Today, I am thirty years old.
It’s one of those momentous occasions where I have an opportunity to look back and see if I am where I thought I would be on this day.
When I was in 5th grade, I was positively certain that:
- I would be a teacher when I grew up.
- I would never drive a car; I wanted to ride a bike everywhere.
- I would be a stay-at-home mom after I was done being a teacher.
- I would live in the same house I grew up in… forever.
- Jennie and I would always be the best of friends.
- Boys were icky. I was too smart to get married.
- Eating a box of macaroni and cheese twice a day was healthy.
By the time I made it to college, I was pretty sure that:
- I would focus on my career instead of boys, and land a great job.
- I wouldn’t stay in Arizona after college.
- I didn’t have what it took to get good grades.
- I might possibly have a baby before I graduated, and upset my father.
- I would never have enough vacation time or money to travel.
- A house was something on my dream list that I might never attain.
- After my bachelor’s I was done, done, DONE with school.
Now that I know what I know, and know that I actually don’t know squat yet, I would tell my younger self:
- Never give up! Just because someone else doesn’t believe in you, it does not mean you can’t believe in yourself and reach your personal goals.
- Relax; things will all work out in the end. Just keep working your tail off.
- Live life now, and pay back the debt later. You’ll always regret selling those AC/DC tickets.
- You’ll never be done learning, so don’t set your goals around graduation day. Use education as an adventure instead of a duty.
- There will always be more work to do tomorrow. You don’t have to finish it all today.
- Friends change, but family stays with you forever.
- Don’t worry, you can’t get pregnant anyway. =)
Okay, maybe that last one was a good thing to have eluded me for so many years… I never envisioned myself having a great job, a 24-mile commute, married to a wonderful man and eating cashew salmon with steamed broccoli with him for dinner on an average Sunday night. The idea that I’ve been to almost 100 concerts simply floors me.
If someone had told me at age ten that on my 30th birthday I would be a quarter of the way through a Master’s program in Information Management at Arizona State, I’d have jumped up and down and squealed for joy! “Me? A Master’s student? Like, no way dude!”
I never imagined that I would have the chance to travel extensively around the USA – let alone the entire world. As an experiment, I used Google Maps to pinpoint all the cities I’ve been to in my life. Places like Las Vegas, the United Kingdom, Hawaii, Seattle, Mexico… The list goes on, and the results are staggering. I can’t believe how many places I’ve been to, and I feel like I’m just getting started! I’ve been in private aircraft flightseeing in Arizona, Washington and Hawaii. For crying out loud, I’ve been to Stonehenge! Simply amazing.
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For thirty years, I’ve led a blessed life. I’m so lucky to be where I am, to have what I have, and to be healthy and loved. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by people whom I love so much
Not only do I have my own family with my Dad, Karen and Noah, Kathleen, Joe and the kids and my own Mom, but I have a wonderful husband, his Mom, Dad and sister, and a new brother-in-law on the way. I even have four kitties and a beautiful, safe place to call home.
This is one birthday that I am truly thankful for.
I couldn’t ask for anything more!
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