I have been thinking a lot about the future, lately. I suppose growing older does that to you. What it really is, though, is me assessing what my life looks like and contrasting that with what I want it to look like. Change comes slowly, but the blessing of being self-aware is that I tend to analyze things constantly and can make changes continually, rather than being caught off guard.

Yesterday, I turned 35.

Times are tight, so instead of splurging on an expensive spa day, we hopped in the car and drove out to the coast. It felt so good to breathe in some of that salty sea air. I spent the day watching Ziggy romp around the beach, marveling at the gorgeous blue skies and tumble of waves, and laughing with my soul mate. It was peaceful and relaxing--exactly what I needed.

I mentioned a tv show recently that I thought was cute, quirky, and thought-inducing (if you let it). While laughing at the antics of the characters, it really got me thinking about what I would want to do if I had a limited time to live. While I'm not one to throw my job and life to the wind and travel the world, I certainly do want to have the freedom to travel and experience incredible moments. Until I have a bit more security and money, I have to try to create those incredible moments here at home. Hence, the journey up Hamilton Mountain recently and yesterday's trip to the coast.

The beauty of being in your 30's, I think, is having a more focused sense of what you want. Not only that, but knowing how to get it--having a path. Growing up, I was not given the best tools to deal with life. I was given some, but not much. I didn't know how to manage my money (this is still a battle, but at least I have the knowledge and skills now); I had very shaky models for relationships and spent a lot of time making disastrous mistakes in my own; communication was not a priority at home and thus, I had to stumble through learning how to communicate in adult friendships and relationships (you would not believe how long it took me to stop leaving the house in the middle of an argument and driving off to get some space).

But, I am a quick learner, and took each lesson to heart and made changes. I have lost friendships and relationships along the way, and let's not even talk about the money I lost as a young adult. Now, we own a home. I have been with the love of my life for eleven years. I have two degrees and a wonderful, stable job in my industry. In so many ways, I am farther along than I ever imagined I'd be. The best part is that I finally feel like I truly know myself. That is the greatest gift.

So, now I am 35. Here's wishing it will be as amazing as I want it to be.



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