It’s so hard for me to believe that it’s been a full year since my extraordinary 30th birthday surprise in Las Vegas! But here we are, another year around the sun for me and I’m feeling more grateful than ever for life, health, and this amazing community. In an effort to commemorate 30 years (what? how?), I decided it would be kind of fun to reflect back on my 30th year (and maybe a few memories before then…). In all honesty, this might turn out to be a brain dump, but when I look back on this blog one day, I’ll know exactly where my head was as I turned the page on 31. Let’s do this…
Birthday Reflections On 30 Years As I Turn 31
Turning 31 really feels like turning the page into adulthood to me and I can’t really pinpoint why. Maybe it’s because it officially means I’m in my 30s, which growing up felt “really old”(HA!). I also feel a bit like I’m shedding the version of myself I thought I would be by now. Does that make sense?
I think growing up we all have expectations or timelines in our heads of where we will be, what we will be doing, how our life will look, and on and on…But my life really doesn’t look at all how I envisioned it might. For what it’s worth — I’m very okay with that and the happiest I’ve ever been — but I do think that we go through a period where we compare our real life to the life we thought we had planned for ourselves. There was a time in my life when I truly believed I would work in sports forever and could not see any way around that. Life is funny that way!
My 30th year was packed with some incredible memories. I’ve always felt a little bit like a birthday at the beginning of January truly meant that 1. the holiday season extended to when my birthday hit and 2. I was starting a fresh year with a new birthday, so it meant a fully clean slate. I am weird like that, I guess.
30 held lots of travel — Morocco, Utah, Pennsylvania, Kenya and several inter-island trips. Professionally, I secured bylines in magazines I respect and love, wrote a ton of new content, and worked to improve myself in areas where I sometimes fall short (see also: my very messy desk). I met fitness goals, carved out a nightly routine with Dane that helps us connect and grow in our marriage and continued to love my dogs to the moon (and back).
30 also held some times where, looking back, I was probably a little too hard on myself. Times where I cried, where I failed, where I wasn’t 100% present. All of this to say – in my 30th year, I was human.
Random Birthday Memories From The Past
1. When I turned 16 was right around the time that show on MTVV “My Super Sweet 16” was getting popular. I had it in my head that I wanted to throw an insane party and instead of laughing me right out of the room, my parents rented a room and let me plan a party on a budget. The theme was the color pink and I still remember it as one of my best birthdays!
2. My mom has always been an extraordinary baker and one year she made me a 12 layer red velvet cake since my birthday is on the 12th. On the top, she had done bright pink spun sugar designs that stuck straight up out of the cake. It was the COOLEST. (Phone photos have come a long way!)
3. I know I mentioned it above, but my surprise birthday in Vegas was just…insane. To look around a room and see all the people I care about, who had flown from every corner of the country to celebrate me…well, there is nothing to feel except abundantly loved. It was, without a doubt, one of the best weekends of my life.
As I sit here, turning 31 on a quiet Sunday in Hawaii, I can’t help but feel completely at peace and ready for this new year ahead, more grateful than ever for the chance to be here, living. What more can you ask for in life?