just a number

flea market typewriter, Canon Digital Rebel

I’ve been struggling with what to write here all morning.

I turn 34 tomorrow, and well, have some mixed feelings about it. I know that those of you who are older than me will say, “You’re so young! What are you talking about?” and I too will probably look back and wonder why 34 loomed at all largely in my mind.

But I think that the only reason any age feels not very celebrate-able is because we attach some kind of meaning to it that disempowers us… And I have attached some pretty unsavory thoughts to what 34 means. (My doctor didn’t help when she said to me in a conversation about fertility, “Well, you are one year older than you were last year.”)

Shouldn’t things be different than they are now? Shouldn’t I have certain things in place? Even as I write this, I know it isn’t really true and yet the feeling is still there. We all have our version of this. We all thought that by now (whatever age that is) life would look a certain way. Our shite would be “together”, we’d be stable or with partner or family or house or with record deal or whatever…


I’m going on a hike in the woods tomorrow with my sweet, amazing mother-in-law. She is someone that started doing marathons in her mid-forties and still kicks my ass at pretty much every sport in her sixties.

It will be hard to keep up with her. But as I watch her tromp through the woods ahead of me I will try to remember that our age is only a number…

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Anja

    I often feel that way. No cure except just plodding on as always. But you already know that 🙂

  2. Kate

    Age IS just some silly number and for the most part, the only use numbers have is to keep us in some kind of order. What’s the good of being kept in order?
    Have a wonderful birthday! You have accomplished so much! You look fantastic! It is just a number.
    PS…I love my necklace. Perfect timing. I needed superhero powers yesterday.

  3. jill

    “You’re right where you NEED to be…” Someone once told me, and as hard as it is to truly believe it, it is SO true!! Who knows what’s in store, but it will all unfold as it is supposed to!
    Enjoy the Hike and CELEBRATE!!
    Happy Birthay Andrea!

  4. Cindy

    Happy, happy birthday!! What the number means is just another year that we have been graced with your marvelous presence on this planet. Thank you for everything you share and everything you are- now get out there and celebrate, dammit!!
    😉 Cindy

  5. Lisa

    Happy Wombleaving Day!
    At 39, I say what is the number…it is how you feel inside!
    Celebrate You!
    enjoy your day in nature…

  6. Stephanie

    I have heard life really begins at 40. And the closer I get to forty, the more excited I feel! Whoo hoo – bring it on!

  7. michelle ensminger

    oh, sweet soul, you are so right…age is just a number. you will be fabulous at 34! happy, happy birthday to you. thank you for the light and inspiration you are to all your readers. sending you a big birthday hug!
    ps – love this pic…as always…

  8. natala

    where ever you are, is where you should be.
    much peace, and a beautiful birthday…

  9. beastmomma

    Happy Birthday Eve!

  10. jules

    it must be something about turning 34 because the same feelings happened to me this year! for some reason, 33 didn’t bother me but 34 did. i understand exactly what you are saying. happy birthday! you are such an inspiration to everyone. don’t let 34 get you down.

  11. morgan

    andrea. i just wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful, you’re inspiring, and you bring much beauty to the world through your words, and artwork. i wish you a glorious birthday.

  12. Shelley Noble

    Happy Birthday, Andrea! You are leading the richest life I know. I see you as a larger than life figure from the 1920’s cultural epicenter, Paris. (now it seems to be San Francisco?) doing important things that contribute to enriching lives, thinking over the challenging thoughts of the times, having lasting friendships with the utmost talented and diversely interesting people of all stripes.
    You’re happily married, working at something satisfying through super-powered necklaces and incredible photography, exploring what it means to be alive and to use time on Earth well.
    I understand there have been billions of people who have never gotten as far as that in the whole of their existence yet.
    Doing so at 34? Priceless.

  13. Sara

    I think you so eloquntly put into words exactly how I have been feeling. My birthday is coming up (the 22nd) and I have been rather cranky lately. Perhaps it is becuase my “gremlins” have been murmurring, trying to tell me that I am not where I need to be at this age, trying to convince me that I am never going to reach my goals. Sometimes it seems that the harder I try to ignore thier grumblings that louder they become. But they are not true! They don’t have to define my reality, or your reality. I have just loved “discovering” you site. You are a beautiful spirit. Happy Birthday!

