All I can Do is Smile

On Being 35


Ten years ago, my mother died from colon cancer after a three year battle. I was 24 years old, just shy of my 25th birthday. Ten years ago, I felt the world should stop and take notice of the life that was no longer. I felt a similar pang upon hearing my own cancer diagnosis.

Hold on there for a moment, world. Please?

Life perspective at such a young age was a gift; one that I’m still unwrapping as I proceed through my own cancer treatment. Ten years has provided more than just my own healing, it’s provided more hope for people like me who live with cancer. The treatments are more effective and targeted. The prescription drugs my mom used to pay hundreds of dollars for are now available as generics for cents on the dollar.

More than anything, the older I get, the more I realize this truth (among many others, of course): being a grown up is a myth. There’s no magical moment where TA DA! NOW you are officially grown up and you get to understand what the hell is going on. Nope. Truth is, we are all just making it up as we go. And even better, IT’S OKAY. We don’t have to have all the answers. And we certainly don’t have to keep doing what we’re doing. We can change our minds, our beliefs, our bodies, our philosphies… a million times over. My goal is to keep growing and improving each day.

That’s the beautiful chaos of life that I’m learning to embrace. 35 looks promising.

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” – L.R. Knost


21 thoughts on “On Being 35

  1. ALL the tears. All of them. Everyday, I love you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy birthday you beautiful lady.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, well said my dear. Thank you for sharing! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful perspective you have and how well you articulate it. Happy birthday beautiful. Love you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One of my most favorite posts so far. I cherish valuable life lessons like this from you. Happiest of birthdays!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with Rosie!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. If you’re 35, then I’m……


    Liked by 2 people

  8. Love this post and the quote!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great words of wisdom…35 is the perfect size for you. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Just made me love you more

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hey, Jessica …. this is our reciprocal year … yes, I am 53 now. Your words could not be more true. We really do just continue to “make it up as we go.” Life is a journey. It is amazing how little control we really have. So, we buckle up and make the most of this roller coaster. I keep my eyes open … most of the time. I do find that it is OK to close them from time to time as well. Those are my exhale moments. There are no rules.
    Love to you and Kenji. I look forward to seeing you soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks for that, Jess! Wise words we would all do well to remember ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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