Reflections of a (30th) Birthday Girl

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Today is the first day of my thirties. According to society’s standards I think that I’m supposed to smear ashes on my forehead and begin the extensive mourning period over the loss of my youth. I should also probably shroud myself as the horrors of aging are now displayed on my face. Not to mention that my unmarried and childless state has now rendered me a useless scourge on this planet so I should really start digging my own lonely grave. Oddly, I don’t feel compelled to partake in any of this lamenting. I’ve been looking forward to turning 30 for the past year. Don’t get me wrong, my twenties were great. It was a roller coaster decade with plenty of ups, downs, twists and turns to keep life interesting. I learned so many important life lessons that I can’t wait to bring to my thirties. This is going to be MY decade! But before I look on to the future, I want to look back at some of the best things I did, and didn’t do, in my twenties.

1. The best thing I did, by far, was move to Austin, TX. Now I’m not saying that everyone in their 20’s needs to move here. No really – it is getting far too crowded. But, I saw an opportunity to make my life completely different from the life I had and I took a chance. It meant moving to somewhere I had never been before and didn’t know anyone. That experience was really tough, but oh so worth it. I love my life here. Most of all I love the stronger person I have become because I took that chance.

2. I made exercise a part of my daily life. You know why people hate working out? Because they get in their cars and fight traffic to their gym where they battle for the closest parking spot to the door. Then they hop on a treadmill and go nowhere for about 30 minutes in front of a television, do a few push ups and crunches, and get back in their car to fight traffic going home. I’m not saying gyms are bad. However, if you just make your life an active one by walking and/or cycling to more destinations you will be amazed at the change in your lifestyle and your body. Most trips in a car are three miles or less. I promise you can go that far without motorized assistance. I gave up my car completely two years ago, which isn’t for everyone, but it was a great change for me. I love that my body is strong enough to take me everywhere I need to go!

3. I (finally) learned to quit people who make me feel bad about myself. Why is this such a hard lesson? I don’t know what drives the compulsion to keep people in our lives who make us feel like crap, but it seems to be a common ailment. I read not too long ago that we accept the love we think we deserve.  I believe that sums it up very nicely.

4. I became a journalist and then I quit. I received my college degree in broadcast journalism. I got my first television news job from an internship before I even graduated from college. I loved being a television news producer. I enjoyed writing new content everyday, I thrived in the fast paced newsroom, I received a number of promotions, and I made lifelong friends. Then one day I stopped loving it and so I switched careers entirely. I look back on the old days in the TV news biz with some fondness, and also without some fondness, and I don’t wish to return. I learned that it is okay to fall out of love with things and move on.

5. I started traveling. I felt a little late to the travel party when I moved to Austin because so many people I met in their early twenties had already studied abroad or backpacked across Europe. But it is never too late! In just a few short years I have embarked on a number of traveling adventures. Traveling to other countries gives you a unique perspective on life that you just can’t get in your homeland.

6. I didn’t get a tramp stamp. I’ve been thinking about this lately. I’m just really happy to have made it through my twenties without a tramp stamp. Really, really happy.

I think it is a safe bet that my thirties will bring more adventures, exciting travels, new relationships, and plenty of life lessons to fill another blog. I am very grateful to all of you for being a part of my Life in Transition. Cheers!

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