Turning 30 never seemed to be a “bad” thing until my last day as a 29 year old. Something about that morning hit me good and hard. It was “Enjoy your last day in your 20’s.” I’ve never been good at good-byes. This felt like one. Everything that’s happened in the last ten years was coming to a close, a new chapter was starting and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to have those memories, be memories.
Our 20’s is the first decade that we really control. It’s all up to us. Adventures, education, freedom. We learn, experience, grow so much. We even get better looking!
2004 – I was starting my Junior year at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved “Camp Champ”, the faculty, my friends, my education. I would go back in a heartbeat. It was a chance to make mistakes, make the right decisions and meet people that would forever change and be a part of my life.
December 2004 NYC
2005 – Brought adventure. I went on my first airplane trip, solo (to see Josh and Mere in D.C.). I even went to the Macy’s Day Parade and drove back to Northern Vermont with one my oldest friends.
2006 – The last year before going out into the real world. College graduation was underway but first it was fun, fun and so many laughs sometimes we couldn’t move. It’s absolutely amazing how people connect and become close friends. Years later, we have so many different and life changing experiences yet we are still so connected with memories.
Then, it seems as quickly as it started, it’s complete. We reached our goal. We graduated. To the best four years that we could’ve spent together.
2007 – I wasn’t yet ready to leave the great town of Burlington, Vermont (although it weighed on my mind). Take full advantage. Enjoy every view. Sit and watch the sunset with your best friends. When you live within walking distance to downtown, drink all night and carry your friends home (or have them carry you, it’s good to take turns). Laugh, laugh and laugh. 23 was one of the best years of my life.
2008 – Wow. Did my life changed in 2008. It was time. Time to explore a new place. My original thoughts of moving to Colorado (primarily because I couldn’t leave my fresh runs snowboarding on Saturday mornings) quickly changed to Texas (where there’s not even any mountains in sight). I packed up my car and moved 2,000 miles without a job. Who does that?! Leaving behind my “Cheers”, Tuesday Bluegrass nights where a table was always saved for Becky and I and they knew exactly what I was ordering – chicken strip platter with sweet potato fries, honey mustard sauce and a Switchback. It was a sad day my last Tuesday.
And my little brother graduated college!
2009 – This was the beginning of the run of weddings. It’s pretty special to grow up with the same group of people. Get together’s feel more like family reunions where a beat hasn’t been skipped. These are the people you want in your life forever.
2010 – I’ve never seen mountains so big or trees so large. The world is full of treasures. We shouldn’t just go read about them, we should see them, smell them, feel them. They’ve molded us just as much as we’ve molded them.
2011 – I got to stand by my little brother when he got married, plus I got a sister.
2012 – I was granted the best gift, a niece. Followed up by being her God-Mother. This perfect little girl constantly makes me laugh and puts a smile on my face. Can it really get better than this?
2013 – …then it did. Niece times two. Complete opposites but they’re the absolute best. I can’t remember what we all did before them. I’m fairly certain that my brother did this on purpose. I use to win at every game we played before they were born, now I’m distracted as soon as they come in the room and he wins. I get it and I’m perfectly fine with it. Just don’t tell him.
2014 – Here we are at 30.
If you asked me at 18 where I’d be at now, I would’ve told you graduated from college, married, at least one baby with maybe another on the way. Even funnier, at 23 I would’ve said I’d be married to my bluegrass playing husband, living in the mountains of Virginia expecting a total of four children all with crazy, uncommon names (this hasn’t changed, they’re still going to get crazy, uncommon names).
In reality, I’m turning 30. I’m single, living in Texas and still hoping that husband is still in my future with our oddly named children. I now know that it’s not meant to be rushed, it’ll happen when the time is right.
I’ve met countless people that have forever changed my life. I still have some of the same friends that I’ve had since I was five, college friends who are like family that live across the country and new friends that I couldn’t imagine living without. That one person could change your life forever – right Heather? I wouldn’t have the memories of the last six years if it wasn’t for you (or should I say your dad?). Who knew the first day of English class freshman year would have such a big impact.
Life is unpredictable. No matter how much you dream, plan and prepare, I’m not sure that it ever comes out just as one may think. It wouldn’t be so much fun if there wasn’t a curve along the way. If you hit a guardrail, it’s to make sure you’re paying attention. God has a plan all on his own. Sometimes, he even comes back full circle to make sure you see how we’re all connected.
So, here’s to 30. Here’s to the past ten years that’s helped to mold me into the woman that I am today. The people, the travels, the experiences and the memories. I came into my 20’s a college student with little knowledge about what the next ten would bring. I leave a stronger woman more prepared for the ride of what may come along the way. Although I’m a little sad to be leaving my 20’s, it’s because for the most part they were pretty wicked awesome. Here’s to new adventures, loves, friends, travel, memories and making the most of every moment of our lives. Here’s to making 30 look good.