It’s now the eve of my 30th birthday. A day I’ve been dreading for quite awhile. You see I had so much I wanted to accomplish, that I thought I would’ve accomplished by the time I was 30.
You see though, most of these things I haven’t accomplished.
My 18 year old self, well 17 year old self at the time I graduated had so many goals with no obstacles standing in my way. I had a goal and I was going to make it happen.
Then, life got in the way. Not necessarily in a bad way. In a way my 18 year old self couldn’t even begin to understand because I hadn’t truly lived life.
A college degree, a fancy job title, and awards were all things I had in my sight.
The summer after I graduated I took a HUGE step, participating in a beauty pageant in which I was forced to do something- public speaking, that I was absolutely scared of. I needed the scholarship money for college to earn that degree, so I went for it.
With that leap I gained some experience. I shocked myself and I shocked others around me—and I needed that. I continued to surprise myself over the next three years with what I never in my life thought I would do and succeed at but I stepped out on a limb because I had my eye on the prize.
I fell in love the first week of my freshmen year of college which I hadn’t planned on and wasn’t expecting it to get in the way of my thoroughly thought out plan but in hindsight it did.
Then life threw me a real curve ball with the roller coaster ride called bipolar and anxiety disorder. Something else I wasn’t planning on.
But all these things I wasn’t expecting quickly manifested into life experiences and growing in ways I hadn’t planned.
My 18 year old self was living in a fantasy world. A world where life goes as planned. Today as a 29 year old (for the next 30 minutes anyways) I am living reality.
I may not have the 4 year Ag degree as planned. I do have an Associates degree so that’s better then nothing.
I may not have a fancy job title but I have the blessing of my job title being mom. I am blessed to call myself a farmer. I’m blessed to do something I truly love even though I NEVER thought I would be where I’m at today.
I’m stronger because of a disease that has torn my life apart and tortured my brain in ways that are unimaginable. I am here today because some man who may deserve better chose to stick by my side even though he could’ve easily walked away.
I may not have the fancy truck, home and clothing I expected to have at this age but I do have 200 black beauties, a farm truck and the appropriate attire to complete my daily tasks as a farmer.
I may not work as a vet or work in an office for an ag corporation but I do report to two of the greatest blessings in my life, daily.
So to my 18 year old self- you’ve made it. You’ve made it to the big 30. Those goals you set for yourself, well they’ve been met. Just in ways you couldn’t even begin to understand at your age.
You have a blessed life. A full life. A life I am grateful for. A life formed from success, failure and love.
A life, unexpected. A life that you’re lucky to have.
So tomorrow I will wake up 30, a day I’ve been dreading because I haven’t accomplished the things I set out to.
Tomorrow I will wake up to two little ones calling me mommy and telling me they love me. Tomorrow I will feed my cows and soak in another gorgeous sunset as it sets over the farm. Tomorrow I will be grateful for what I’ve been given. Tomorrow I will smile because I’ve learned what’s important in life and realize I’ve exceeded the goals I once set for myself. Ive failed, I’ve grown, I’ve conquered but most of all I’ve discovered what life is really about. It’s about living in the moment, being thankful for what you have and looking forward to what’s in store.
Heres to the next 30 years. Here’s to being grateful. Being realistic. Giving myself credit for learning and growing from my mistakes and living life as a mother, as a wife, as a farmer, as a woman with no plan but to find happiness in the things that don’t go as planned.
Congratulations on living life to its most unexpected, richest first 30 years. At 18 we all think we know what lies ahead but it is truly learning to live for the moment and being grateful for each day we are given that is the true accomplishment. Happy Birthday!