Yesterday, I turned 30 years old.

Years ago, 30 seemed like a number to dread. I thought it would feel like the end of my ‘youth’ and the beginning of ‘middle age’ instead of a number to celebrate, yet when it actually came, what I felt was excitement. Excitement for what the next decade will hold: watching my son grow up, hopefully expanding our family, finding our dream home. I am excited for the parts of the world we’ll explore and the everyday adventures we’ll have as a family. I’m excited to continue to walk hand-in-hand with my husband as our relationship continues to strengthen each year. I’m excited to see where life takes us.

One of my close friends asked me yesterday what my “pow” and my “wow” were from this past year of my life. I hadn’t heard of this question before, but she said a “pow” is something that was difficult or sad (a lowlight) and a “wow” is something you’re really happy about or proud of (a highlight). At first my obvious “wow” was giving birth to LJ. Motherhood has changed my life in innumerable ways and I can’t imagine life without my son. After that though, I spent some time thinking about what else I was proud of over the past year and what kept coming back to me was how much I’ve grown to just accept myself. A huge part of my 20’s were spent worrying about what others think of me. I was so driven by my perfectionist tendencies, I wanted to be well liked by everyone and I clung to regrets and past mistakes to the point where it would suck so much joy out of my present days. I was self-conscious, insecure, and I spent so. much. energy. just trying trying trying to be everything to everyone.

I noticed a shift in this thinking after LJ was born. I started listening to the Happier podcast during his nap time and slowly I started implementing small things in my life to decrease my stress and increase my happiness. Through the podcast, I learned about The Four Tendencies and this opened a window into my understanding of myself and how I respond to expectations. This led to me actually taking The Four Tendencies online course when it was offered in the spring and I gained even further insight into myself and my relationships. I started following a few Instagram accounts that preach self-love and the importance of self-care, and I stopped following accounts that made me feel bad about myself. I began listening to other podcasts that inspire me in various aspects of my life: my belongings, my time, my relationships, etc.

All of these things took place little by little over the course of a year and I didn’t think much of them individually at the time, but as 30 approached and I realized I wasn’t dreading this birthday but was actually excited about it, I discovered that all of these little things added up to one big thing: self-acceptance. I’m excited about 30 because I like who I am at 30. I like thinking of what this decade will hold because I like who I am in this decade. This past year, I have learned a lot about myself, I have challenged myself, and I have grown in ways I wouldn’ t have predicted. I have come to accept that there is no shame in my wife/mom game – I do what I believe is best for my son and my family and that isn’t going to look the same for anyone else. I am happy with my body – it carried a human for nine months and won’t ever look like it did at 24 but gosh dang I am so thankful for it. I am happy with myself – I have flaws but I also have strengths and I am learning to let go of the little things that don’t matter so I can focus on what does.

So bring it on, 30. I am so ready for you!

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