Obviously, it’s no longer Thursday. I wanted to post this yesterday, but I didn’t really have all my ducks in a row yet. Yesterday was my 30th birthday! I had mixed feelings about this birthday- the first being that I remember being younger in high school and college and thinking 30 is so old! And now i’m one of them… yuck! On the flip side… when I think about it.. I’m in a really good place in my life right now. I have a good job, making good money. I’m married and we own a home. No kids yet.. but that will roll around in the next few years. I wouldn’t trade where I am for being 25, 22, or even 18 again. So in that sense, I’m embracing the start of my 30’s. I know that the next few years will hold some pretty awesome stuff.. and I’m so glad to finally be in life where I want to be.. for now at least 🙂
I don’t exactly have 30 birthday pictures.. but I do have some! Here’s what I got.. and a little advise to my younger self. I don’t have much advise I can give to my youngest ages- being as that I only did what we as babies and kids usually do.. and unfortunately I don’t have access to other photos that I know I have.. but maybe I’ll find them and update this post once I do. also- sorry for the quality of some of these pics.. they are quite old after all :-p
Dear 1, 2, and 3-year-old self: Just keep being as sweet and as cute as you are.
Dear 5-year-old self:
You’ll start Kindergarten in a few months! Make sure you pay attention to the teacher and make friends with the other kids. Playing Kitchen will be your favorite. Make sure you help clean up.. sometimes when you think no one is watching.. you’ll still get rewarded. Don’t be afraid to sit closer to the front of the carpet.. even though you like the back better. Also know that sometimes you’ll get in trouble for things you had no part in… life’s not fair, best take it as it comes.
Dear 6 year old self:
Be nice to your sister! She is pretty much your best friend. You will have a new little sister soon, and I know you’re excited! But not everyone needs to hear about it all the time.. calm down! Don’t let rejection stop you from trying new things. Listen to your mom’s advise- she is one smart lady! When she tells you not to run down the big hill because you will fall… don’t try to prove her wrong! When she tells you that inviting the mean girl at school to your party doesn’t mean she will like or be nice to you.. listen to that too. Keep playing out side and using your fantastic imagination… but maybe just stick to your yard.. I don’t think the neighbor likes it when you play on his patio.. even if it makes a great pretend pirate ship! And maybe ease up on the Little Mermaid a bit.. Grandma doesn’t want to watch it for the 4th time in one day.
Dear 12 year old self:
Your first year in middle school has been interesting to say the least. Those 8th graders are so big and scarey, but don’t let them intimidate you. Try to be a little more outgoing and make some new friends. Some of the friends you’ll make this year and next year will be ones that will stick around always.. others not so much. Embrace growing up just a little… even though others around you haven’t gotten there yet. You have pretty much always been self conscious of yourself.. and it starts to get worse over the years. Try not to let things get to you so much. Everyone looks back at this awkward time in their lives and wondered what happened lol. ALSO… make Mom take you shopping.. seriously the wardrobe is severely lacking.
Dear 14 year old self:
Your sister is kinda annoying with her new found sense of style. The hair clips.. the funky clothes.. The Spice Girls.. (YES.. it IS OK to make her take that song off repeat!) But maybe you should embrace some of it, and let her show you how do fix your hair (It’s pretty bad!) Also.. binge eating will only make you feel worse about yourself, not better. Your weight at this point is really getting you down. Unfortunately, this is something you are always going to struggle with. Don’t pay too much attention to Mom.. she only means well. Hang in there! There are so many things about you that make you, YOU.. not just the weight. You discovered this year that you really like and are good at science! But definitely pay attention when the teacher says the answers are on the internet.. (and MAKE your dad give you access for the sake of homework!) Don’t worry about silly boy crushes.. they never come to fruition (and it’s better that way, trust me.) OH.. and for the first time you will learn of a scary word called cancer.. please cherish all the time you have with Grandma.. every minute.
Dear 16-year-old self:
By now you’ve learned your lesson- people don’t come to birthday parties near Mother’s day or prom season. But real friends will celebrate with you anyways. You’ll be working soon.. and get a taste of what it’s like to be a grown-up.. but being 16 means you still have on “training wheels” when it comes to life. Don’t rush it.. embrace it 🙂 Again.. try to be more outgoing and make new friends at your job.. you’ll be hanging out with some of these people for a while.
