What is 'Age' anyway?

Today’s question in my ‘One question A Day - A Five Year Journal’ was ‘What age do you feel?’

I thought to myself, “what is age anyway?”

What does age define besides a number that is supposedly representative of your adulthood or level of maturity? However, I believe that age, in fact, sometimes places pressures and stigmas about where people of a certain age should be in their life: certain milestones we have reached, what jobs we have, where we should be in our career, and what we want in life.

Now, let me ask you. Do you know the answer to this complex question?

During my 20’s, I lived a very fortunate and fulfilling life. I knew that the outdoors made me happy so I immersed myself in them. After years of soaking up the sun and not enjoying wearing sunglasses or sunscreen, I now understand the importance of doing so.  

I have laugh lines, I have surprised lines, I have smile lines. To me, my ‘character lines’ are proof of just how much sun I’ve been blessed with over the years. I would not change my experiences for the world.

For me, turning the big 3-0 was an interesting process. I always had older friends and I constantly heard ’30’s are the best years of your life!' Turning 30 was something I had always been looking forward to. I remember being 23 and thinking, ‘I can’t wait until I’m 30!’ it seemed so far away at the time. But boy did those years fly by.

There was always a sense of curiosity for me. Where will I be in my life, what will I be doing, what would I have accomplished? And now here I am at 30 and one third. My life is far from perfect although I have so much to be proud of and grateful for.

Mostly, I feel incredibly fortunate to have made it this far.

At 30, I feel happier and more secure in my imperfect skin than I ever have before. I have a fulfilling career and am graciously healthy. The people I invest my time with are bad-ass and with years, I am only gaining more knowledge from and collecting more memories with these amazing humans. 

I am who I am. When people ask me, I feel as if I have to justify why I am not married with kids or feel compelled to answer why I chose to make some of my life decisions.

While I was traveling around Asia with Global Degree, in a few countries, the first question the locals would ask me is “Are you married?” 

Being 27 at the time, saying no, I got this response almost every time - “Oh, too late for you now." or "You too old!.”

The first few times this reaction triggered me, and then I learned to realize something very profound that I should have never doubted in the first place. We all grow up differently and become accustomed to certain expectations within our cultures. However, instead of attempting to live up to everyone else’s expectations, I had created goals of my own. I learned to laugh about it, take it with a grain of salt and accept these differences within us.  At this point in my life, ultimate happiness is most important to me.

These experiences made me realize how much pressure I put on myself for not fulfilling the societal norms of living a conventional life. I’ve realized that not everyone wants the same things, and that’s ok.

I feel like I’m becoming more open-minded, more curious and beginning to question what is ‘normal’?  - These are things I never considered in my early 20’s.

As someone who is quite active on social media, I often find it an extremely overwhelming space. I feel that over the years we have created societal pressure to be 'perfect'. We are living in a world of filters, highlight reels and behind glass screens.

It worries me to see young girls on social media who are already photoshopping their bodies. I feel that so many of us are striving for perfection when we don’t realize that we are all so unique and perfect in our own little ways. We should feel empowered to embrace our identity and set an example for younger generations. 

However, I am grateful that we have so much insight on how to properly care for our bodies and have access to ethical and organic products available more so than ever before. We live in such a consumer culture and advertisements can be very misleading. Almost everything is pumped with artificial harmful ingredients that are bad for us and damaging to our well-being.

It only took me 29 years to realize the importance of this. I am a consumer and I am committing my 30’s to making wiser ethical choices with my food, household and skin products that I use. 

So, back to my question… What is 'age' anyway?

I believe age is an illusion. A length of time that doesn’t represent the quality of one’s life. We are as old as we perceive to be. 

Staying true to ourselves, taking good mental and physical care of our bodies can not only keep us looking, but most importantly feeling ‘younger’.

I’ve started being more conscious of the products I’m putting on my skin. Taking into consideration where they’re made, what they’re made of and how they are tested. 

I have been using Glow face products for over a year now and feel more in alignment with my 30-year-old choices. My skin also feels better than ever! I frequent EOL Medi Spa for all my beauty needs from laser hair removal, skin care products, and facials.

All Glow products are free of parabens, sulfates, fragrances, and are completely Animal cruelty-free!

In honouring ALL ages, I wanted to share the love for our bodies largest organ - the skin.

I asked my friends at Essence Of L Medi Spa for a special 15% OFF discount on my favourite skin care line - Glow.

Shop the collection here!  

At checkout - Use Code: NAT30

I would love to read in the comments below how YOU feel about age.

 Alyssa Dawson Photography

Alyssa Dawson Photography

 

 

Spread Love, 

Natalia Anja 

 

 

 

A note from my friends on turning 30.

 

“The day I turned 30 I may have cried in the shower and felt so sad all day. It almost seems like the end of something young and fun! But now, being in my 30's, it's seriously exactly the same. Except you know who you are, you have more money to do things, and you feel so excited about life and all the things you have learned”! - Rozalind Panasuk

 

“I remember being in grade 6 and having a conversation over what we considered to be 'old' and we came up with 30. Now, at 53 I realize that 30 is just a spring chicken. I still feel full of energy and life and vision at my age. What was I thinking???!!!!”- Helen Balzer

 

“Of course I had those typical feelings of ‘I'm already 30 and I haven't done A B or C.’ Then, it all of a sudden hits you. That 30 is the new 20 and you are still young and have plenty of time to live your life, so EMBRACE it” - Kati Harris

 

“So far I can say with absolute confidence that my 30's have been the best of my life. I feel motivated, settled, confident and excited about all that my life holds. My career really took shape once I hit my 30's, my relationship with my husband evolved to a whole new amazing level, friendships are much more solid and meaningful, and I feel like I really know who I am.” - Cassidy Boult

 

“The first couple years of my 30’s were full of enlightenment, new experiences, and new adventures. I always believed as we grew older things got better. In my 30’s I realized things don’t get better or easier... But people change; they either grow better or stay stagnant. In my 30’s is when I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. I felt fulfillment without needing approval from others. I learned to be more understanding, patient and not to take things too personally. People think differently. Everyone is made different and you don’t know what someone else is going through in their own life. So be kind, love plenty and be grateful” - Trish Berdychowska

 

“I no longer feel trapped trying to make others happy or search for validation from someone else. I am so comfortable in my own skin and I feel zero pressure from the outside world. I absolutely LOVE 30. I'm a university dropout, I don't own a house, I'm not married and I don't have children. I make the least amount of money I've ever made in my life. However, I also don't feel pressure to do any different because my life is filled with presence, love, appreciation, fun, adventures, absolutely incredible people, courage, support, so much happiness and a strong sense of self. Yay for 30!” - Natasha Rabe

 

“Turning 30 was a big growing up point for me. It was sort of like no more messing around, I'm ready to make something of myself and get more courageous. I also got really honest about the things that were important to me, primarily friends that pushed me to be better, learning the skills I needed to make my business successful, deliberately changing my exercise & diet routines to find out what's the best long-term” - Ella Mae

 

"My 30's were initially scary due to not being where I wanted romantically, however, I grew into the person I wanted to be in my 30's. Stronger, wiser, more mature and more relaxed about impressing people. I was married this week to my best friend who is 7 years younger(29) and I'm so glad I waited for my soul mate and best friend. " - Ally Grodd