  14. Kelly

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! The same thoughts have been circling my mind too, as I prepare to turn 22 (collective groan, I know). I am working SO HARD on just letting go of my need to over-achieve, and to let my own happiness in life be my greatest success. I don’t know if I can ever change my thinking patterns, but you are always an inspiration to me.

  15. paganpoetry

    Hi Andrea,
    I’ve never posted a comment here but have been reading and looking forward to your site for 1 or 2 years now. I just wanted to thank you for all the beauty and inspiration you bring… and yes, i agree with you that age is just a number. i wish you a very Happy Birthday!

  16. katherine

    . . . age *is* just a number . . . but we are aging . . . maybe that is what you are feeling . . . the aging process 🙂 I know that mine really started becoming something I noticed around 37, and now I turn 40 in February! Your post inspired me . . I’m going to go running tomorrow morning . . . 🙂

  17. Julia

    Dearest Andrea, First let me say, “Have a wonderful delightful happy birthday!!” You sooo…deserve it, for all you do to inspire so many of us. Secondly, I think you need to find another doctor. The fact that a medical professional, would say to any woman stuggling with issues fertility & trying to conceive, “well you are another year older…” I find truly insensitive and lacking compassion. If it’s any help to hear?…I was told I was getting to old to become pregnant, and I conceived and gave birth to my wonderful, healthy daughter at the ripe “old” age of 37. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Your body is still young and so is your spirit. I feel it in my bones that you will become a wonderful mother sometime in the near future. Have a blessed birthday and enjoy your hike in nature with you mother-in- law. She sounds like a hoot! 🙂

  18. kristine

    You are most incredible and vibrant! Keep living life the way that you do – embracing it, taking chances and having fun.
    Happy Birthday!

  19. Jus

    Happy Happy Birthday to You (to who? to me) To You I Say to You!
    This may be my first post ever and how exciting that it is on the eve of the day you were born 34 years ago. Sweet.
    So… I have no words of wisdom like the others and I will only be turning 29 in a month. I have just blogged on this same “question” of life. And I guess what it boils down to is, the bigger question to quote Steve
    Zissou “are you enjoying yourself ned, did you find what you are looking for?”
    My contemplation wasn’t about why aren’t I where I think I should be at age ##, my contemplation was have I achieved everything, am I living a vibrant life, am I dull? So I listed all the things that I have so far done (that I could remember), and once I had listed them I realized that the answer to Steve’s question was YES. I am enjoying myself, and have realized the thing I am looking for is a full life and I am well on my way to creating it everyday.
    I guess all I can say about the baby thing is, well more than one thing, 1. stop making it a priority to have a baby 2. things happen for a reason or don’t 3. you are not the only one 4. Things happen when we least expect 5. Remember you are LOVED
    I have to say you are like my morning coffee, I am always checking you for my ‘Superhero’ fix of the day. Thank you for always being open and honest. Thank you for taking lovely pictures and inspiring us. Thank you for sharing your life.
    Happy Birthday!!

  20. Anna

    Happy, happy birthday. Although I have never met you personally, I can say truthfully that all day tomorrow I will be grateful that is the day you were born.
    Every day I check your blog for the latest entry, and I share your space with all the people I know will appreciate your unique view on life.
    34 is just a number, but it is also a tough number… I, personally, loved 33, but struggled significantly with 34. I just loved being Jesus’ age, but after that, I did feel a little like, what would the world have been like if Jesus had lived one more year instead of me. On the other hand, I have never wanted to go backwards… so I try my best to love each year for what it has to offer. I have not accomplished all that I want at 36, but I am looking forward to 37 for the new adventures it will offer.
    All we can ever do is our best at any given moment.
    I wish you love and life and happiness… your family will come. I can feel it, though, keep in mind that family isn’t always configured in the traditional way. You seem to have a boundless amount of compassion and empathy to share with the world, and a keen eye, I can’t believe whoever that great spirit is would want to keep that from children.
    Again, I count myself blessed to have wandered upon your musings and this little piece of your life and I wish you the happiest of days and years!!!

