Monday, February 16, 2015


I see a lot of bloggers make a big deal out of turning 30. They make lists of things they want to do beforehand; they may or may not do those things and they recap them after. I never made a list of what I wanted to do by 30 because I guess I never really saw the point. To me, I think it's more important to reflect on what you did and be grateful for the experiences you had instead of trying to check a bunch of things off a life to-do list.

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Though my birthday was last week, I want to share some memories that stand out from the last decade. It's always easier to see the turning points, the key life events and the little things you never thought would change you but did in hindsight. Some years have just pictures, while others require a little more explanation.

20 (2005)
20 is officially too far back for me to remember anything, alas.

21 (2006)
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I'm profoundly grateful to have experienced that trip. It was the first time in my entire life that I found a group of people who I didn't feel judged by and who I felt like I fit in with. It gave me a glimpse into the woman I could become: an independent woman who wasn't always angry at her life, who could take care of herself on her own and who had friends she could turn to when encouragement was needed.

22 (2007)
Formal schooling COMPLETE!

23 (2008)
Adjusting to real life post college was a struggle for me. I cried a lot. I felt confused. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. I went to work every day worried that I couldn't cut it or learn enough to keep up. If I had to pick a couple words to define this year of my life, I'd pick scared and timid.

24 (2009)
I dedicated most of this year to losing the weight once and for all. Then I finally achieved that something that I had been dreaming about since I was 16: I made my goal weight.

It was a double-edged sword however. I had stupidly believed that losing the weight would make me happy, would fix everything. It wasn't the end-all of solutions I'd thought it to be. It set the stage for the next year of my life, one of the most difficult years of all.

25 (2010)
Writing about 25 is difficult. I almost want to leave it out but it wouldn't do my wonderful husband any justice. Nor is life always happy and full of rainbows. This was the year in which I broke up with my then boyfriend of three years (not an easy decision) and then began dating Eric. Eric will tell you that my dating him was not an easy decision either. Breaking up with someone, who at that point had been one of my friends for five years, remains to this day one of the most difficult things that I've ever chosen to do. I was an emotional train wreck; I didn't know which way was up or which way was down. I ran too much, I ate too little. I looked like a ridiculous bobblehead but eventually I trusted in both decisions. I believed then, and have not a single doubt now, that they were the right ones for me.

26 (2011)
Ravenclaw represent!
26 was the year I took my very first vacation after graduating college. I had diligently spent the previous four years paying off the largest of my student loans so I finally had enough money (and PTO) to splurge on a real vacation. Eric came with me but I don't consider it our first vacation since I basically said I was going with or without him. Yeah, I was kind of a brat about it.

This was also the year that I traveled to Norway by myself for work.

27 (2012)
We went on our first real vacation together. You know, one where we decided on a destination together.
Oh, and we got engaged.

28 (2013)
This was a huge year.

Photo by Tara Lynn Sen

29 (2014)
This one was easy. Nothing more exciting happened this year than this:

She's what is going to make 30 one of my most memorable years ever!