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What can I say? I'm almost thirty.

Each year for my birthday I try and find a way to celebrate. This particular year I was turning 23 and decided to celebrate at a karaoke bar. When I arrived with my friends there happened to be a guy who was celebrating his birthday as well. How exciting! I thought. So my friends and his are all sitting in the same area, singing songs with each other, and just really having a great night.

I remember his girlfriend talking to me and she asked, " How old are you turning?" And I replied saying that I was turning 23. She says, "Oh my gosh you’re such a baby! My boyfriend is turning 30." She went on to say how I’ll change so much by the time that I become 30. And in my mind, I'm thinking... "You’re making this up. Like I am WHO. I. AM."

(Karaoke with my birthday twin)

Those words did stick with me, however. Now that I am a month away from being 30 I know how true that statement was. I am so different from that young 23-year-old girl who thought she knew a thing or two. One of the biggest changes I have made personally in my life has been excepting who I am and being more confident.

I think that those two things happen at the same time. There’s not really a point where you grow confident without excepting your flaws as they are. Self-acceptance is so important when navigating through life. Everyone has their own expectations. Your family has their own, your friends have their own, and your romantic partners have their own expectations on how they see you and what they require from you.

To not lose yourself in everyone else’s ideas you have to know who you are, accept who you are, and know what is important to you as an individual. When I got to understand what was important to me I stop caring so much about what other people want. I like being seen but not always heard in a room full of people. I prefer to save my money and live a life more modest and mindful. I like self-help and sci-fi books and tv series. Yup, pretty much anything to help me be a better person or anything to keep my imagination active and away from overcritizing myself. I like to eat whole foods that are better for my body, even though I miss fried chicken tenders!

I gave up a lot of the timelines that I had set in my mind. That one was super hard. I had already modified one big one many times. I always thought I'd marry my high school sweetheart. That then turned into my college sweetheart. Then finally married by 25. At 27, I started to release that idea because it was made very clear I have no control on the day and time I'll meet Mr. Right. I didn't want to keep setting a new date and not reaching it. By doing that I freed myself up to just enjoy life without the extra pressure to have a ring on my finger... I currently rock a very pretty rainbow moonstone ring on my left ring finger.

Now I won’t say that every single day I just enjoy life. That's not true but I have way way way more good days. I am content and I still strive to reach new goals. I’m coming from a place of love and not from a place of self-hate, loathe, or lacking. I still get things very wrong and that’s OK. I forgive myself.

With self-acceptance, I say you start to trust your instincts and your intuition and that improves your quality of life. For me, if I feel super anxious about something then I don’t jump on it. I like to look back and reflect, " OK, what is making me feel this way?" Then I adjust and make a pivot if needed and if that pivot feels good then I go with it. Listening to your body is a part of self-acceptance. For my 29th birthday I bought myself a house. I typically get anxious when I buy new vehicles, but when I started the buying process for my home I felt at ease the entire time. Our bodies really do know us so well.

I was a baby at 23-years-old. You know what? I still feel like a baby at soon-to-be 30. I will add that I have real responsibilies, but there is still so much life left to live and so much that I still don't know. I think my 30s will be more curious than my 20s and I will do the work I need to with an open mind and heart unlike my 23-year-old self. I'll be sure to include you all on my journey.

Book I'm currently reading: Amari and the Night Brothers.

Candle burning in my livingroom: CONFIDENCE

Personal theme: Push.

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