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I'll be 30 in a couple of months. Wow. I immediately want to say something profound about it, but everything bouncing around in my head is really cliché, like, "That went by fast!" or "I'm not ready!" or "Old people are 30!" But those are just words and to be honest, they aren't really true - in general, and in the sense that they are what I really want to say.

Parts of my late teens and twenties feel like a different lifetime, so I can't say it went by quickly. It didn't. It didn't drag, but it went by in an adequate amount of time. And when I think about it, a lot of things happened during this time in my life:

  • I fulfilled my first huge personal goal of going to college, supporting myself, and securing financial independence.

  • I met a ton of friends whom I still love and keep in contact with, as well as kept in touch with my closest friends from high school.

  • I secured not only a steady, full-time, practical career - I began building a long-term one in something I truly love to do and feel like I could be fulfilled doing forever. A book I edited ended up on the New York Times Best Sellers list. I still can't wrap my head around that, but I can say I'm confident it means I've found my calling.

  • I traveled to multiple places, with the most notable probably being New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, and two continents that aren't North America - one of which was my dream-of-a-lifetime trip to Australia. That trip was something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to go through with. And I did it at 26.

  • I proved to myself I can live a healthy lifestyle and maybe even identify as an athlete.

  • I completed a marathon. Me, the girl who was always walking the mile run in middle school while silently praying for it to be over. I am in the tiny percentage of people who have completed an actual marathon, and it is a surreal feeling.

  • I lived with roommates, alone, and with significant others. I really got every type of living experience.

  • I battled anxiety and depression, and learned to overcome and live with them.

  • I figured out what is really important to me in life, and am almost to the point where I know exactly what I want out of it - mostly because I have learned to see the grays.

  • I almost married the wrong person. But somehow, I found the strength to let him go and marry the right person who is amazing not only because he is him, but because he makes me a more well-rounded person and doesn't shy away from the challenges he has to endure to make me see beyond my comfort zone. He is the reason I've grown, and he is the reason I will continue to grow.

I also had a lot of fun in my twenties. I got the opportunity to do so many things I truly love to do and/or that really changed and enriched my life for the better, including but to limited to owning a cat, going to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios a ton, going to lots of concerts, getting lost in albums, getting my heart broken, partying (something teenage me never thought I'd do), SKYDIVING (WHAT!?), learning that I'm actually kind of great at baking, and so much more.

Lately, I've been feeling very, very down on myself. I say "lately," but this has been ongoing for I'd say the better part of the last two years - probably beginning from about six months before I was let go from my job at PowerDMS in April 2013. But somehow, writing down these things I accomplished and learned and experienced in my twenties makes everything seem so much better than I've thought it was for a long time. Looking at this list makes me think of how 17-year-old me would feel reading it, and I'm actually getting teary eyed knowing I made that girl proud. I really, really did. Because even as an almost-30-year-old, I can truly say that if I looked at that list without knowing who wrote it, I'd be like, "Wow. I hope I can accomplish even half those things."

And that 17-year-old girl didn't really think about the fun parts too much because she felt like she didn't have the extra time or energy to even consider them. She was too busy wanting to get out and do her own thing and put her stake in a piece of the world. And I did that, but I did it while somehow also managing to explore sides of myself I didn't even know I had let alone could actually locate and cultivate. I'm grateful I found that balance between responsible Jen and adventurous Jen, because both sides make up the person I am. The person that I am is extremely goal oriented and finds fulfillment in life from reaching those goals. And I love that person. That person managed to check off so many things she wanted to do in her life AND had a good time doing it. She faced struggles and challenges, but she came through them a better person than she was before they happened.

I'm excited for my 30s. Now that I know myself and am happy with the person I have become (I'm still working on it, but generally), I know I can accomplish even more - and maybe even do more of giving that confidence to others. Giving is going to be my personal theme for my 30s. And 2015 is going about building myself up to the person who can do that healthily.

This entry was going to be a "2015 is my year to lose the weight!" entry, but as I started writing, I obviously figured out there's so much more behind the reasons I've gained weight. And I need to work on telling myself it's OK and really meaning it. I deserve better than what I've been doing to my body. And it's time to start putting that into practice.

