Well folks, I’m turning the big 3-0 tomorrow. While some dread leaving their 20’s behind, I’m quite excited about turning 30. I’ve had a VERY eventful decade and I’m looking forward to starting a whole new, fun chapter of my life.
My 20’s have been truly formative and satisfying for me, even though there were lots of ups and downs. Some of the highlights include:
- Graduated from college
- Started volunteering in animal rescue
- Adopted two crazy kitties
- Saw AC/DC live
- Moved from New York to North Carolina
- Stopped eating meat
- Got married…and divorced
- Lost my grandmother, but welcomed a niece
- Found the beauty of yoga
- Got my first tattoo, and then another a year later
- Witnessed my beautiful sister get married
- Lived alone for the first time ever
- Went zip lining
- Ran my first 5k, completed 3 more, and even placed 2nd in my age group once
- Debuted my Black Canary alter ego
- Saw much of the U.S. and took my first international trip
- Started this blog
- Lost some friends and gained others
- Fell in love all over again
- Hit the lowest point of my life and came back from it
What a list! These experiences brought out happiness, sadness, compassion, joy, despair, fear, exhilaration, disappointment, pride, motivation, hopelessness and pure bliss. The negative experiences were hard, but I think they helped to put life into perspective and allow me to appreciate the good times so much more. The last one brings out the most emotion for me, though. Any of my regular readers know that I’ve taken quite a bumpy ride on the mental health train this year. When I say the lowest point of my life, I mean rock bottom. It was a tough time, but things finally seem to be looking up now. I feel much stronger these days.
Turning 30 almost feels like a new awakening for me, like I can start some things over on a good, fresh note. My life has changed more than I could have imagined. What I thought was going to be a married, white picket fence life with kids and a dog has turned out to be the complete opposite, by choice. I’m healthier and more fit than I’ve ever been before, and I feel like I’ve finally grown into myself. Parts of my 20’s felt awkward and immature, but I have a new feeling of confidence, independence, self-awareness and maturity now. I’m slightly more extroverted than I was before. I enjoy crazy adventures and spontaneity, two things I was scared to death of before. Even though I enjoy planning some things, I’m happy and less stressed not knowing what the future has in store for me.
Now to get all philosophical, here are some things I’ve learned in the last ten years:
- You’re never quite done figuring out what you really want to do with your life.
- You’re also never done figuring out who your real friends are.
- Relationships of any kind should always be a two-way street.
- Surrounding yourself with people who you love and love you back is most important.
- Compassion for people goes a long way in creating a more progressive world.
- You have to do the things you’re most scared of doing to get further in your life.
- It’s okay to quit doing something you don’t like if you’ve given it a fair chance.
- Success in what you want exists, but you have to work really freakin’ hard for it.
- Despite how much you love or care about someone else, never ignore your own needs.
- Negative feelings, including pain, depression and grief, are temporary and will pass.
- Never rely on someone else to make you happy, and always keep your independence.
- Fight for and hold onto true love, regardless of how scary it is.
- Confidence and strength are way more attractive than makeup and cleavage.
- You’ll get a little freaked out when you get your first (and only, I might add) gray hair
- Life is way too short to worry. All that really exists or matters is “what is.”
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Just do you. And be confident about it.
- Life is sometimes messy and painful, but it’s also really awesome and worth living.
I feel blessed to have the life that I have and that is has so many great people in it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have BIG plans for the coming year and long-term goals that I can’t wait to share with you in this blog. I’m definitely not calling this birthday dirty or flirty…maybe sturdy? So, here’s to “sturdy” 30 and the next part of my story!
Cheers ~ Michelle