I’m turning thirty on Tuesday. THIRTY. How did that happen?
I can still think back to being 20 and 21, thinking how far away turning 30 felt. I thought I would be a full-fledged adult by then (what does that even mean?!)
Birthdays are funny. When we are little, each passing year seems so monumental and celebrated with such vigor.
Once we hit age ten, we are celebrating double digits! We look forward to becoming a teenager at age 13… getting our driver’s permit at age 16… getting our license at age 17… being able to vote at age 18… have a cocktail (legally) at age 21. Oh and when we can finally rent a car at age 25, although I never found that one to be too exciting.
Then a sort of transition happens where we no longer crave the new number and celebrate the milestones in the same fashion. We say that we’re celebrating our fourth annual 21st birthday… or we’re 29 again. We go from anticipating that next year to wanting to hide it or brush it off as no big deal.
Since losing my dad, my birthday has become rather bittersweet. He was very ill on my 28th birthday, so much so that he wasn’t fully aware that it was my birthday. I so badly wanted to skip that day altogether and pretend it never happened. Last year on my 29th birthday, the first year without my dad, I still didn’t feel all that celebratory.
As I approach my 30th birthday in a few days, this milestone still feels bittersweet. I never would have imagined this big birthday without my dad by my side. But… I also am beginning to view birthday celebrations a bit differently (and life in general).
Each year should be celebrated and treasured. We have more wisdom, more adventures under our belt, and more lessons learned. How lucky are we to be able to celebrate our birthday when so many no longer can?
So here goes… to my twenties: you really packed a lot into a decade.
I had my first love, my first heartbreak. Spoiler alert: I survived.
I graduated from Duquesne alongside some of the best girlfriends I could’ve hoped for.
I ran my first half marathon, going on to run four more, most importantly… one with my dad by my side.
I traveled and traveled and traveled some more. To new countries, new states and with new friends.
I got a few tattoos.
I got my first “big girl job.” I also quit said job eleven months later for a job across the country.
I moved to Arizona, where I knew absolutely no one. To this day, this is one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself.
I landed my first dream job. I flew 80,000 miles all over the country and crossed eleven states off of my list.
I took my first solo trip and explored a new city by myself. I highly recommend doing this, by the way.
I said goodbye to the most important man in my life and experienced the most painful grief.
I learned in the hardest way possible that life is fleeting and nothing lasts forever.
I said goodbye to my childhood home.
I took the leap and started “Hire a Lindsay” and began to work for myself full time, something my dad always envisioned for me.
I’ve heard that your twenties are a bit like a rollercoaster. Mine felt more like an upside down corkscrew where I wanted to throw up several times. But I am excited to say goodbye to this chapter. My twenties were about exploring and learning… about me. My twenties were fun, hurt like hell, and full of immeasurable growth. My twenties feel complete.
As I enter this new decade, I have a new sense of self. A feeling of confidence. A feeling of great strength and possibility. I know what I like, what I stand for, and what I believe. Not everyone agrees with me and I feel good about accepting that. I’ve found my voice.
As I say goodbye to my twenties and welcome in my thirties, I know that there are more adventures and more lessons ahead. I know my dad will be cheering me on from above and guiding me as best he can, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
P.S. Marie Forleo is the one who first gave me the idea to do this decade in review.
I knew that A LOT had happened in the last ten years, but I needed to refresh my memory a bit. I don’t keep a journal, so I turned to my Instagram account (@lindsaykpalmer). I started with the first post and began to scroll. In came a flood of memories, emotions, and reminders of experiences. There was so much gratitude in being able to relive the highlights.
Whether you are gearing up for a big birthday or not, I’d encourage you to do a decade in review as well.
What’s been one of the most important things that’s happened to you in the past decade? I’d love to know.