  21. Leonie

    Sweet Andrea,
    I read your website and smile. I was just at lunch with a dear friend of mine, Andrea, and she asked me: “So how does it feel to be turning 23 in 3 days?”
    There is a part of me that is still FREAKING out about it. I want to cling to 22 (just as you may wish to cling to 33). 22 for me is still being young, a year wiser of being 21… and still being able to say “yes, yes, I’m only 22.” I think I fear that saying I’m “ONLY 23” won’t work as well.
    My friend Dave said to me:
    Oh, you are so linear Leonie. Fancy, you getting older in a consecutive manner. That’s rather dull, isn’t it?
    So Leonie’s mission this year:
    Transcend all mental limitations of what my age means to my spirit.
    Wishing you many birthday blessings,

  22. Georgy

    Happy Birthday!
    I’m mighty glad you were born.
    Lots of Love to You,
    Georgy Rock

  23. G-Man

    Andrea…I turned 34 this past May. I looked forward to 21, loved 25, really loved 30…I haven’t though much about the rest of my 30s…although i know that 35 is getting a little closer and that’s only 5 ’til 40….It’s weird…
    I’m more bothered by 35 than any of them…why should that change anything? It’s only a year later.
    Society puts too much pressure on age…

  24. Marilyn

    Happy 34th, dear sweet Andrea…a birthday haiku for my fellow Glide-girl…
    Superhero girl
    opens heart for what is hers
    it will come in time

  25. brian

    happy b-day!
    Love the pic of the typewriter.

  26. LB

    It’s scary how much I can relate to this post. But enough about me… 🙂
    Happy Birthday, Andrea. I think that you should feel very accomplished because you inspire and uplift your journal readers on a near-daily basis. That kind of positive influence in the world is something to be proud of, something not many have accomplished.
    I guess we have to focus on the positive, right? Even when it’s hard.
    Happy Birthday, dear!

  27. mindi

    How odd, my birthday is tomorrow too! 🙂 I will be 26, and it feels a little bittersweet.
    Happy birthday!! 🙂 Enjoy it!

  28. nina

    Happy, happy birthday! I’m 43 and I look at this way — 4 + 3 = 7 and 7 is a really lucky number. 34 has the same spin. And BTW, I had one baby at 35 and another at 38. The last one my doctor said I probably wouldn’t conceive and when I did, she told me how difficult pregnancy would be because of my age. I switched to naturopaths and a midwife the day she said that and had the easiest pregnancy every. I know you’ve probably heard many such stories by now and I’m sure one day your story will be out there with them. Sometimes I think doctors like to blame things they can’t control (your age, for instance) when they have no other explanation, not that there aren’t superheroes among them.
    And speaking of superheroes, I know it’s been said you are a hero to many and I would have to agree. I wish you a beautiful, joyful year.

  29. Marit

    I’ve never felt as old again as I did when I was 25… and I’m 42 now 🙂

  30. Chookooloonks

    Happy Birthday! I know what you mean — I generally am really thrilled about my birthday, but the ones that end in “9” always get me — not because of what I haven’t accomplished (because, to be honest, I think I’ve accomplished a lot), but because it’s the end of a decade. Conversely, the ones that end in “0” are you usually really exciting for me, because it’s the start of a whole new decade.
    I’ll be 39 next year.
    One thing that I always do on my birthday is make New Year’s Resolutions — I think they’re more meaningful then than on Jan 1st. Recently I read a blog of a woman who makes the same number of resolutions as years she’s celebrating — and challenges herself to try to get them done before her next birthday (although she gives herself 90% credit for just having thought of it and written it down, and allows herself to roll it over to the next year).
    I know you’re a fan of lists, and of writing things down to help manifest dreams, so I say, shake of the bad vibes, and start manifesting, baby!!!
    Happy, happy day, beautiful soul.

  31. Zwiedawurzn

    Happy B’day Andrea! And many more to come! And tell that doctor she’s not getting any younger either! I’m not gonna preach about age just cause I’m 37, but age is really ONLY a number.
    Women of the Western World are truely an accomplished bunch. It doesn’t matter what we did by 30, 35, or 40. I am certain we accomplished a lot, and we made our own choices, which is why we accomplished the things we did and why we didn’t get to do other things. So here is to Andrea and all the accomplished women and their choices!

  32. lori

    I’ll tell you what my incredible mother in law told me last year on my 34th, when I seemed to be attatching all my expectations to this number much in the same place as you are now~ she said you are exactly where you are supposed to be. And that little statement took the pressure off of me (to be this or that) and just be. I hope her wisdom helps a bit.

  33. Nicole

    I will be 34 in March. I’ve been in a transition phase for a short time now: divorced, moved, lost job. I’ve been thinking too, aren’t I supposed to be settled by now…and then I read your story, and I too, hear, “you are in the right place for right now”, and I have to ease up on myself, and give permission to enjoy the now.
    Happy Birthday to you and I am sure 34 for both of us, will be a wonderful year!

