Thoughts at 35

June 15, 2020

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Today I turn 35. And it is safe to say it is far from what I thought turning 35 might look like.

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

I never could have imagined that as I turned 35, the world would be in the midst of a global pandemic – the first of its kind for my generation – or that I would be turning 35 during such a time of turbulence, turmoil and uncertainty.

This year, as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months I knew that I would be spending my birthday this June largely at home. Dreams of ringing in my birthday in Paris again this year diminished by April. I began to fear being alone on this day. Visions of tears streaming down and uncontrollable heaving on my apartment floor began to fill my mind.

But as June 15 approached more quickly, I began to ask for perspective. I asked God to help me see what my birthday was really about this year. And what I have come to realize is that it is about recognizing all this time alone has undoubtedly made me a stronger, better person.

As death has surrounded us, as New York City has come to a standstill and as racial injustices have permeated our headlines and our moments – both eyes open and eyes shut – the past few months have been an awakening in strengthening my vision for a life well lived.

For the last several years I have wanted my life to be about fulfillment. It’s what guides me the moment I get out of bed. It is why I quit my job to be self employed, why I have worked to build businesses that would support my dreams, it is why I continue to try and use my platform for good and it is why I continue to prioritize my family and friends first and foremost.

But recent events and our current climate have put into focus so much of what I know to be important and reminded me of so much of what I know that needs to change. The many months I’ve now spent alone in a studio apartment in a city I love and yet miss dearly has shown me my resilience and my strength. It has cracked me open, worn me down, exhausted me, tested me and matured me.

So now, as I write this post I have unforeseen tears streaming down my face for reasons I wasn’t anticipating. These tears are about recognizing my many blessings. About recognizing that I’ve been gifted another year on this earth. That I’ve been granted the opportunity to continue to put family, friends and kindness first. All day today I vow to remind myself of these blessings and these opportunities.

In year 35 I am committed to continuing to put those things I hold most dear first, to continuing to use wit & whimsy for good whenever possible, to saying “yes” more and letting fear hold me back less. In year 35 I am committed to getting more in tune with my belief systems and working on my relationship with God so that I have renewed faith in His plan. In year 35 I am committed to remembering to recognize what truly matters in life and I am committed to making life truly, truly count. In year 35 I am committed to listening more, growing more as a person, asking tough questions and being less quick to react. And in year 35 I remain committed to living a life of gratitude.

What I am sure of today is that I have been afforded a beautiful, blessed life. And what I am sure of today is, moving forward, I want to continue to be aware of this daily.

p.s. a letter to my younger self and 32 things you may not know about me.

[Carter Fish Photography]

comments +

  1. Lisa Parker Scott says:

    Wishing you a wonderful birthday Meghan! So inspired by your honesty, by your ability to find perspective in the midst of such challenges, by your drive to use your talents to help others, and by your ability to demonstrate such grace and beauty under pressure. Sending you all the best wishes for this year ahead!!!

  2. Melanie says:

    Happy birthday, Meghan! I loved this post. Everything happening in the world recently has also made me take a step back and recognize what I’m grateful for and that I am truly blessed. Even in time of trial, I am surrounded by my loved ones and I know that God is with me and His plan is far greater than what I can imagine! Praying this year is your best yet.

  3. Katie H says:

    You’re a good person, Meghan Donovan. Hope you have a happy birthday!

  4. Anjie says:

    Happy Birthday Meghan ! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead! Great post , Thank you for your positivity in these uncertain times.

  5. Lindsay Pavliga says:

    Beautiful tribute to you! Happy Birthday! ?

  6. Cynthia says:

    Happy birthday Meaghan! Hope you get back to Paris soon.

    Thank you for providing such a happy online space during these troubling times.

  7. Alejandra says:

    Happy, happy birthday!

    Those are some wise words. I wish you had an amazing day with the most important person of your life: yourself.
    Greetings from Spain

  8. Heather says:

    Happy birthday!! This was wonderful – I think that one of the “positives” (if you can call it that) of the pandemic is that it’s forcing us all to be more introspective and more comfortable with our own thoughts; more comfortable in our own skin.

  9. Sassy says:

    A belated happy birthday to you. Your birthday post resonates with the message of the church I attended in Washington, DC, National Community Church (NCC), and what Pastor Mark Batterson says, “it’s never too late to be who you are supposed to become”. You of course, are doing well, please stay the course and be safe.

    I enjoy your blog; thank you!

    All the best,


  10. ShoSho says:

    Hi Meghan! Love your dress. Can you share the buy link? Ty!

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