Reflecting: 27’s lessons

Last week, I did something I have been wanting to do and have been anxiously anticipating for a very, very long time.

I turned 28.

Celebrating at Dad's with my nephew

Celebrating at Dad’s with my nephew

The way I look at it, getting older (not old), aging (gracefully, of course), and taking another trip around the sun are the blessings of another year of opportunity for growth and nothing to be worried or stressed out about. I look forward to my birthdays more now than I did when I was younger and as cheesy as it sounds, I am truly finding that life – and myself in a way – keeps getting better with every kilometer in said yearly trip.

There are many things that I have learned, gained and experienced in my preceding years that I am thankful for, struggled through, fought hard for and am blessed to have. Some of the challenges brought by my 27th year in particular could safely categorize it as a hard one and definitely not one of my favourites, but there were SO many amazing highlights, people added, friendships improved, and forgiveness granted that I can’t bring myself to curse 27 for any of the bruises as a result of the hiccups.

I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion that there is a direct correlation between the toughness of the year and the quality of the lessons to be learned when you’re looking for them. That being said, 27 abundantly blessed me with a few, very specific lessons, arming me with some pretty kick-ass knowledge for 28 and the next chapter of my life:

  • Come clean when you mess up. You’ll be surprised how much forgiveness the hearts that love you are capable of granting. Even more amazing, is that when someone overlooks your shortcomings, it teaches you a lesson in humility to apply when other people mess up with you.
  • Stay open. Stay open to new experiences, relationships, people that come into (and depart from) your life, career opportunities (no matter how they turn out…), lessons about God/the type of faith you are capable of, and the continuous exploration, play, and being in the ‘now’. Stay open to it all.
  • Be grateful. No matter what was experienced in this past year, if I took a step back to reflect, in every disappointment there absolutely was always something to be grateful for. Sometimes the gratefulness is harder to maintain if a few heartaches pile on all at once; however gratitude is necessary to keep perspective when it gets overwhelming. If anything has saved my ass and sanity, this lesson would be it.
  • Quality wins over quantity. Every time. This goes for the friendships/relationships you choose to have, to the food you eat and fuel your body with, the encounters and moments you have with the people that matter most to you, right down to your workouts, fitness and health. I have become hyper aware of this quality lately in one friendship in particular – it doesn’t matter if we see each other for 5 minutes, or 5 hours, if we see each other once a week, or once in 105 days – every hang out leaves my heart full and looking forward to the next time our crazy lives allow us time to get together. Regardless of whether we’re just going along for the drive to keep each other company, or laughing and talking about all of life’s adventures over drinks – it’s all about the quality and it leaves me wanting the same in every aspect of my life. This is one of my favourite lessons of 27.

I am so excited for 28 and 2014 as a whole. In our inner circle it has appropriately been coined ‘the year of love’ – totally fitting in so many ways. Babies, weddings, celebrations galore!

My man surprised me with suite tickets to the Toronto Raptors game!

My man surprised me with suite tickets to the Toronto Raptors game!

I had an incredible birthday this year and am looking forward to a killer 28! Cheers to the year of love!

~ Toni

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