  34. Emma

    It was my 35th last week and I felt exactly as you describe – like something was missing, like my life should be more perfect. And then on the actual day, everything was lovely in its funny wonky way and I felt much loved. Best moment? It’s hard to choose between sitting with my family eating my own choice of dinner menu (chinese takeaway followed by french chocolate cake) and watching the new Wallace and Gromit with my friend and laughing like drains. Because having a perfect life is like minamilism, it all looks very shiny and cool but you wouldn’t want to live there. Celebrate all that is skewed, odd and slightly out of focus: a life that is truly lived. That’s the life you photograph so beautifully after all.

  35. wilsonian

    Happy Birthday!!!
    Btw, you have been getting your shit together. It’s been happening in your heart. And you’ve helped the rest of us get our shit together in our hearts too.
    The rest will come.
    And LOVING that shot of the typewriter!!!

  36. m

    h a p p y b i r t h d a y a n d r e a !!

  37. penelope

    Happy birthday, miss.
    My belief is that people get better with time. With age comes wisdom and perspective and experience to draw from. I think I am proved right by your words of wisdom everyday on your blog. 🙂 You rock, A!

  38. Laura

    Happy birthday Andrea! I think every birthday should be celebrated to the fullest. We can always use a good reason to celebrate! And it doesn’t make you any younger in years NOT to celebrate it, in fact, I’d say it could have the opposite effect. 🙂 That said, I’m 39 now and am curious at times how I will react next year.
    I have to say that I pretty much have felt the same age since I was about 25. The problem I have is when I start to feel like I *should* feel (and act) older. Then I start to…until things go back to normal. The only problem I really have with this is that I am struggling with the idea of having a child now. I still feel wayyyy too young.
    When I was 34, I had already been married once and divorced. I felt pretty old at 30, actually. But then a funny thing happened: I actually felt like I had lived my 30s in my 20s, and now, in my 30s, I am living my 20s. I met my most amazing young man and am now married to him. I got my college degree, graduated when I was … gosh…. 34. Now thinking about children. Things are all topsy-turvy. So life is funny that way.
    Happy birthday to you,
    happy birthday to you,
    I’m fairly sure you don’t smell like a monkey, though I don’t know for *sure* since I’ve never met you, but I do know for sure that you don’t look at all like one. 🙂
    Have fun tomorrow with your sweet, amazing, kick-ass mother in law!

  39. Jill Valle

    HAPPY HAPPY Day Andrea!! I so relate to EVERYTHING in your post about turning 34, and the expectations we mysteriously put in place for ourselves. I am reminded of some of your entries about being in the moment in the oh so beautiful and graceful way you express it through your photographs and musings on life. I wish for you much love, happiness, joy and laughter in your 34th year. You are a light and an inspiration to all whom you come in contact with. Put on your bad ass boots and go dancing girl!

  40. Jen


  41. marci lambert

    happy, happy birthday. i love your blog and look at it every day. now, about this age business and not being where you thought you’d be. walk away from it. when i was your age i was divorced and childless and certain no one would ever love me again. now as i approach 42 (gasp), i have been married to my perfect match for six years, we have our own home and two lovely daughters (born when i was 37 and 39 – ancient in the childbearing world!). i’ve opened myself up to my own creativity (and you get a little credit for that) and am living a dream of self-discovery through art. i’m almost 42, but i mostly act like i’m about 25. i frequently forget my actual age. i recommend that you measure yourself by your accomplishments, not by the fact that your body has kept functionally for a period of time. through your blog i can see that you are a delightful person. and clearly, you have many people who love you, no matter how old you get!

  42. stef

    Happy Birthday dear one….celebrate yourself…we all are! You are an inspiration to us all!

  43. frida

    Your comment is funny because I turned 62 this year and found myself asking the same kinds of things. But I also found myself coming up with more new projects and inspirations than ever! So be proud of your accomplishments and never stop asking questions. By the way, we featured your Mondo Beyondo list on our blog because I was so impressed with that post of yours. Never doubt it–you are on the right path.