I'm going back to Weight Watchers meetings tomorrow. And I will be at my goal weight by summer - because I deserve it.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:14 pm (UTC)
You are amazing. I mean that. I look up to you so much. We're a lot alike and through you, I can tell myself "hey look, this is possible for someone like me!" I'm also so proud of you, I can't remember how many years we've been friends now, but you've grown so much and worked at so many things so hard. I count myself lucky to get to watch you on your journey, and I look forward to seeing what 30 brings for you. Whatever it is, you'll kill it. I love being friends with you, like I said, you are amazing.
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:20 pm (UTC)
I hope no one comes near my cube right now. Partly because I'm not working, obviously, but mostly because I'm crying, lol. These words mean so much to me, and truly, I can say the same back to you. I know you have struggled with things I can't even imagine coming in contact with, and I'm proud of you for persevering through those things and not only coming out better, but recognizing that this shit called life is HARD. So many people are way too proud to admit things aren't perfect. I was like that in my early twenties. But that doesn't do anything good in the end. And you have been inspirational to me to be more real and face difficult things head on instead of ignoring them or letting them define who you are.

Thank you so much for your support and friendship over these years. I'm so grateful to have you as a friend. I love you!!! ♥
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC)
I love you, bb! Here's to however more years of friendship since I have not sense of time! :D
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
This is so very true to yourself.
It's easy to get down about where you are. Our brains are hard wired to want to grow and expand and they aren't happy unless they are engaged at that. Being mindful of how far you've come is a good way to manage those self expectations...doing it a list is very Jen. ;-)
I'm just pleased to have been along for some of this.
and for what it's worth, thirties are awesome.
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks George. :o) And yeah, you know me, I need my lists. LOL. But I'm glad I'm able to balance the quantity with a commentary about the quality.

I'm glad you've been here too. There are five-ish people I have met online in the past 10 years who have made a huge impact on my life, and you are absolutely one of them. I'm really grateful to have met you.

I'm getting excited. There are so many more things I want to experience and learn and do!
Jan. 6th, 2015 04:32 pm (UTC)
You're awesome and I know if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. That being said, I think we all know it isn't as black and white as that. What a great post and I'm happy you were able to recognize all you've accomplished up until now.

I am glad you're back to blogging! We are trying to get mine back up and running so I can get back at it too. :)

2015 is our year!
Jan. 6th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah man. I think just looking at what I've been able to do makes me really think twice about wasting life being upset about what I haven't done. Like fine, I'm up weight. But that's something I am strong enough to change, and I've proven it not only directly (as have you, btw), but indirectly by accomplishing all these other great things.

Yay! How is that going? Do you think you'll be able to get your domain back or will you go with a new name?

Yes it is! ♥ Thank you. Love you.
Jan. 6th, 2015 08:09 pm (UTC)
Right. I want to actually blog about this, but a workbook I have for my anxiety has this exercise I just did where you basically rank the importance of certain areas of your life (i.e. health, family, romantic relationships, parenting, etc.) and then you go back through and rate how satisfied you are with those areas of your life. You go on to write statements about why certain things are important to you. Then you go on to reflect on how many times in the last 2 weeks you did something to work towards the areas of importance. It's eye opening how we neglect areas of our life that are of importance to us. It can help to figure out if it really IS that important or you go on to do some activities to see what road blocks you are putting up that are preventing you from doing what you want with your life. I liked it!

No, won't be getting it back this year. :( But I will be using blog.daniellerutherford.com :)

Awkward Voldy/Draco hug icon FTW.
Jan. 6th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
Oh wow that sounds really awesome. Can you take a pic of the page if it's on paper and send it to me? I'd like to do it! Unless your description pretty much covers it haha then I'll do that. Maybe I'll write it in a blog post and make it public if it's not too personal.

Aw well I like you using your name anyway. It sounds so distinguished lol.

I used that just for you. :-*
Jan. 6th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
I can't take a pic of the page b/c I wrote all my stuff in. My description pretty much covers it though. I can see what all the categories are though and e-mail you.
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
I'm excited for my 30s. Now that I know myself and am happy with the person I have become (I'm still working on it, but generally), I know I can accomplish even more - and maybe even do more of giving that confidence to others.

I hear you on all of this! I turn 31 next month and as soon as I turned 30 I looked forward to my 30s. 2014 was the first year in at least 6-7 years where I worked on myself and became happy with who I am. I hope we both can keep it going.

Edited at 2015-01-12 03:25 pm (UTC)
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks girl. That's amazing - I'm so happy to hear it! We definitely can. :o) ♥
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jen is losing it.

About Me

32-year-old Nutella activist, full-time grammar enforcer, and part-time runner. I live for cupcakes, Walt Disney World, terrible puns, the '90s, Harry Potter, spelling bees, pumpkin anything, fluffy animals, and B horror films. I write.

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