Today a new chapter begins in my life. A day I’ve thought about often over the last few months and wondered how I’d be different or if I’d feel older. Honestly, it was a day I dreaded up until recently, my thirties.
In thinking about this day, what I wanted this post to be and how I could fully embrace this new decade I couldn’t help but think, “What would Meredith Grey say?” As corny as it is I learned a lot in my twenties from my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy.
It only seemed fitting that before I look ahead, I reflect back with a little help from some of my favorite TV characters.
Flashback to my 21 year old self - I had just graduated college, I was unemployed, and my parents were moving to a new state. What is a broke, unemployed, college graduate to do? You guessed it. I helped my parents pack up our house and embarked on this new adventure with them. I remember thinking how crazy I was, living without a plan and no idea of where I was going. Two months after moving, the time came where I knew I needed to make changes. I was still jobless and pretty unhappy. I put so much pressure on myself during this period of my life to get it together, get a real job and be an “adult”. Because of this I ended up moving back to Indiana where I began making a life for myself. Although back in Indiana is where I still am and want to be, at times I find myself dreaming of those Wisconsin days. It was carefree living with no real world expectations calling me yet. Looking back I wish I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself and I can’t help but think this quote is as fitting then as it is now.
These four ladies will be lifelong friends! Most of my best memories during my twenties include them! The photo above is from younger, carefree days in 2007 and the photo to the right is Halloween night in 2008.
Halloween circa 2007
This was the year my spirit was set free. Free to be independent and embark on my own journey. Free to make my own choices. I can only hope that in my next decade I allow myself the chance to enjoy the stumbling moments in life.
I’m realizing these learning experiences are usually where we truly bloom and grow.
Nathan helped me buy a cat in 2009 when I was struggling with living alone. We've been a family of three ever since.
Typical me. Laughing and dancing like a fool on the dance floor.
Fast forward a few more years and I find myself at the height of my independence.
The center of really starting to find myself. These were some hard days. Living alone and learning the real world has expectations of you. It was through this time I learned I'm stronger than I ever thought, smarter than I thought and definitely capable. Capable of making my own choices, capable of dealing with the consequences when things don't go the way I planned and capable of realizing that life really does have a way of working itself out.
These are the years where my spirit learned there’s no greater power than belief in oneself.
It’s because of this I can confidently walk into my thirties knowing that I may not have all the answers, but I definitely have the power and strength that comes from within to get myself through.
Cat and I circa 2011! No matter the distance we're there for each other!
At my BFF, Emily's family Christmas. They're basically my second family and hold a special place in my heart!
As I sit here now, officially thirty, and look ahead I can say I’m truly going into this decade embracing that it’s okay to just be. Be free of norms, be free of a rule book or a plan. To be free of other’s expectations and most importantly to be me.
This is my advice to all those twenty something year olds that feel their thirties are looming closer and closer, or feeling like they’re a step behind everyone around them. You’re going to miss life if you’re constantly feeling the pressures to stack up to those around you or have some plan that life has to go a certain way. Be different. Choose to live your own path. One thing I’ve always loved about my fiance, Nathan, is this is how he lives his life. He’s taught me so much about embracing my one true self. Throwing aside the need to live up to the expectations of others and embracing my own expectations, my own rules. It’s not only empowering, but freeing. Be You! I know today I’m confidently waking up a thirty year old woman who isn’t afraid to do just that and it feels pretty darn good!
Nathan and I this past week. We're planning a wedding and looking forward to the future that's ahead of us!
CHEERS! I'm 30!