'Being 28 and single is not a bad thing' and other advice these women would have told their 28 year old selves


I turn 28 in two days. Two glorious days away from ticking off another confusing, loving, wondrous year of life. On the dawn of this age milestone I've gained one valuable insight I'll carry for the rest of my journey, however long it may be - the art and necessity of vulnerability. 2015 was my year of vulnerability like I had never experienced before. My family lost a beautiful baby boy, my genetics showed their ass by giving me a diagnosis as a pre-diabetic, I've gone through a major relationship break up, and my career is in transition. If there was a rug of life I was standing on, that shit got ripped out from under me, burned into pithy ashes, the ashes were then baked into a pie by a demon that was then eaten and shit out by his minions. It was that kind of year. I did have some wonderful highs (going to South America for the first time, seeing a dear friend marry the love of her life!) that balanced out the lows, but throughout the ride of this year I kept thinking, what is the soul lesson here? How can I understand the narrative of loss and pain in a way that is retributive and empowering? And then the V word revealed itself - that tricky heffer of vulnerability was like, "Hello...do you hear me?" in a soft, Adele style voice that made me go, "Yes dammit, I do. I want to hate you but I can't because you've stripped me of some things I had to let go of to become what I'm meant to be."

The times where I've seen vulnerability shine brightest are in deep personal conversations with others. I look forward to the one on one times where people get past the small talk about the weather outside to begin to reveal what the weather is like inside their minds. Their loves, hopes, dreams, aspirations, attitudes, inspirations all fascinate me into both awe and debate. They remind me that human beings are complex, emotional balls of wonder that have this amazing capability to sting together words that another can hear and register with meaning. I search for the meaning and connections in all those conversations, wanting to pull the person along to their greatness and the source of their truth. Even if that truth is sometimes scary or in disagreement with my own reality and beliefs. It makes me happy to really connect on something real, something us humans in the modern world typically shy away from for fear of the vulnerability of being fully emotionally naked. Conversations like these can't happen always, but when they do, my happiness meter ticks up significantly.

In honor of my birthday, I reached out to a few ladies from various parts of my life to hear their truths. They've been a part of my life in different ways and on different parts of my journey, spread across the oceans of the world (from Australia, to London, to the Mid West and Cali!). I proposed one question to each of them, "If you could give your 28 year old self one piece of advice, what would you say?" Here's what they they had to say:

On love and children:

Being 28 and single is not a bad thing. Society, friends, culture, all ask the question, “When are you going to get married?” Don’t rush to make a lifelong commitment that will change your life forever. If you don’t have children my advice is. Babies change your life. You can’t give them back so make sure you want them.
— Trenee


My motto at that age (well my 27 year old self) was “old enough to pay for it, young enough to get away with it.” So I guess it would be to enjoy and take advantage of the opportunities others older than you (and sometimes younger) will create for you. Oh and 34 sounds really old but it’s not.
— Hayley


Start focusing on getting healthy now. Drink more water, less alcohol, eat healthier, get exercise, and make sleep a priority. One fun night out could result in a hangover and regrets while good health sets you up for happiness and the mental strength to deal with any of life’s challenges head on.
— Christine


28 is great. At 28 I had got myself into my first senior design role so I was working hard and had stepped it up with the goal that I wanted to get a flat. I went full time and managed to get my flat before I was made redundant. That was not a bad thing, as it gave me the kick to do my own thing. That is what being 28 and coming up to 30 is about...having the confidence to do your own thing because you’ve been working hard and doing it well until this point. Live it, Love it, Enjoy it
— Carolyne


I would say, always trust your instincts and listen to your intuition. You don’t need to explain or justify your feelings to anyone - just trust your own inner guidance, it knows best.
— Yo Lisa

Let's not forget that gratitude is vulnerability’s BFF. I'm truly thankful for the lessons this year, for growing and loving immensely and for having a community of incredibly talented, truthful, authentic people to learn and teach and grow from, and create something great with.