Sunday, May 15, 2011

30 Before 30

In a few days I will turn 30, yes age I once thought of as old but also a milestone. There were certain goals I wanted to accomplish in my life before 30, mainly goals I set in my 20s. While I never had a bucket list of things to cross off per say before I reached this birthday, I knew there were choices in my life I needed made to get me to where I wanted to be when I reached this age. But as they say, life is what happens while you are busy making plans. So, of course, not everything happened in the way I wanted it too but it happened exactly how it was supposed too. And so looking back on these years I decided to make a list of everything I considered an accomplishment that I achieved in these past 10 years. I chose to focus on the happenings of my 20s because I think this is where I first realized I had control over my future. As opposed to life before my college years when I was living under my parents roof without an income. So here's my list in no particular order other than how I remember these things:

1. Graduated college - in 4 years with a degree in Journalism: although I only used my degree briefly writing has always been my passion and I have a piece of paper to prove it

2. Moved out of Alabama: don't get me wrong I love my home state but I always felt like a little bit of an outcast. I wanted to move away to a place where I could carve a life out for myself and be my true self

(one of my first weekends in colorado)

3. Found a job and stuck with it: Becoming a flight attendant might be a dream for some but it was just a paycheck for me and a way out of the south. I promised myself I'd stay at least five years and here it's been six. While it's not something I want to do forever it's afforded me amazing opportunities and I found and secured this job all on my own.

(I've met some cool people along the way)

4. Bought my first car: without the help of parents. My loan and my title in my name

5. Got a passport and filled it with stamps

(costa rica May 2006)

6. Visited my dream cities of Paris and New York

7. Flew first class international and experienced sleeper beds, champagne and filet mignon at 38,000

8. Rode an elephant in Thailand through the jungle

9. Met Chad: lived with my first boy, became engaged and got married and it's been an amazing adventure with my best friend ever since

(from the first night we ever met)

(to our wedding day in July of last year)

10. learned how to slalom water ski

11. Learned how to alpine ski and the meaning of "fresh pow pow"

(first day skiing ever at winter park)

12. Became a model: well a promo girl for Miller Lite anyways but I got paid to walk around bars and hand out beer, make public appearances, sign autographs, take pictures, and met some of my very best friends to this day

13. Became a centerfold: appeared in the Mile High Sports magazine as a part of my miller lite gig for their snow angels issue two years in a row and the second year I got the two page spread...a dream come true for me.

(year one Snow Angels)

(second year in a row with a blown up pic from the magazine at the launch party)

14. Bought a house

15. Made a completely new group of friends from anyone I knew in high school or college

16. Went through yoga teacher training, completed the 200 hours and taught my first yoga class: after taking 2 years of yoga I wanted to give back to the community what the practice had brought to me and I've never been happier since

17. Bought a dog: I've had several dogs throughout the years but my parents never let me have one when I lived at home so my first dog, a border collie named chance that I had in college was a dream come true. Of course my current dog is the one my husband bought me, but I'd like to think those dogs I had before were preparation for my sweet vizsla

(the latest love of my life- Bebe)

18. Became a blonde - a true blonde not just the dirty, mousey blonde hair color I had all my life until I discovered the power of bleach

19. Started and kept up with this blog and hopeful to turn it into a book of memoirs someday

20. Gone to my first professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball games: all in Colorado and all surprised me how much I enjoyed them

21. Played hippie for a weekend: from Bonnaroo to Phish in the Everglades for the Y2K New Year, I have camped out and experienced the magic of a weekend music festival

22. Hiked and fell in love with Colorado's 14ers: there are 54 peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado and last year I climbed my first 14 (my goal was 8). I plan to hike 20 this year and my last 20 next summer to complete them all. I've also set my sights on hiking to Everest Base Camp next year and to the top of Everest in this lifetime.

(on the way up my first 14er Gray's peak)

23. Taken a solo road trip through Colorado

24. Changed my body into a workout machine and gained muscles I never knew I had

25. Learned how to do crow pose in yoga

26. Taken a vacation to a destination that I picked that day with no plans in mind of where to stay or what I would do when I got there and it was one of the best vacations of my life (Belize last year)

27. Ran a 5K: on Thanksgiving day none-the-less

28. Rock climbed and made it *almost to the top

29. Watched the X-games in Aspen

30. Traveled to a new country every year for my birthday since I was 26th - This year's is the Bahamas

Every year up until this point of my life has been an adventure. While my 20s were amazing and I discovered a lot about myself, I'm excited to carry what I learned these past years into the next chapter of my life. I am so much stronger now mentally and physically and I have come to realize that it's only myself who stands in the way of what I want to happen and what actually does. Anything I put my mind to I can do. Which is why I'm not sad to leave my 20s behind because I know this only means I have new dreams to discover and to accomplish. I never thought I'd have ever become a yoga teacher or gotten married, moved to Colorado or bought a house, become a flight attendant and traveled the world and made the friends I have. So I can only be excited about the years ahead of me. I don't look at it as getting older, it's just realizing how much life ahead of me I still have left to live.

A happy Birthday to me this year indeed...

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