First, I apologize for the lack of humor in this post. I like funny, but sometimes I need to get the serious out too.
For those of you that know me well, you know that my 30th year has been crazy, challenging, and life-changing. I started out my 30th year with BIG plans. Thirty was going to be amazing - it was going to be my most successful year. I planned to advance my career, buy a new house, maybe expand my family, continue my education, and the list goes on. Well, if 30 taught me nothing, it taught me that life never goes according to plan and there's not much you can do about it.
The good news is that I learned a lot more than that. In fact, in my 30th year, I learned more about myself, life, and love than I have in the previous 29 years. It was a year of personal growth like I never imagined, and it happened in ways that I never dreamed of. Needless to say, none of my plans worked out, and my life is very, very different now than I ever thought it would be. But, life rarely goes along with our plans. Instead, life gives us what we need, and I am thankful for all of the things I have learned in the past year.
The most important thing I learned is that there are a lot of people who love me and will stick by me no matter what. I am amazed at the people who stepped forward to hold my hand through some difficult times. For that, I will be forever grateful. I learned that self-confidence is a gift that you give yourself and that no one else can give you that gift. I learned that it's really easy to lose track of who you are, where you're going, and what you want out of life, but life always has a way of bringing you back to the right path. I'm so thankful to be back on the right path.
In my 30th year, I discovered how strong and competent I am and that I can accomplish almost anything if I put my mind to it. I found true happiness in pursuing things I am passionate about rather than pursuing the almighty dollar. Within me, I found traits that must've been buried, because I never knew I had them. I found incredible patience, forgiveness, and acceptance. I discovered that I have a lot of love to give, and that it feels great to give that love without expecting anything in return. I realized that relationships with anyone you love are easier and more enjoyable when you let go of all of the expectations and just enjoy being with the people you love because you love them.
I found an incredible source of joy in being kind, empathetic, and understanding. I realized that the smallest things - holding my son's hand - bring me the greatest sense of happiness. It's the little things that really make life worth living. I've learned that my desire to live my life in the way I want greatly supersedes my fears and self-doubts. I have tried and accomplished more things in the past year than I have in the past decade. I felt what it was like to truly live without letting fear get in my way or rule my life.
I learned the value of listening, not just hearing. I've learned that it's best if I don't say anything when I'm angry. I've learned that, when it comes to friendships and relationships, you get what you give, so if you want something more, you'd better start giving more. I've found that humor makes life more fulfilling and that I don't have to be so serious. I've discovered that life hands you a lot of shit sometimes, and all you can do is learn from it, keep moving forward, and maybe even laugh at it. Rather than being pissed or wallowing in self-pity when you don't get what you want, you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and find a new direction to head in.
My 30th year showed me what I really want out of life and what's truly important. Life is about the people you love, the time you spend with them, and the love you give them. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
I wish I could go back and tell all of this to my 20-year-old self, but I can't. All I can do is really take to heart what this year has taught me, learn from it, and look towards a simpler, happier, more fulfilling future. And that makes it all worth it.
Get thee to an independent bookstore.
1 hour ago