As the sun rises on my 29th year tomorrow, I feel appreciative of the past, contentment for the now and excitement for the future. With lot’s of change on the horizon, I have a sense this final chapter of my twenties will be the best yet…

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