  44. Liz

    Happy Birthday wonderful Andrea!
    I have to say I loved being 34 — maybe you will, too:) That’s the age where I finally felt like I’d stepped out of my family history and was living my own life, not (consciously or not) following what my parents had done at my age.
    Enjoy! Love, Liz

  45. Jodi

    My heart still breaks for you over your infertility. I think the key to dealing with what you mentioned, for me anyway, is focusing on what I DO have. I hope that this birthday instead of focusing on where you are NOT, you will focus on where you are. A great life (lots of people enjoy reading about it!), a wonderful husband, friends, work you love and enjoy. I think sometimes we have to be content with where we are at before we are able to get what we want because often we attach some unrealistic expectation that as soon as we have (fill in blank) life will be perfect. And that is never true. Have a great 34th birthday! Enjoy every minute.

  46. wendy

    “you shall above all things be glad and young” -ee cummings
    happy birthday, dear soul!
    remember…satchel was born to me at 41 years of age…i celebrated my 42nd birthday as a new mom.
    much love,

  47. Jackie

    Happy Birthday girl! Age, it is such a personal thing, and has to be processed on a personal level. I know people who are old and worn out at 25 and who are young and full of vitality at 95. But I hear you about feeling pressures about being where you should be at any particular age. Certain ages seem to be mile stones. Look at what you have accomplished, celebrate your victories. Count your progress by all that you have encouraged and influenced. (including me) You have come a long way baby!! Congratulations on all you have accomplished and all you will in the years you have ahead of you. jackie

  48. lindsey

    happy birthday, andrea!
    i wish for you a year of dreams coming true.

  49. sarah

    lovey – everything is unfolding perfectly – just as it should… nothing to worry about. Happy Birthday – live it up!

  50. becky

    happy birthday superhero – and my fellow 11/9th birthday girl 🙂 2 years ago I bought a wonderful necklace from you to take with me on my solitary travels to Hawaii for my birthday – 2 years later it still brings me lots of luck 🙂
    enjoy your hike today…enjoy your birthday…age is truly just a number 🙂

  51. victoria winters

    God, am I with you on this one. I turn 30 in February and I’m not looking forward to it. I still remember when my mother turned 30 – she cried. It’s a vivid childhood memory of mine and I’m afraid I may do the same. No, it’s not terribly OLD, but I have to ask myself, what have I really accomplished? Is it all that I wanted to? No. But, in ways, it’s more than I ever expected too. I’ve been meaning to post on this subject myself – maybe I’ll get around to it by February! Enjoy your hike and your birthday and thank you for the lovely photography to look at!

  52. kristen

    happy 34th andrea!
    as someone that is counting down the months to 30 I can completely relate with what you are thinking. at the same time, this may sound cheesy, but if i can become as cool of a person as you are by the time i reach 34, i will be quite happy with how i spent my time.

  53. Lynn

    Don’t think of age as some sort of benchmark to measure what’s been accomplished. After all, if we were to think, “I want to get this done by the time I’m so-and-so years old,” and we do, well, does that mean we’re done? That there’s nothing else to expand upon on that goal? Nooooo. So take heart. Birthdays are to celebrate life, and you have a wonderful one. Happy birthday, Andrea!

  54. carrster

    Happy Birthday, Andrea! You have inspired me many many days and enriched them and for that I am grateful.
    I like to think of the “number” thing not as AGE but as the amount of experience we’re racking up. It does get better and better and even if that’s just a mantra we have to repeat there is truth in it. I’m so glad to be in my 30’s and leave my crazy 20’s behind…

  55. stosova

    a very Happy Birthday to you!!!

  56. Tammy

    Dearest Andrea,
    Happy birthday! This is my first time leaving a comment. I sometimes think that if I do ever get pregnant again I might name my little girl Andrea…although I really like the name Ella, too. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to have twins.
    I also am having fertility problems but I do have a son who is almost four so people tend to think it’s not such a big deal for me. Anyway, as I was reading your blog my doctor called about my fertility medication. I was thinking maybe it’s a sign for the both of us that something was finally going to happen. So I decided to post, up until now I have been too nervous to leave a comment.
    You inspire me. Best of luck this year!

  57. Chris

    Happy B-day youngster! I turned 41 in October (while I was home sick with pneumonia). I was quite a late-bloomer. Had my first child at 33, my second at 37. No big deal. Aging sucks, years go by and as I found out this fall, your health is NOT what is used to be. So treasure your young years – and your good health! My body’s been feeling 60 and my mind 20. I guess that’s what happens as you get older. Happy aging to you…..

  58. kelsie

    Happy Birthday dear Andrea! Wishing you love, calm and happy times.

