Leanne du Plessis Newborn and Baby Photography CamberleyLife at 35, Here’s what I have learned…

Life at 35 – Today is my birthday.  The average age expectancy is 70 point something years.  Therefore, taking into account that the average life expectancy is 70, that means I’m at the centre of my life span.  My Dad made sure to point this out to me this morning.  Payback for the many, many times I’ve called him a dinosaur 🙂  It feels so incredibly weird, although I don’t feel that old.

Today has been an amazing day so far!  To feel the love of my family and friends, and know that I’m loved.  It’s far more important than any gifts that I’ve received.  I’ve received messages from all over the world.  Chatted to people who I haven’t seen in years.  People who were once the centre of my world.  And others who I just drifted apart from.  I feel incredibly blessed to know that I am,and have been loved, throughout my life.  It’s something that everyone should feel when they are half way through their life.  It’s something that I will make sure my boys will always feel.

I’ve been incredibly reminiscent today…

I’ve been incredibly reminiscent for a combination of reasons today.  I thought back to when I was 17 (pretty much half the age I am now) and I’m trying to remember what I thought my life would be like at 35.  What I do remember, is that my life at 35 is a completely different to the idea I had in my head at 17.  My dream career was to be a writer.  And actually something that I have a talent for.  But when you’re young, there is no rush in life and sometimes life just passes you by.  Until you realise just how much time has actually passed and you’re no closer to achieving what you wanted in life.  I also thought at 17, that by the time I was 35, I would be married with kids and an amazing career!  I guess I got part of it right.  I am married with two beautiful boys and in a few months, I will be a photographer full-time!  Photography was definitely one of my passions as a 17 year old, but I never imagined it to be a career.  I wanted to get married in Venice and have a honeymoon in some exotic country, can’t remember where now!  I still haven’t been to Venice, but it’s still on my list of places to see.  I thought I would be rich, successful and have my very own home.  My success in life so far is having been loved!  My success is my two happy, boisterous boys!  And my success is definitely going to a great photographer!

Do I have everything I always dreamed I’d have at 35?

No.  But I also know that deep down, I didn’t work as hard or be as smart as I could be with finances, studying and living my life.  The fact that I have gotten this far in life, is in itself astonishing.  (If you would like to know why, please go to my blog posts Light at the End of the Lens Part 1 and Part 2)  You need to put in the effort to get the success you want.  It doesn’t land in your lap by sitting in the pub or on the sofa. But I have learned from my mistakes. I’ve learned that although it may not seem like it at the time, but you will get over someone. You may not ever forget, but the pain will lessen. You will find love again.  And you’ll find someone who is even better suited to you, when the time is right.  I have learned that there is a reason that life isn’t going the way you wanted or planned.  It may seem like there’s no point anymore, but in hindsight, you will realise that everything happens for a reason.  And you can see that although you went off course previously, it was on the right course for where you are now.  Everything happens for a reason.  It’s the law of something, but it’s right.  You will realise that money isn’t everything, although it can get you out of a whole lot of trouble, it can’t make you happy.  Money can’t make people love you or want to spend time with you, only you can.  I have learned that you can’t give up so easily, that you have to pick yourself up and try again.  Don’t make the same mistake twice, but try another angle.  Do not settle for second best.  You are good enough and deserve the best.  Go for the best and nothing less.  I have learned that you can’t fix a broken person, only they can fix themselves.  No amount of persuasion, intervention, crying or screaming is going to help them if they do not want to help themselves.  They need to take the first step.  If they don’t, just remember to take care of your own heart, in whatever way you decide is best.  I have learned to trust my gut instinct, if I feel something is not right, it usually isn’t.  Have faith in your instincts and trust them.  They may not always be right, but they may be right at a time you need it most.   And most importantly, read the lyrics to Baz Luhrman’s song Everybody’s Free.  It was released in 1999, when I was 17.  I didn’t believe in all his lyrics at the time. But just over double my life later, I believe he may just be Right?!

Last, but not least, Today is National Winnie the Pooh Day.  It commemorates A.A. Milne’s birthday, who was born exactly 100 years before me.  Here is a Pooh quote to go alongside my words above.

International Winnie the Pooh Day

P.S.  Just in case you don’t know, I’m a Maternity, Newborn and Family Photographer.  Feel free to wish me Happy Birthday by booking your Photo Shoot today!  Just click on the below image.

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