I went to the gym almost every day in the months before I turned 30, partly because I have been on a mission to get fit and slightly because I enjoyed bitterly typing in the numbers 2-9 when the elliptical would ask my age. I made a big deal of 30, unfortunately, the majority of my friends said “hello” & “goodbye” to 30 many….many years ago. 😉 So, while they were excited to celebrate me, the sympathy was in short supply.

Now…I’m only 2 months and 20 days into this 30-year-old adventure and I have to say, I like it…actually, I adore it. In my opinion, adoration, is one of the highest compliments you can pay to a person, a song, a dream, a hobby…and a life. It’s not just fondness, compatibility or even a strong love – it is all of those things combined. Adoration means that if one of those facets (liking, loving, wanting) fades…there is always another one to take it’s place. Adoration is consistent and all consuming. So, when I say I already adore my 30’s….well, that’s quite the statement.

I guess I can’t give an age….or a number, all of the credit. It just seems like my last decade has taught me quite a bit…some of it gut wrenching, some of it inspiring but most of it just necessary. And so I’ve found myself at a place in which so many things have fallen into place while so many other things haven’t….I figured, in an attempt to make everything make sense I would put together my initial thoughts on this whole “turning 30 thing”.

  1. People’s opinions matter so much less. I’m not a size 4, I like to drink and have fun but I like being in bed by 10pm sharp, I absolutely adore my husband and I will brag about it every chance I get, I take wayyy too many selfies and I spend half of my time with my hair in a bun on top of my head (drives my husband nuts and not in the good way) but….whatever. This is who I am, this is what I look like, these are the things I like to do and this is the way I act. At some point in the last year when word trickled down to me that so and so said this or that person said that….I shrug, sometimes they’re wrong, a lot of times they’re right. I finally know who I am for better and for worse and it’s okay to be all of those things (good & bad).
  2. I’ve learned the art of saying “no”. I am certainly not an expert, but compared to several years ago I have learned to tell someone “no, I’m not up for that”. And it’s okay to cancel plans that I dread and it’s okay to not feel good and curl up in a blanket and take care of myself. I used to run myself ragged to make everyone around me happy…now, I assess who in my life deserves the effort, I make that effort as often as possible and as for the rest…well, I’ll be there…or I won’t. No apologies here.
  3. I’m brave and strong as shit. There was a time in my life when my illnesses would plague me and the world would seem like too much and I would settle down onto the floor in tears and decide that I must be one of the “weak” ones. And then one day, I risked absolutely everything to follow my heart and I endured every single heartbreak that followed only to find sheer bliss on the other end. Since then I’ve gone into health procedures and surgeries with a steadiness and determination some would envy and I’ve endured ailments (some that have lasted months) with strength and grace. The breakdowns that happened in between all of that bravery and determination weren’t/aren’t weakness, that was just me being human.
  4.  People will let you down, some of them will be the very last person you expect that behavior from (I would know, I’ve been that person). It’s life. You can waste your time being shocked, upset, heartbroken and uneasy or you can except that people are people and everyone does what they need to do to protect themselves. While I will only truly rely on and trust a handful of people in my life (you guys know who are are) I will always expect the best from people….but when their best isn’t available I will offer them the grace and the forgiveness I haven’t always been offered. Humanity is imperfect, we were designed that way. I’m not encouraging anyone to expect the letdown, the worst….just, when it happens, remind yourself that you’ve let people down too.
  5. Finally, it’s all on you. I have the most loving family – immediate, extended and those amazing people I acquired by marriage – and my husband is…just the most incredible human being and his son…my stepson….he hugs and kisses me every time he leaves the room. But, even with all of that, my happiness depends entirely on me. I could have all of the love in the world pouring into my heart and if I’m not taking care of myself than it won’t matter…it won’t penetrate….and what’s worse, the love I try to give back won’t stick. It will be forced, empty….floating around the room without landing on anyone that I actually care about.

To put it simply….reaching this point in my life has been an incredible journey and a gift that many don’t get. And I guess it makes me encouraged and excited about what each year will bring as far as wisdom and happiness. All I can say is, when I was a little girl and I imagined my life at 30 (which seemed very, very far away)…this life has completely exceeded all expectations and I’m grateful for that.

Here’s to 30! And here’s to hoping for another healthy & happy 30 years!

xoxo,Hayley