  59. kelly

    happy birthday andrea!
    it’s just a passing of time. just another year in which to accomplish all you dream of.
    as my granny used to say “i don’t page age no mind. that’s why it hasn’t caught up with me yet.”

  60. jack

    when i was little i thought by the time 2006 rolled around, we’d have flying cars and be living like the jetsons. as for my dreams of what it’d be like to be 27, i’m glad none of them came true. because then i’d be pumping gas, thinking, THIS was my dream job!? hehe so, A, life just takes us in different directions. some wonderful, some not so wonderful.. but all unexpected. treasure every day… it’s not how you see your projected years, but how you live in the present day.
    enjoy your hike, and smile the entire way… life is beautiful. wishing you all the best, tomorrow and forever. 🙂

  61. Jenn

    Dear Sweet Andrea,
    Happy Birthday you amazing woman.

  62. Dana

    Happy Birthday Andrea! Congratulations on all the small victories you have accomplished this year. Don’t forget to celebrate the little things in life!
    Best wishes always

  63. Julie

    Dear Andrea:
    May i be so bold as to recommend a most valuable birthday gift to yourself (assuming you haven’t done this already). My recommendation is that you have your birth chart (astrological) read by an astrolger that resonates with you. Is it true that being a scorpio you don’t need anything sugar-coated and you are able dive deeply into the mysteries of the universe? I would also hazard a guess that you don’t necessarily want to have achieved certain things by a certain age, but that you are yearning for a transformative experience. I have found that an astrolgical chart can be an amazing transformative tool/mandala/energetic imprint; it has helped me in many untold ways on my journey towards self-knowledge and self-love. Go more deeply into experiencing the powerful shaman that you are and you will find the birth/rebirth experience within yourself. I am certain that during one of these transformative snake-skin sheddings that you will discover a child coming to meet you. Wishing you much love on your birthday.

  64. Rachel

    Happy Birthday!! Your birthday post reminded me to wish an old high school friend happy birthday as well–thanks. Enjoy your day!

  65. Christine

    Happy Birthday….may all your dreams come true!

  66. shawna

    Please don’t forget about all the beautiful things you’ve done so far and all the inspiration you give to the many people who return to your site over and over again.

  67. amanda

    happy birthday, dear andrea!

  68. kristen


  69. mati

    happy happy day:) i hear you about the dreaded number game– turning 30 in a month. someone told me the longest 10 years are between 29 and 30… same may be true for you? i’d love to go for a power walk someday again with you!

  70. shelly

    Andrea, Happy Birthday!

  71. Contessa Wendy

    You are such a dear person. I treasure what you share with the world. Thank you.

  72. catina jane

    happy birthday doll 🙂

  73. Andrea

    Happy Birthday! Wishing you all the best!
    It’s only recently that I’ve started to relax about being 30-something and what have I done yet?!
    This all came about because I started having lunch a couple of times a year with three lady friends from my bookclub, who are 54, 67 & 79. I’m the youngest at 38. (We call ourselves “The View” like the TV show, because of the ages & also because we all have more than our fair share of opinions about just about everything! But I digress…)
    By talking with them, getting to know them, and hearing about their lives & all the things they’ve done & been through, I began to realize that the old saying, “For every thing there is a season…” has genuine meaning. Looking at them, I’ve realized that each life is not just one life, but that we each live so many lives within one life. These ladies, who on the surface may look “average,” have all done so many, many different things, and been many different people, all rolled up into one great big, rich existence.
    I’ve realized that I don’t have to be in such a damn hurry to complete this stage and move on to the next one. In fact, [revelation!] I can actually enjoy the phase that I’m in! And I may even miss it when it’s passed. So I’ve begun to try to enjoy where I am, even if it’s not where I thought I would be (and of course that’s the hardest part, dang it!)
    So enjoy yourself, darling! Enjoy the wonderful rich tapestry that is your life!

  74. amy b.

    hey, just gotta say,
    here’s to your next trip around the sun

  75. Jane

    Sweet Andrea, wishing blessings of great magnitude this birthday! Here’s to dreams unfurling, swirls of grace and all that is beautiful.

  76. Deby

    I discovered your blog a couple of years ago and it is one I read regularly. I’m 35 myself and perpetually trying to figure out what to do with my life – I often think of you and your blog as an inspiration for how to live a really good, meaningful life, something to aspire to. I admire you so much for following your dreams!
    p.s. your doctor sounds insensitive and not so nice.

