On Successful Adulting, Being In Love, Planning Holidays & Turning 28

July 10, 2018

I've only just come back from a city trip to London and my brain is already on to the next big thing: I'll be turning 28 in about a week and after that my boyfriend and I are going on holiday to Southern Italy, starting with Naples. I'm excited but also very nervous. This holiday was planned long in advance, which is something we usually don't do, because this time around we also had to book a petsitter, who'll be taking care of our bunny Chloé whilst we're gone. The level at which I have been adulting I don't think has ever reached this altitude. I've changed so much in the past months that I can't quite believe it, with loads of ups and downs for sure but I'm growing steady. Among other things, me and my boyfriend just celebrated our 6 year anniversary and I hadn't given it much thought up until now, 6 whole years is just wow! Time goes so fast when you're close to being 30.

London was absolutely amazing. My boyfriend had business meetings planned there and since it happened to be the exact same weekend of our anniversary, we decided to take the opportunity to also spend some time together in this amazing city. What I am the most proud of is that I spent the entire Friday by myself strolling around the shopping streets, enjoying the sunshine and really taking in the fact that I was anxiety free and happy. I didn't let my fears hold me back, I didn't hide in my hotel room, I channeled the girl I knew that traveled by herself all the way to Milan at 19 years old (me!) and I loved it. Don't get me wrong, I was afraid but as it turns out the only thing I actually had to worry about was my bank account. I got an amazing tote bag from Topshop, which at €42 was definitely a splurge, I had sushi for lunch and I bought an insane amount of makeup and hair products. All with the excuse that I couldn't find any of it in Belgium, which of course is a lie, but I had fun and it was just so liberating to finally feel like all the work I have been doing over the past years, going to therapy, is finally paying off.

The actual highlight of this entire trip, to me, was definitely the dinner we had for our anniversary that same Friday. We found the cutest Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown, with a cocktail bar and super friendly staff, where we stuffed ourselves with spring rolls, loads of fried seafood and a spicy vegetable curry. The atmosphere was so nice that I didn't even care that I swallowed a whole jalapeno. My throat was on fire but all I cared about is that I was having such a good time, sipping rose wine and looking at my handsome boyfriend of 6 years. The place is called Viet Food, just in case you're wondering. I know this seems like a rave review but even my boyfriend thought the place was super fun, cosy and perfect to celebrate our love.

When it comes to my birthday, I'm a little hesitant as to what to do. I'm excited about turning 28 but I'm not sure how to go about it. Last year I organised a dinner, already sending invites 2 weeks in advance, but this time I'm still figuring out what I want. I think I'm doubtful because I've had many people bouncing their own ideas back and forth and it's put me off in a way. Also, the fact that my birthday is right in between 2 major holidays, where loads of money has been and will be spent, makes me feel a little lost. I'm trying my hardest not to fall into self sabotage mode - which is what I think is happening here - so I was thinking of maybe just keeping it between me and Marco, going out for dinner on Saturday and have a nice brunch on Sunday with some Champagne and croissants.

I talked to my therapist about how overwhelmed I feel. It wasn't one of our most productive sessions but she explained to me that holidays can be and are usually very stressful. She said I'm coping well and truly have stepped up my adulting game, planning everything and making sure that my needs are met - which is something I would have never done in the past. She did however leave me with a little something to think about: the word 'confused' is a verb I use a lot in our sessions and she asked what the advantage or benefits are of confusion. I decided to do a little google search, because I honestly thought she was asking me a trick question, and what I found is that confusion is often related to trying to learn new things. When what we hear or experience doesn't add up with what we already know. All I want to do now is to hold my head up high and be proud, proud that I'm living and learning at my own pace and finally understand myself and what is happening in this beautiful world around me.

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