I think I’ll take a moment celebrate my age
End of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years…
-Tim McGraw

Last month I turned 30. Thirty. Three- Zero. The Big Three Oh.

It didn’t hit me hard like people told me it would. I feel good. I do feel thirty though- which I would not have anticipated a few years ago. Twenty-five year old me would have sworn I’d still be the life of the party well into my thirties and beyond. But, not wanting to drink a lot, or stay out incredibly late, isn’t a bad thing. (Twenty-five year old me would probably disagree, but there is a lot that girl didn’t understand.)

I am in a unique position for a thirty year old woman. I have the freedom of being twenty, with the confidence and security of being thirty. Let me explain…

I have no commitments: no house, no husband, no children, no career, no stuff. Reading that sentence, without context, you may think I’ve got nothing to show for my twenties. Quite the contrary…

In my twenties I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, fell in and out of love, opened a successful hair salon, made money, spent money, made more money, and saved money. I moved 9 times, visited 14 countries and 19 states and took full advantage of living in Las Vegas. I stood beside my sister and my friends on their wedding days and helped them welcome and raise their babies. In my twenties I created myself, deconstructed myself, and recreated myself- more than once.

No House.

I moved away from home at 19 and never looked back. Since then I have lived with roommates, a boyfriend and on my own. I have bought more furniture, household appliances and home decor than I would like to admit. I came close to owning a house twice. Both times I had a panic attack and changed direction. I am not entirely sure why? Maybe because during the housing crisis of ’08 I saw people close to me, including my own mother, lose their homes? Or maybe I’ve always known, subconsciously, that I wanted to be a nomad? Who knows!? Whatever the reason, I am incredibly happy to be thirty and not tied to a particular location or a certain income!

No Husband. No Children.

I almost got married in my early twenties, but backed out. Getting a glimpse into what my life could have looked like as a wife and mother, and not liking what I saw, I am able to say, with confidence, I am glad I didn’t take that path. I may choose to go down a path that leads to those things in the future, and I may not. Whatever the future holds, I consider myself fortunate to be single and childless at thirty.

No Career.

I have two careers under my belt, teaching and hair styling. Even though I am not currently pursuing these careers in a traditional sense, setting myself up for them allows me to sustain the life I live. I teach English online most mornings and do hair in Las Vegas and Chicago when I visit. I don’t make a lot of money but I don’t need a lot of money.

You may be wondering what I do all day without a traditional career. Let me assure you- my days are filled with travel, adventures, quality time with friends and family, reading, writing, exercising, yoga, meditation and creating.

No Stuff.

I own virtually nothing. I do not own a home or a car. My wardrobe is limited and I sleep on whatever bed is provided for me by my host or hostel. At various points throughout my late teens and early twenties I owned three different cars and a king sized bed. My closet was overflowing with dresses, shoes and handbags and my kitchen counter was adorned with a beautiful bright orange KitchenAid mixer. One day, I realized all this stuff not only meant nothing to me, but was holding me back from who I really am. I got rid of everything! (I sold the Kitchenaid for $200, thanks Michele!) 

Freedom & Confidence.

So, like I said, I have the freedom of being twenty- I don’t have a real job or bills, I don’t have to answer to anyone and nothing is tying me down. But, I have the confidence and security that only comes from over a decade of adulting, networking, succeeding, failing, learning, working, saving money, taking risks, messing up, trying new things, going the wrong way, changing direction, acknowledging my privilege, and figuring it out in the end. I am comfortable in my own skin and confident in who I am.

At thirty, I have the freedom to go in whatever direction I choose with the confidence to take the first step and follow through!

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doin’ here in my next thirty years…
My next thirty years will be the best years of my life…
-Tim McGraw

Celebrating Thirty.

I celebrated my 30th birthday at The Chicago Diner, my favorite vegan restaurant, with my day ones. Everyone who joined me I have either known my whole life, their whole life, since I was a kid, or nearly a decade! #nonewfriends.

I absolutely loved spending my 28th birthday in L.A., writing and drinking champagne with a British girl I’d met that day. And spending my 29th in Hue, Vietnam walking around the Imperial City with a guy from Belgium and a girl from Spain who, you guessed it, I met that day. But to be surrounded by these life long friends and family was the perfect way to welcome 30!

"Meet free since '83."

“Meat free since ’83.”

30th Birthday Dinner!

30th Birthday Dinner!

Me and the boys… The little one on the far right, he was only one month old when I left for Vegas in 2008.

My girls

My girls.

You would have thought we were riding a roller coaster instead of the subway with how much fun this girl was having!

Judah Bear didn’t join us downtown, but I snagged a 30th Birthday picture with him before we left!

21 years of friendship right here <3

My Mama!

 

Subway Shenanigans on the L

It seems like just yesterday we were wasting the summer away playing The Sims.

She wasn’t able to join us downtown so we celebrated my birthday together a few days later at Sky High (one of those trampoline bounce house places.) I don’t think she was mad about it lol.