There’s nothing like a major birthday to make you examine your life and all that has transpired.
I’ve spent the better part of 6 months worrying, humming, and hawing about turning 30.
But today that changes.
Today is my 30th birthday.
I can’t run from it anymore. Just like all the days of my adult life, the ones leading up to June 7thzoomed by. And you know what? I’m okay. I mean I’m freaking out a wee bit. 30 feels like a super-duper adult age.
Yes, I just said super-duper. I am fine being an adult, but don’t you sometimes wish you could have stayed a child just a bit longer? Stayed in that place of innocence. That place of little stress but big ideals.
I do. But, I don’t believe turning 30 means I need to give up on my childlike wonder. Or to give up on all those dreams I imagined. Or to stop striving for everything I want out of life. If anything, turning 30 means I have more tools and am somewhat more equipped to go after what I want.
I’ve learned a lot over 30 years. Some lessons came easy. Some were like a kick to the face. Some were painful. Some came with laughter. But they all led me up to this moment. 30 years old, trying with all my might to live a beautiful life.
So, without further ado, here’s 30 thoughts, feelings, and observations on 30 years of life.
Books are a treasured possession and often a close friend.
I honestly don’t think I could get through life without books. Without losing myself in the written word. In a far-off land. In a sweeping romance. Books take you away from your hectic world. They transform your surroundings. They open your eyes. I hope one day my own book(s) are included in the world’s library.
Writing gave me a freedom I never knew I needed.
A big question in a writer’s world is: “When did you start writing?” Honestly, I always enjoyed writing. It was one thing in school that always came easily to me. And it was something I enjoyed. But it wasn’t until 2016 when I started taking writing classes that I truly felt light. It might sound cheesy or cliché, but I felt an unknown burden lift from my shoulders. I felt an excitement I didn’t know existed. Creating characters and worlds and stories is hard work. Some days I don’t enjoy it. Some days my pages suck. But, agh, through it all, I keep a huge smile on my face because I am doing something special. I am creating. I am writing.
Nursing taught me to view the world in a different way.
I think nurses are a special breed of people. I think our profession is wildly misunderstood. I don’t believe the majority of the population really understands what a nurse does in her day to day practice. But, that’s okay. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with this. Because it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that nursing is tough. But it makes you strong like you’d never believe. It teaches you that so many little, trivial things don’t matter. It shows you true suffering, and through that, you learn how to somehow, someway, make a difference.
I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.
Sometimes I think I’m a real baby. But these last few years have taught me I’m anything but. I can take big risks. I can leap into a dream. I can come out the other side still fighting. And that feels pretty good.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but maybe that’s the point.
I’ll be the first to admit I got caught up in what I call “The Southern Girls Life Plan.” The plan where you go to college, get a job, find a husband, pop out 2.5 kids, and settle down into your white picket fence. But somewhere along the way life comes along and whispers into your ear. It's annoying and frustrating. It keeps telling you to go a different way. To stop faking that smile. So, you listen. And you take a break from the career you built for yourself. Your ovaries act like little bitches and refuse to spit out eggs. It all goes wonky. And you couldn’t be happier.
Confidence can be fleeting.
How many times have us ladies heard a man say, “Confidence is so sexy.” Yeah, yeah. Shove off already. I get it, confidence is pretty great. But sometimes life gets in the way of that confidence. Sometimes you lose it. And it’s hard because society continually tells us that we need confidence in order to succeed at anything. I’m here to tell you, confidence is a work in progress. And don’t beat yourself up if it’s sometimes lacking. Or completely nonexistent. I still think you’re sexy.
It’s important to be able to say “No.”
This is something I am still working on. Not always being a “yes” girl. Because dammit, sometimes my mind is screaming, “NO!!!!!!!” I think there’s power in saying no. I think we need to hold onto what’s best for us. I’m trying to find that perfect balance between self-care and putting myself out there. It’s hard, but to me, necessary.
Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’. Find what you love and focus on that.
Being a blogger can sometimes kick you into this trap. You start connecting with other blogs, and before you know it, you’re 53 weeks deep on their Instagram account thinking “Oh Lord, her fashion is so cute. Dammit, her house is adorable. Shit, she’s a good cook.” If you’re anything like me, you start to feel like crap about your own life. And that sucks. It can be draining. And it’s totally unnecessary. We all have our own gifts and strengths. I’m trying my best to focus on mine and live in support of everyone else.
I want to spend my money on experiences.
This one is simple. Travel. Days/nights out with friends. Writing retreats. Lazy Sundays with family.
I’m desperate to fill my passport with ALL the stamps.
Gah. I love to travel. And I want to do SO much more of it. There are so many things I want to experience, and I hope I’m lucky enough to do so. Where do you want to go?
It’s often hard to be taken seriously but keep trying.
