Trying to decide what to write for my first “personal” post has been...a challenge. Even as I am typing this, I have no idea what I am going to say. Should I write about starting my job? My friends? What I like to do in my spare time besides read? No, no, and no. Today, I shall write about turning 30.
I turn 30 in 51 days. I believe it is a milestone. Turning 25 is a milestone as you are now officially a quarter of a century old, but 30 is...different. I’m not sure why it’s a milestone, exactly, but it is. It’s also an age in which you start to reflect on the things you have done in your life. You question who you are, where your life is headed, and of course, the dreaded, will I have a husband and kids?
When I look back on my life, I feel pretty good about it. Is it anything close to what I thought it would be? Um, no. Are there things I wish I had done that I didn’t? Definitely. One of those things is French. I began taking French in elementary school just like everyone else and took a course in grade 9, again, like everyone else. Unlike my friends, I continued taking it until the end of grade 11. I was pretty decent at it, I learned it pretty well, but no one in my life spoke French and I eventually lost the interest and my knowledge. Now, at 29, I wish I had stuck with it. I wish I had taken it until the end of high school and continued taking it in post-secondary education. I now know a few people who speak French and here I am stuck with bonjour, au revoir, comment ca va?, ca va bien/mal/tres bien, and other basics like that. Learning French is very important to me and I am considering getting Rosetta Stone. I have heard great things about it and it is simple and easy to use. I’ll let you know what I decide ;).
Another thing that stands out when I look back on my life is that I lived in Calgary. I still find this hard to believe and have days that I wake up and my first thought is, “I used to live in Calgary.” I don’t know why this is so strange to me. I talked about moving to Calgary since I was a kid, so the fact that I followed through on it should not be a surprise, right? My time in Calgary was challenging and I was pretty homesick. I learned a great deal of things about myself while I was there, though. 1) Having a support system around is extremely important to me. 2) I am way more independent than I thought. 3) I can handle more than I thought. 4) I am actually a social person and make friends very easily. I was even told this past summer that I am a social butterfly!!! 5) It can be hard to make the best of a difficult situation, but in order to survive, that is what must be done. I made some really great friends when I was in Calgary and was able to experience some really great things. I fell in love with the mountains and I even fell in love with the plains. Even though I have been back in Ontario for 10+ months now there are still people I talk to from Calgary on a regular basis. They are pillars in my life and always will be.
My first time on the University of Calgary campus - September 2007
Trip to Lake Louise - December 2010
Primatology Field School, Belize - June 2010
The most recent thought in my mind has been “who am I?” I do not have all the answers to this question, and I probably never will, but going through the journey is half the battle, right? I have been making a lot of changes in my life in recent months and am happy to report that they are going well. It can be hard to find the positive in any situation, but that is what I have been trying to do. And I am succeedingJ. I am trying to be more mindful of the people in my life and help out in whatever way I can. I am making the best of the situation I am in and working toward changing it to be what I want. I am by no means a perfect person, I have made my fair share of mistakes in my life, but I am grateful for it all. If I had not made the mistakes I did, I would not be the person I am. I am sorry about the people I have hurt along the way. The mistakes I have made have been life-changing experiences, and I am not the type to make the same mistake twice. I am not going to sit here and list all of the bad things I have done, but I will say that I try not to live with regrets. I believe everything happens for a reason, and that reason may not be apparent at the time. At some point, though, understanding will come and we are able to see things differently. If I changed one mistake I made in my life, I would be a completely different person, in a completely different place. I am happy to be who I am, where I am, and going through the things I am going through.
I saw this on Facebook the other day and I wanted to share it:
“I know today is Monday and you assume it’s probably gonna suck balls, but according to statistics, there will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths, and 42 million hugs occurring today throughout the United States. Also today, there will be at least 4 people that win multi-million-dollar lotteries, 600 people who get a promotion at work, and 3,000 people who lose their virginity. There will also be 600 dogs adopted, 35,000 balloons sold, and 800,000 Skittles eaten. Plus, the words “I love you” will be said over 9 million times. So again, I know today is Monday and you assume it’s probably gonna suck, but just smile because according to statistics, it should actually be a really nice day.”
So, in looking back on my life, and looking ahead to turning 30, I can feel good about where my life is headed and hitting this next milestone. I am lucky to have the things that I have, the people I have in my life, and the cutest cats in the world. Who says I have to have kids by the time I’m 30? Who says I have to have kids at all? Or get married? I make the rules for my life and I make the plan. I can take a photography class, get my French back, maybe even learn how to play the piano. I still have plenty of time to do all the things I wish to do, but in the meantime, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I have turning 30 to thank for it.
Michelle, myself, and Claudia at my convocation - June 2012
Susan and I at Niagara Falls - July 2012
Jen and I at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory (no, I'm not naked! I'm wearing a strapless top haha) - September 2012