So.. I turned 30 on Sunday. I’m not sure how I went from 21 to 30 so quickly, but it pretty much happened overnight. My 20’s were a mixture of really, really happy and really, really sad: I met my husband (6 months into my 20’s), lost my dad, bought a house, graduated college, got married, sold our first home, lost my mother-in-law, built a new house, had our first baby, lost my mom.. all in that order. Add in other highs and lows in between all of that and you’ve got yourself a true roller coaster. Although there are obviously things I wish (more than anything) were not on that list, I feel truly fortunate for all of the things I got to experience in these last 10 years and the people that I’ve had by my side.
If I could go back and outline some basic life rules for my 20-year old self, it would look a little something like this:
If you want something, go get work for it. Be forgiving, but not a pushover.Stand up for yourself no matter what.Work enough, but don’t let work consume your life.It’s okay to say no. Really, it is.Those people that are there to pick you up during the darkest times? Those are your people.Travel as much as you can while you can.Listen to your mom; she knows a thing or two.Don’t get mad over unmet expectations if they were never voiced.Find the lesson in every hardship. Don’t allow it to make you bitter; let it make you stronger.Go out more! Do all the things.Take your dad to the race track and let him be himself. He’s awesome just the way he is.Don’t give so much of your time that you don’t have enough for yourself. You deserve it too.If it makes you unhappy, let it go. It really should be that easy.Eat the cake but take the walk. A little balance goes a long way.Always have the best intentions and never apologize for doing what you thought was right. Most good things take time. Be patient and persistent. Learn to let go of the things you can’t control. Learn to accept that things change and embrace it.Family doesn’t just mean blood.Don’t worry so much about what other people think. Just be yourself. Actually, stop worrying at all.Take more pictures. Yes, really. You are not taking enough. One day you will cherish them.You can’t force anyone to change. Either accept or move on.Stop putting the people who put you last, first. Your circle will get smaller but that’s okay.Only take the job because you want it; only keep it if it makes you happy.You’re far too young to be “stuck.” You don’t like it- change it.Read more.You don’t have as much time with your family as you think, so love them harder than ever.That biology degree you’re going to get, you won’t use. It’s not your passion. Chase your passion, no matter what it is.Your time is so valuable; treat it that way.You are about to suffer two huge losses that will damage your heart, but try not to let it destroy you. They wouldn’t want that. Skip the cat. Definitely skip the cat.Let go; live a little. You don’t always have to have it all together. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Embrace every season of life.Is it worth the argument? If you have to question it, it’s definitely not.Above all else, be happy; that’s the real goal in life.
The hubbs threw me an awesome little party at our house with my closest friends and family, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. He rented a margarita machine, lit the fire pit outside while he grilled, and was my on-hand photographer (I had to talk him out of spending a jillion dollars on a photo booth, and I’m sure he regretted complying after the 400th photo I asked him to take). My best friend, Silvia, always makes me feel special. She is a true gem, y’all. She showed up with cupcakes, cake, cookies, and the cutest sign you ever did see: