Personal & Professional Development

On Turning 30

August 26, 2014
Burning Man 2011

I guess it’s only natural that on the night before you welcome a new decade you become pensive and a tad bit emotional.

I’m preparing to say goodbye to my 20’s and say hello to a beautiful, new decade tomorrow. I’m overcome with joy and gratitude and am on the brink of tears.

It’s remarkable when you sit down and really think about all the things you’ve done in ten years – the good, the bad and the oh so stupid.

In my 20’s I graduated from USC, where I made lifelong friends. I went through break ups. Many of them. I moved to a new city not knowing a single soul with my only companion at the time, my dog Joey. I worked as a TV anchor – a dream come true. I got fired for the first time in my life from said job. I recovered from being fired and landed a better job at another TV station. I had babies! Two of them! My friends had babies. My friends lost babies. I fell in love. My friends fell in love. I went to Burning Man three times. I got tattooed. Twice. I made new friends AS AN ADULT.

In my 29th year, I kept a running list of notable moments throughout my year. A habit I think I’ll maintain.

During the past 12 months I stepped outside of my comfort zone in many, many ways. It’s my life mantra and only resolution I make each year. I tried fitness training, took up aerial silks, tried my first (and only) spin class, completed my first ride (54 miles!), CrossFit and even pole fitness. I embraced and explored my passions including teaching workshops and a sewing class.

As I sit now and think about my 20’s, I realize just how truly wonderful they have been. Awkward? Yes. So many times. Uncomfortable? Duh. But mostly, spectacular.

What makes me tear up most is realizing that as I enter my 30’s I’ve started to learn some of life’s greatest lessons, one of which includes knowing this is just the beginning.

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I’ve learned that I’m worth it.

I’m deserving of so much love. It took me 30 years to not only believe this, but say it aloud. The quote that changed my life  more than a year ago is “we accept the love we think we deserve”. My decision to end a relationship of nearly seven years, and with a man who I loved so very dearly, has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I have chosen to spend many evenings completely alone in my home with so much time to think and doubt. I only see my darling daughters half the time. But as time passes I’ve come to truly, wholeheartedly believe I deserve an amazing love and I want my daughters to believe that for themselves as they grow into confident, compassionate women. Knowing I’m worth it has impacted the friendships I keep, relationships with family members, as well as the professional opportunities I pursue and accept.

On love. (Briefly).

I do believe the cliché is true – you have to know how to love yourself before you can love anyone else. But what I learned in my 20s is that I also need to know how to accept another person’s love.

I’ve learned to speak my truth.

Granted this was accomplished through a lot of therapy, but it has been incredibly healing and liberating. And let me be clear, this is an area of ongoing growth in my life. I’ve learned that if I speak my truth with kindness, I can’t go wrong. No one else is going to do it for me. I’m braver. I’m less afraid to say what I think – what I really think – and say no without feeling obligated to give an excuse. For the first time ever, I feel authentic. I don’t have to justify my feelings or convince myself they aren’t worthwhile. I matter and how I feel matters.

I’ve learned to love my body.

This one is hard. It’s easy to want to compare myself to other girls who are fitter or prettier, but gratitude can drastically change that. I may never have rock hard abs (that would require me to give up so much of what I love to eat), but I’ve grown to love my curves and lumps and wrinkles and even my damn pregnancy mustache. I’m so amazed that my body produced two healthy people. I’m eternally grateful my legs help me explore beautiful places on my mountain bike and bring me peace during quiet runs.

I’ve learned to live a life of intention.

Every day I have a choice. Many choices in fact. The attitude I choose to start my day. The tone and language I use when I talk to my daughters. And the subsequent decisions throughout the day that may or may not feed into my bigger goals. I need to constantly ask myself “is what I’m choosing to do now helping my goal of financial stability…. physical health… emotional well-being…” As Danielle LaPorte teaches in her book Desire Map, your desires or intentions can be redefined every year – or more often if necessary – and should address the overall goal of being happy. For me, this includes living a simple life, free of attachment to material possessions, because life should be made up of memories and not things.

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I’m okay with hanging out at 30+ bars. The kind that are still fun but quiet enough to actually have a conversation. Even if that means falling victim to the two-day hangover.

I’m okay being 10+ years older than that other girl at the gym.

I’m excited for you, 30.

And hey, you know who else is turning 30 this year? The Trebek era of Jeopardy!

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