Dirty Thirty

Last week I entered a new decade. Turning thirty wasn’t as traumatic as I had always imagined it would be. In fact, it felt like a natural transition– I was ready to look back on my twenties with gratitude and gracefully step away from them.

My twenties were fun, really fun! They were full of self-discovery, scuba diving, near-death experiences, bottlenose dolphins, accidentally going on a date with a minor (he lied about his age and we only went to Taco Bell SO IT’S FINE OK), falling in love (not with the minor), several moves up and down the east coast, making new friends, losing old ones, gaining three nephews and two nieces, acquiring an anxiety disorder, conquering an anxiety disorder (over 6 years without a panic attack YAASSSS), getting diagnosed with ADHD (so much about the past 25 years now makes sense), getting married, adopting buying a labradoodle (that’s for you, adopt don’t shop vigilantes), being filmed for a documentary, buying a house, ruining the beautiful landscaping of our new house with my black thumb, becoming a Huffington Post contributor, graduating from college, and much more.

When I look back on where I was ten years ago, it seems incredible that so much has happened, yet I don’t feel that much older. Wiser? Yes. But older, not so much. It also seems incredible that I successfully survived my twenties. Ten years ago (almost to the day), I was on a week long vacation in Mexico with a complete stranger (it’s a long story) and thankfully he turned out to not be a murderer. In fact, we’re still friends. Hey, Derek! Hats off to you, thanks for not being murder-ey.


Derek and I met three days before this photo was taken and then flew to Mexico together to go scuba diving in underwater, pitch black caves. Twenty-year olds make GREAT life choices.

The past ten years have been full of learning experiences. Steps forward, leaps backward, and licking my wounds before crawling forward again. They have been full of anger and frustration and learning to forgive. And learning to forgive those who aren’t sorry. And learning to forgive myself. They have also been full of more happiness and joy than I have ever experienced.

In the past ten years I have changed in both my political and religious views. I have changed the way I eat, take care of myself, and operate in general. I have gone from not knowing how to cook anything other than grilled cheese to cooking every single day and owning so many cooking appliances that they can barely be contained in my kitchen. A lot has changed, and all for the better.

At twenty, I had no idea what I wanted to be “when I grew up”, but knew I wanted to have three kids by the time I turned thirty. At thirty, I have my dream job and zero kids. When you’re twenty, thirty seems so old. I couldn’t imagine not having kids by that point. At thirty, I still feel so young. If it weren’t for the whole “biological clock” thing, I’d probably wait to have kids for another 15-20 years to see what kind of mischief I could get into before having the added responsibility of keeping little humans alive.

Turning thirty was significant for a lot of reasons, but I feel especially grateful for my health, my family, and overall contentment. One of my favorite quotes has always been, “The trick in life isn’t getting what you want. It’s wanting it after you get it.” I wake up every day still desperately wanting and appreciating everything I currently have. Even the hard stuff I want because all the hard stuff in the past ten years has helped me gain new and needed perspective. Every day I wake up next to a man who puts up with my sleepwalking, terrible jokes, heinous singing, messy lifestyle, impulsiveness, and overall terribleness and in return he makes me laugh harder than anyone else I know, loves me unconditionally, and massages my legs, back, and arms constantly. As a 20-year old who lost interest in people, places, and things after about 90 days, 30-year old me feels extremely happy to live in a city I don’t want to leave with a man who I’ll never stop loving.


So, here’s to the next ten years. I hope they are filled with just as much weirdness, surprises, laughs, and perspective shifts.


4 thoughts on “Dirty Thirty

  1. I haven’t read your posts in awhile so went to your site and just read this — 😍 LOVE IT!!! Being 30 yeas older than you, we will both reach major milestones together. So incredibly proud of the thoughtful, caring, sensitive and loving woman you have become! I love you Cookie!! Dad

  2. Good for you! I’m soon to be 35 now and it doesn’t seem real. I spent my 20s married with children and now that they are getting older and I’m divorced, I’m getting the freedom I had missed. Life is so unpredictable. We have no idea what’s around the next corner and that makes it such an adventure. You’re going to love your 30s. Especially with your positive, infectious attitude.

  3. I seriously could’ve wrote this post. I am 31 but entered my 30’s with the same gusto and left my 20’s with many shared experiences. It’s nice to wake up grateful for where we are, eh?

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