Dear 17-year-old self
That boy you’re head over heels for.. is going to play a huge significant role in your life. You will find out how much you can really love someone. Be kind and patient- don’t be controlling or overbearing. Love can only last so long when you employ those tactics. But also know that everything happens for a reason.. and you are meant to follow this path. Enjoy all the happiness that comes with it and embrace your new experiences. Also- be happy and celebrate other people’s accomplishments.. don’t criticize your friends.. or it will most definitely back fire. You are also feeling pretty good about yourself these days.. and you should- you’ve lost 35 lbs! But Atkins can only take you so far.. exercise is not the enemy! Try a workout or two.. you’ll love it, I promise! 🙂
Dear 21-year-old self
You’ve gone through a lot this year.. and you’ll go through a lot still. You’ve found wonderful new friends, and have worked really REALLY hard at school lately. You know enough that you have to work hard to earn your way. Keep at it! The reward is just around the corner! You should probably do that internship.. even though you don’t really know how it works. BUT not doing it is ok too.. just know that it will make it harder for you in the long run. Your self esteem is starting to take a nose dive as the weight starts coming on again. You should cook more often and rely on packaged and processed foods less. And lay off the school food.. nothing good there (yes even the chicken noodle soup!) I know you’re curious about the gym at school too.. you should try it! Lastly, a clean home is a happy home.. yes even if you are a college student.. might wanna work on that.
Dear 22 year old self:
You are going to experience some of the worst pain you’ve ever gone through in your life this year. You will have up days and down days. You will have tears and anger. You MAY drink a bottle of champagne on New Years and cry yourself to sleep. You may even question your existence. You won’t know it now.. but everything you go through will change who you are forever… and for the better. You will grow and learn, and you will be come stronger and wiser. You will learn that sometimes the most important people in your life may not consider you the most important person in theirs. You will learn that some things are not worth holding on to. You will eventually embrace this change.. but take it slow and always follow your intuition. People make mistakes.. but it will be a big hurt to your pride and dignity to learn that. Also- know that you have to play the game to move forward.. it will not work any other way. Things will get better.. SO much better in fact.. hang in there! *hugs*
Dear 24 year old self:
I know you just lost your job in VA (and a dear friendship,) but you are going to have such a great year! By now, you have already found out that you are being offered that great new job on the Army base a few miles from where you live (No more 2 hour commutes!!).. this is why you are especially happy in the picture. You will also meet someone very special by the end of September. Everything you’ve gone through in the past few years, has set you up for what’s coming your way. (I told you everything would be alright!) After a few years of dabbling in the world of fitness.. you’ve finally made strides in your healthy lifestyle. By now you are kicking yourself for NOT using the gym at school.. and how silly you felt for not even considering it. Keep going! You are not only losing the weight and building your self esteem.. but you are going to do things you never would have ever dreamed possible! Thank you for finally working on yourself, and setting up for a great and healthy future!
Dear mid to late 20’s self:
You’ve had quite a run! (literally and figuratively!) You have realized the man you met in 2008 was the love of your life.. and in 2012 he will ask you to be his forever (and you’ll seal the deal in fall 2013!) You will have gone through a program change at work.. and finally be offered a job as a government employee. You will have several promotions over the years (and a few setbacks) but you WILL finally make it to where you want to be. You have learned the power of the runner’s high- and how that not only does great things for you personally.. but allows you to do better for the common good as well. You have learned how good it feels to give and live charitably.. and give back to the community. You will make pretty awesome friends through running too.. it will definitely change your life. All the worrying about money in your early 20’s will prove to be for nothing. (Just like Mom said!.. I told you to listen to her!) Everything you’ve worried about as a kid.. a teenager.. a young adult, are no longer problems in your life right now. This is important, mid-to-late 20’s.. because knowing that life always moves forward and that things change.. for the better and worse.. that today’s problems will be solved and new problems will form.. that life is fluid- beautiful, ugly, happy and sad all at once- this you will carry with you into your 30’s and beyond. It will only get better from here.. and every decade after!
Dear 30 year old self: Let’s rock this decade!
And.. um.. yeah.. maybe go with the cake instead of the pie.. didn’t quite taste as you expected.