Reflecting on my 30s
For so long I dreaded this upcoming birthday. I'll admit, I always thought 4o as old, midlife, when the fun stops, etc. But, as it quickly approaches, I'm realizing I am actually looking forward to it. Yes, FORWARD to it!!! Who would have thought?
One of the things I've vowed to do for the next 18 days, is reflect upon the impact of my experiences in my 30s. There were some exceptional highs, and debilitating lows. But, they all shaped me into the person I pretty proud of today. I thought I'd share a few with you, since it ultimately helps you to know me better. And who knows? Maybe they'll resonate with you.
I'll start with the lows, because everyone knows a good story ends with the positive. My 30s started with a bang.....literally. I was in a plane crash, that physically caused me a lot of pain, but also left me with PTSD. It took away my ability to travel the world, spread my wings, and fly. Yes, I'm sure you guessed. I was a flight attendant. It took almost a year of rehab to find my way back to the skies. I found so much courage during that time to persevere through pain, nightmares, and a loss of my identity. I wasn't used to being home, not being well paid, and not experiencing new things monthly. By far, this is my lowest low. There are other "small" things that happened in my 30s, but this particular incident shaped me into who I am today. I had to learn that my identity was no longer strapped to my job/profession. It was okay to not constantly be searching for something new and exciting.
So, this all leads me to the amazing things that have happened as a direct result of that one major incident in the start of my 30s. The big one, is that I met the love of my life. I never thought I'd get married, want to get married, settle down in one place, etc. I knew that having my own kids wasn't something I envisioned in my future. Therefore, I wasn't in a hurry to find my person. I would not have likely met him unless that plane crash happened. I wouldn't have been home to even had time to meet him, become friends, and eventually married. It took a very special person to help me find that way during that dark time, and I'm so grateful he was there as a friend when I wasn't sure life would get any better. Maybe one day I'll write more about this "love story," but that's enough sap for today! haha
Some of the other highs were living in Kailua, HI to Newport, RI and then back to my hometown of Williamsburg, VA. It all has seemed to come full circle. Along the way I not only met some amazing people who've helped me to grow to be a kinder, gentler, more confidant person, but old friendships have weathered storms of distance, miscommunication, and life. I've changed. I never thought I needed to, but I'm so grateful my 30s taught me that it is okay to change. It doesn't make you less of a person. It takes courage to recognize that you deserve personal growth. You deserve to be a better human being. You deserve kindness, love, and laughter. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled.
I know in the days to come, I'll be reminded of even more things that have shaped me, but today.....this is good enough. Anyone else reflecting on their youth, days gone by, or a decade (like myself)? I'd love to hear what kinds of highs and lows you experienced and how you've grown because of it. Thanks for reading, dear friends!