  77. William

    I’m 47 and happy about it. When I was in my thirties, I knew a woman who was told by a doctor that she couldn’t have children. She has three boys. I’ve lost touch with her, but I see her picture often because she also has a successful, high-profile career.
    Two things I know now that I didn’t know when I was thirtysomething.
    1. Life wants some things to come as surprises. They don’t happen when you think they should happen, but when you’re not expecting them.
    2. The word “should” deserves to be deleted from the language. Whose is the voice suggesting that you “should” have certain things in place by now?

  78. jen downer

    The thing about YOU that stands out the most to me is that YOU ARE LIVING YOUR LIFE – with love, fun, mindfulness, and all that good jazz! You have 34 years of brilliant life behind you, and hopefully many many more years to accomplish the things you wish for. I celebrate those 34 years of Andrea because you are wonderful and a blessing to the world.
    You and I are the same age. I had a counselor tell me last year that womens’ 30’s are still very turmultuous, searching years. She says that it really isn’t until the 40’s that we find our peace and settle into our life. I feel excited for those years. And I am trying to embrace this decade as one of continuing the struggle to create the life that I really want. Its hard… because I want to feel PEACE NOW! ;o)
    I am not going to spew platitudes about understanding your fears, frustrations and sadness about the fertility stuff you are going through. But I will silently hold your hand from my little corner of the world and send wishes for you and your man out into the universe.
    Enjoy the woods today! And your energetic Mom-in-law! Where do you like to go walking? My family is always looking for good places to walk in the Bay Area. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY {and e v e r y d a y}, Andrea!
    Jen Downer

  79. Amy

    Happy Birthday!!!hope your day is filled with fun and happiness!!
    Love, Amy J

  80. Jennifer

    I think Jen and William’s comments below are so on target!! By putting yourself ‘out there’ you’re giving all of us the opportunity to see and understand that we’re not crazy for thinking the things that we think – we’re just normal. We all wonder and worry and rejoice about life, sometimes in the same way, sometimes not in the same way. So thanks…
    Hope you enjoyed your hike, by the way. I’m trying to take advantage of a lot of the lovely hikes my local trail association does, and you’ve reminded me that I haven’t done one in a while…

  81. Vivienne

    Andrea Happy Birthday!
    I honour your feelings and send you gentle love on your special day! Thanks for being you, you are as always such an inspiration and more in my day. Also thanks to all the comments here, they rock too. LOvE LoVE lOVE

  82. Pamela

    Look at all these responses! You are clearly a woman admired …
    Happy birthday Ms. Scorpio! (aside from December, this is my most expensive month) I went into a funk when I turned 30, then again at 38, and for some reason 42 (not 40). I ascribe the particular “off years” to body-adjustments, and changes in our psyches.
    I have a love/hate thing going with my aging process–as a woman who derived too much satisfaction from positive responses to my exterior, I have settled into a new appreciation of my interior (now that the exterior has rebelled). I love what I’ve learned, and what I continue to learn as I grow older.
    Hope you had a wonderful celebration of your birth!

  83. holly bechiri

    ohh thank you. was so good, today of all days, to hear someone else my age having issues with the whole “shouldn’t life be figured out by now” issues. ok we’ll just breath and take the next step i guess…..

  84. Shayananna

    Feliz Navidad Andrea,
    May your next earth rotation give you even more opportunities for light, laughter and love.
    Thank you so much for sharing the thoughts in your head, you mean so much to so many of us. Hopefully you feel our positive energy flowing your way.

  85. jolene

    happy birth day, andrea! thanks so much for being such a beacon of light to all of us. i really admire your strength of spirit and heart.

  86. Kymberlee

    Happy Birthday, Andrea! May the sweet honey of the Universe drip all over you this year. You are a blessing to this world, dear one.

  87. tali

    Happy birthday (a little late)! Until my 30th birthday, I never minded turning another year older. Birthdays were nice, and I didn’t understand why everyone freaked out over them. But then I hit 30 last June, and suddenly, I was that person. I’d associated being 30 with all these things that I was supposed to have accomplished, and I hadn’t accomplished one of them. I still haven’t resolved this in my mind…but I took a little comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one feeling similarly.

  88. sheila

    i’m a scorptio too. my 28th b-day is on sunday. here i am at a grad program in california, yet i somehow feel like there is more that i should have accomplished… i should have been at higher ground by now. but age is just a number and we do the best we can every day.

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