Being a woman. Being blonde. Being the baby of the family. All of these things sometimes get in the way of people seeing me for the bad-A that I am. But it doesn’t mean I stop trying to shine. We can do this, ladies!
I’ve become somewhat of a feminist.
This is not to say I’ve never been one to tout female power, but the past couple of years really boosted my interest in women’s rights. It’s also strengthened my resolve to always support my fellow ladies in their endeavors. We are not competition. We are not catty. We are not always fighting. We’re strong. We’re resilient.
Stop downplaying your interests, desires, and dreams.
I’m SO bad at this. I’m not great at attention. Or accepting compliments. And I’m really bad at voicing my achievements and dreams. I’m not trying to be a writer. I am a writer. I don’t have to explain why in the world I would choose to become a sexual assault nurse examiner. I just did. It’s time we shout out who we are without fear of ridicule.
I want to be a mom, but I’m just now feeling ready.
A couple of years ago I thought I was ready. And maybe I was. But there’s something peaceful and unforced about voicing it now. It feels right. And while I know there is never a “right” time to have kids, I am open to what’s to come.
I punished my body for a long time. I’m sometimes scared it’s now too late.
These last five years have been hard on me. The medicine I used to help control my PCOS seemed to stop working. I put on weight at an alarming rate. And then it refused to come off. I had an unhealthy relationship with food, the scale, and the mirror. I hated how I looked. I was depressed. I finally had enough in January. And now I’m really working hard to treat my body and mind better. But some days I fear its too late. The weight will never come off and I’ll be stuck in an endless cycle of anger and frustration.
PCOS constantly breaks my heart.
Infertility. Body image issues. Anxiety. Le sigh.
Not all relationships are worth saving.
Adulthood has taught me to let go of toxic relationships. This isn’t always easy. In fact, it feels terrible. But, it’s so unbelievably necessary. Holding on to someone that makes you feel less than is not doing anything but tearing you down. So, let them go. Free yourself.
Nothing is more important than family, and family is whoever you want.
Immediate family. Extended family. Friends. Whoever your safe zone is, hold onto them and love them hard.
Marriage is a beautiful, maddening ride.
I love my Jimmy. He’s funny, romantic, caring and an extremely hard worker. He’s my safe place to land. And some days, we want to strangle one another. That’s marriage, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Perseverance can get old.
Do you ever feel like you keep ticking away, working, working, working? You look to your left and you see a person who did the bare minimum and somehow is getting their dream come true with a bright red bow on top? Yeah, sometimes life is a kick in the ass. But hey! You’re learning perseverance. Well, I’m here to say, sometimes that shit gets old.
I have a vision in my head of my dream house, and I know one day I’ll have it.
Jimmy and I are going to bust our butts so one day we can be sitting on our big front porch, drinking wine and beaming with pride at our home filled with love.
I love rainy days.
Is that weird? Eh, who cares. Sometimes there is nothing I love more than snuggling up on the couch with a good book or movie and listening to the sound of rain outside.
I believe it’s important to talk about mental health.
We talk and obsess about physical health. There’s an endless wealth of knowledge on exercise, diets, and doctors. So, why don’t we spend the same amount of energy on our mental health? Why is there such a stigma around it? Who the heck cares if your body is in tip-top shape when your mind is a mess? It’s time to break the stigma.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the little things.
A moment. A story. Time spent with loved ones. A walk at sunset. A great new restaurant. Stop and appreciate all the little things around you. It’s much more fulfilling than waiting for that next great thing.
Laughter is truly the best medicine.
This is pretty self-explanatory.
It’s okay to both want change and to fear it.
Sometimes change is thrust upon us. Sometimes we know its necessary. Neither takes away the fact that change is hard. And scary. But it’s okay to let it take place. To watch and see how your life will pan out. I promise, change usually ends up for the better.
Music can transform a minute, an hour, a day.
There is nothing better than falling into music when you need it most. The lyrics of a song sometimes say exactly what you can’t. How unbelievably amazing is that?
I love to explore and experience new things, but I also am perfectly content to spend an entire day on the couch watching old episodes of Criminal Minds.
I used to apologize for this, but now I’m owning it. I can be a total couch potato. It doesn’t get to happen very often, and sometimes I feel guilty about it. But, every now and then, I embrace it. Life is all about balance, people.
I want to serve those less fortunate than myself.
We all have hardships. And I believe we shouldn’t downplay our tough times just because we certainly live great lives. Through our hardships, we can learn how to help and serve others. This is something I’m becoming increasingly more interested in.
I am ready for my 30s!
My 20s saw the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They taught me about strength and pain. Just because they are ending does not mean this is the end. My 30s are the beginning of something special. Something great. And I can’t frigging wait!
There ya have it. My thoughts on turning 30. I hope you enjoyed.
May you all have a rockin’ Friday and the greatest of weekends.
Until next time,