Holy crap, guys. I turned 30 years old today. All that keeps popping into my mind is the episode of Friends where they all turn 30.
We see how each of the friends spends their birthday. Rachel refuses to process it, Monica gets plastered, Ross buys an expensive car, Joey has a meltdown at God (despite them making a deal), Chandler is seemingly fine (but Joey is not), and Phoebe has a list.
A list you say
Phoebe has a list of all the things she wished to have done by the time she turned 30. That seems to ring closest to home. I do not necessarily have a list but there were definite things that I wanted to have accomplished by the time I turned 30. Some I have, some I have not. I think that has been part of the journey. I can accept that there are things I am still chasing, and this is okay!
SO, I have instead chosen to look at turn thirty in this light. I have to decided to list 30 things that I have learned about myself. The past 1.5 years have been ones of serious self reflection. So, on that note. Here we go:
What I have learned
- Even though I am no longer a teacher, that I am a good teacher.
2. Despite my younger self thinking she was a Gryffindor, it is confirmed that I am a Ravenclaw.
3. I have learned that I am a more emotional person than I thought. Examples: crying when seeing the Coliseum for the first time and a statue in the Vatican.
4. I cannot say no to an animal in need. Especially cats. They seem to find me.
5. I am brave. I left my whole life in Canada and moved to a place where the only person I knew was Josh.
6. I have soundly decided that Neil Gaiman is my favorite author.
7. Despite being against marriage, I found someone that makes it fun. It has made me a better person.
8. I really like pink. It was not my favorite as a kid but is certainly one of my favorites now. So much so, that my wedding dress was blush.
9. I am a hard worker. I worked my ass off and in 7 years earned my Bachelor of Arts and my Master of Arts. My M.A. being from a top 25 school in the world. I also graduated my M.A. with a 4.0 GPA (Did I mention, Ravenclaw?).
10. I am good at photography and baking! It took me a long time to realize what my skills were, outside of academia. I am a creative, and I have found ways to use that aspect of myself.
11. I am strong as hell. I don’t mean that in the physical “Hey, look how much I can lift” but I can overcome obstacles. Dealing with a traumatic brain injury going on 15 months has taught me that I can endure and I can survive.
12. I love to travel. As a kid, we weren’t rolling in money so, I did not really start exploring until I was an adult. I was always drawn to Italy and it is confirmed that it is my favorite place in the world.
13. I love food. Pretty much all food (I even love food with gluten in it, I just don’t eat it). My favorite thing is to discover new food.
14. It is okay to be vulnerable! It is okay to ask for help. It is actually a great thing.
15. That you can jump into something new at any age. Like switching careers when you are turning 30.
16. Grief is the worst. It can (and does still for me sometimes) consume you. I was lucky that I had never lost anyone that I was truly close to until I was 28 years old but the person I lost was one of the most valued in my life. I now know that I take her with me wherever I go. Everything she taught me and everything I love about the relationship my grandmother and I shared is part of me. To be clear- I miss her like crazy and wish she could see all the changes in my life!
17. Patience. Something that I am still (and will be working on) until the day I die. Knowing that it is okay to take a breath before you respond and compose yourself. The results can be incredible when you do.
18. Knowing not to rush. When comparing myself to much of the world, I would still likely I be considered young when I was married. I was 26, a few months shy of 27. However, I took the time to get to know my now husband. We met when I was 19 and did not start dating until I was 23. We took our time and that was a wonderful thing because I really feel that I knew the person I married. By the way, he is a babe (despite the fact that he is 100% without a doubt a Slytherin).
19. It is OKAY to say no. One of the first words that children learn is no and they use it like it is going out of style. We tend to lose that ability as we age and sometimes it is for a good reason, but, sometimes we sacrifice ourselves. However, I have come to a place where I can say “hey, I simply don’t want to do that” and you know what? That is fine.
20. You need to be able to let things go. In this post concussive life I live, I have had many therapy sessions and it is apparent that I often lack the ability to live and let live. It is proven that if you are able to move past things, life is just naturally easier. Take the time to be a bit more zen. Whatever that looks like for you.
21. Nerds rule! Despite what every single television show and comedic film tried to tell me growing up, nerds are 100% where it is at. Let your nerd flag fly people.
22. Find your tribe. You can have a few different tribes if you feel you wear different hats but honestly, find your people. This is not to say that you won’t ever have issues between yourself and these people but you are much more likely to work things out and still hug it out in the end. Find. Your. People.
23. To date, the best birthdays I have had have been my 16th, 18th, and 29th birthdays. On my 16th birthday we went to Disney World for the first time. My 18th we had Mexican food at my fave restaurant which you can read all about here. Lastly, on the 29th I was at Potter World. Which you can read here. I think 30 will make the list of bests though, as I head back to the Disney for the first time since my 16th birthday.
24. My favorite seasons are a straight up tie between Spring and Fall. As a kid, I always thought it was summer. Montreal summers are basically now my spring. Summer in Richmond is the absolute worst.
25. Despite my very best efforts, I still and will forever hate bananas. Josh will continue to use them, and I will always make this face when I smell them.
26. You need to find what makes you happy and then make time for that thing. If it is going for a walk, taking a bath, baking, watching a tv show, self love guys. Salem likes going for walks. Everyone needs self love and care.
27. Invest in yourself. This year I am taking part of a course (my first course since finishing my M.A.) and it is already helping me improve my craft. You are worth it.
28. Find a partner that knows your worth and values you as their equal. True partnerships have a level of friendship, respect, and love. Find a person that looks at you the same way as you do when your plate of food is arriving at a restaurant. With excitement, eagerness, and dig in. Your relationships are worth the time and effort with the people who know your worth.
29. Be brave!! I have talked about it on here before but being brave and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone feels so awkward at first but the results are often just magical.
30. Be open to change. Sometimes you will have no idea that it is coming for you and in what form it is going to arrive. We are often so resistant to change because we like the way things are. Try your best to accept the changes that show up in your life because it can be exactly what you need, even if you didn’t know that in the beginning.
I cannot wait to see what this next decade brings, I’ve got high hopes, like the song, and great expectations, like the book. The past 30 have been a hell of a ride thus far and it is only going to continue. I kept referring to this birthday as “Dirty Thirty” but honestly, it is just going to be great.
Love to you all.