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That time I turned 30

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

And met myself for the very first time.

Sometimes I wonder if it is too late to write about turning thirty. But, here we are so I guess I got over it. The year following my 30th birthday was one full of panic, sadness, and a ton of change (not real change - yeah, stay tuned for that story). I panicked because I wasn't the person I wanted to be nor was I doing the things I had promised myself I'd be doing. Worst of all, I wasn't even slightly motivated to change that. I had just spent four years working towards a dream that I suddenly realized I didn't even want anymore. And I was blank without it. So I convinced myself that the solution was to move. From New Jersey to Atlanta. That was the change that was going to get the ball rolling and give me an instant fix to a mediocre life, a mediocre job, a broken spirit, and dissatisfaction.

I was wrong.

“Moving doesn't change who you are. It only changes the view outside your window." - Girl Wash Your Face

Change needs to be deeper. Bigger. I learned that the hard way. Because now i'm hundreds of miles away from all of the people that made me feel loved, in a job that stresses me out relentlessly, spending my days off in bed alone. Don't get me wrong though, I don't regret moving here. I needed it. I needed to get away from all of the things I was using to distract me from getting to know myself. Is it hard? HELL YES. But it was and is still so necessary.

Let me be more clear though. Moving can definitely give you the space you need to focus on yourself, but it only works if you don't give up. Being lonely is just an opportunity to spend some time with you. Find your strengths, your weaknesses, and your motivations so you can build a life that actually fulfills you.

I have since realized that I need to change the pieces of the puzzle in order to change what the finished product looks like. The pieces of my puzzle include my career, my attitude (big one), and my great fear of commitment. There, I said it. I have a fear of commitment. Not just to relationships, but to everything. And I truthfully don't even think I realized it until someone pointed it out to me after reading my first blog post. I live in a mindset of "what if this doesn't work" and I only commit to experiences that I am 80% sure will end up in the way I foresee. This has left me with a pretty boring and dull life.

Worst of all, I am never really happy. That is the first time I have ever admitted to that. But the thing about happiness is that people can see it. They can feel it. And they don't need you to confess to its lack of residency to know it doesn't live inside you.

My personal brand of unhappiness tends to show itself in cynicism, sarcasm, and a wicked strong resting bitch face. I have convinced myself it is a "sense of humor", but honestly, it's just misery. I feed it by refusing to allow anything positive to enter my stratosphere. After all, how can we grow any type of happy if we never let even a seedling of it break the surface. Im telling you all of this because i'm hoping you haven't gotten here yet or if you're in the beginning stages - STOP IT! Don't become habitually miserable. It is a bitch and a half to overcome. It's really good at hiding, overstays its welcome, and (although it seems funny to people initially), it becomes exhausting to deal with on a regular basis.

If you have become so deep in it that you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am here to tell you there is hope. My hope has come to me in the people I call "my entourage" or "my tribe". It is amazing how the universe sends you the most perfect humans to hold your hand when you've become so far lost that it seems impossible to get back to good or even just okay. The thing i didn't tell you about when i turned thirty is that i had a getaway party. My sister and my bffs teamed up to create the getaway of my dreams.

I know what you're thinking... Europe! The Caribbean! A Cruise! Ya'll my dream destination when I turned thirty was PORTLAND, OREGON. Why? Because Portland, Oregon has the greatest craft beer culture in the country.

The best part is that nobody cared where it was ... THEY SHOWED UP.

There is so much light and so much hope in the simple act of showing up. Eleven amazing human beings, some with kids, some from Canada, and some hadn't seen in years - showed up. For me.

That time I turned thirty, I was given the greatest gift of all. Support and encouragement to do the thing that scared me most. Be alone. See myself, find myself, and take a moment to be away from stress that wasn't mine to carry. I was certain that running away was the answer to all of my problems. It wasn't my inability to accept myself. No. It was the way everyone always needed me. It was not having enough time to do anything for me. It was a bucket full of lies I was telling myself so that I didn't have to be accountable for my own happiness. Now, I just turned 32 and what I have realized is that being in the stress is a part of me. Whether I am in Atlanta or in the house two doors down, my heart is full when I can take care of people.

I put myself there where the people need me because I want to feel like I have helped or like I have somehow imparted great wisdom. I absolutely love when I can find solutions, not to my problems, but to anybody else's and maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it's time to embrace that I am a caretaker and a damn good one. I am a person who helps others find their peace, take a night off, get to the root of a problem, laugh, or bring light to an opposing perspective. Am I able to do all of these things for myself? Not always. But my joy comes in being the light for others. Not just mental health and wellness. Small tasks like fixing a cupboard, painting a roof, organizing a closet, finding the cheapest flight, or researching the best and most affordable toilet paper. This is it. This is what gives me joy. And so, I have figured out a little bit more about who I am and now it's time to figure out what I can do with it. Here goes nothin'.


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