Two weeks ago, I hit a major milestone: my thirtieth birthday. While a lot of people dread this particular birthday, I was looking forward to it immensely, feeling more than ready to leave my twenties behind. For the most part, they were good years, and I certainly learned a lot about myself and about life. But as I say often, I do love a fresh start, and the beginning of a new year of my life that is also the next decade in my life makes me feel all sorts of excited for what’s to come.
If I had been asked, when I turned twenty, where I thought I would be by the time I was turning thirty, I know that I would have had a far different vision for myself than what reality is. In some ways, things are better than I could have dreamed: my professional life has really taken off since moving to Washington four years ago, and my thirtieth birthday coincided with the first day in an exciting new job at work. Other things are not as great as I’d hoped for, I admit. I didn’t really see myself living alone in a two-bedroom apartment with a parking space barely big enough to fit a skateboard, but that’s where I am now. Maybe it’s not glamorous, but not everything in life is.
When I was in my twenties, I was insecure and codependent, and wasn’t really sure who I was or what value (if any) I held. But in the last few years I have grown to be confident, self-sufficient, successful, and driven. I definitely don’t have all the answers…but, really, who does? I’ve moved from the girl I was in my early twenties, who was constantly seeking out validation of her own self-worth and who felt she would finally be happy if she could just have more money, or lose more weight, or whatever the goal of the moment was, to basking in the moment and enjoying every day for all it has to offer. I wake up every day thinking of how lucky I am for all that I have, instead of wishing for things that aren’t yet mine.
Where I am even just two weeks into being thirty, is the happiest I’ve ever been in my adult life. I continually reflect on and feel grateful for the love of my family, boyfriend, friends, and kitties: the people (and pets) that make life so wonderful. I’m grateful for the experiences of my twenties that shaped who I am today, and for the lessons that I learned along the way. I believe that I have an extremely bright future and am excited to see what great things the next year holds for me. And I anticipate that by the time I’m leaving my thirties behind, my life will be more amazing than I ever could have dreamed of.