My Next 30 Years

Today, December 9, is my 30th birthday! Some of my family and friends have asked me how I feel about turning 30, and my answer, unequivocally, is “GREAT!” And that’s the honest truth. I am so excited about starting this new decade!

 

3 year old Danielle is excited about turning 30, too!

I feel like my best days are ahead of me. To be honest, my early 20s were pretty rough, and I’ve documented a lot of those struggles on the blog. Since turning 26, things have gotten better for me each year – partially due to good luck, and partially because I started advocating for myself and my own happiness. I’ve grabbed life by the balls more and more over each of the last few years and watched myself change from someone who I barely wanted to know into someone I’m proud to be.

Is life at 30 what I thought it would be when I was in the 4th grade? Not at all! I thought I’d have 4 kids (I always swore I’d be done having kids by age 30) and lots of horses and live on a ranch!  Fourth grade Danielle was clearly insane because 30 year old Danielle could not possibly be less equipped to have 4 children.

Fourth grade Danielle was also clearly insane based on this choice of ensemble

The reality is that I’m happy with where I am right now because I don’t take a single day for granted anymore.  Like many people, I grew into myself in my late 20s and I feel more confident and sure of myself than ever before.  I don’t believe in waiting until I’m older/wealthier/retired/whatever to do the things I want to do, because that day might never come. It’s a morbid way to think, I guess, but it’s true! I’ve found that passionately pursuing my goals and the things that I really want to do and taking steps to achieve them right now has made me happier and more fulfilled than I ever thought possible. Yes, there are a lot of things I still want to do, places I still want to see, and things I want to experience – of course! I don’t feel like I’ve done it all, and in fact, knowing how little I have done makes me all the more excited to wake up each morning, because who knows what the day will bring?

The most important thing I’ve learned in the past decade is that I can only control myself, my reactions to things, and my behaviors. I have no control over the world around me and what might happen next. I can’t control how other people treat me or behave; all I can do is make the effort to be the best version of myself and see what happens. Here’s to my next 30 years!

“My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years” – Tim McGraw

 

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