October is hands-down my favorite month. Growing up in Nashville, I loved the crisp Autumn weather and colorful changing of the leaves. Driving down a stretch of road was like driving through a fiery sunset (sans the heat) with the trees bursting red, orange and yellow pigments. You could always find me with the windows down blasting Jimmy Eat World as I sang along at the top of my lungs. These moments in life are the ones I felt most free, most alive.
October in Australia is pretty epic, too. As the rainy Winter season comes to a welcomed close, the sunshine peeks its familiar face around the clouds as if to say, Okay, now it’s time—-time to warm your heart back up and bring some new beauty into your life. And I’m welcoming that promising rich beauty with open arms.
The #1 reason I love October is because it holds my birthday. Oh my goodness, do I love birthdays. . . and not just mine! I get really excited for friends’ and loved ones’ birthdays. In my baking days (before I started my full-time teaching gig), I got so much joy from baking elaborate birthday cakes for the people I love.
Here’s some photos from the archives to prove my sugary hobby:
This year’s birthday is a milestone for me. I am turning 30 next week! For most of this past year, I vacillated between complete dread and excited anticipation. On one end of the spectrum, I want to dig my heels in and slow down the whole ‘getting older’ thing, while on the other end, I am eager to kiss my twenties good-bye and enter a fresh decade. I’m ready for the blessings and growth it’ll undoubtedly bring. I recently read a celeb interview where the woman felt more comfortable in her own skin, more confident in her self-worth and more settled in her defined roles once she enter her thirties. Hey, I’m down with that!
As I prepare for the special day ahead, I also reflect on the decade that was. My twenties were nothing short of life-changing. It was a complex season of discovery that saw me celebrate some of my greatest accomplishments and also face some of my deepest sorrows. Above all, I found my soul mate and established a beautiful life with the man of my dreams. Each triumph, each heartache, we weather together and that makes my life all the richer.
Upon my recent reflection, I created a list of lessons I’ve learned throughout the past ten years. Life is always teaching us, and its lessons are delivered at the exact right times even when we can’t understand them in the moment, from our limited perspective.
20 LESSONS FROM MY TWENTIES
- People aren’t judging you as much as you think they are.
- Invest in a good quality skin care routine early on. Your skin will thank you.
- Wear sunscreen on your face everyday, even when it’s cloudy.
- See a doctor if / when certain symptoms start; don’t go 5+ years with (stomach) pain and think it’s normal.
- Enjoy the fancy, elaborate dates that a new relationship bring because marriage becomes a bit more practical.
- Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Going to bed early isn’t as boring as it sounds. This is when your body recalculates and heals.
- Don’t wait for the ‘right time’ to follow your dreams or you’ll always find a reason why today isn’t the ‘right time.’
- Connection: Make an effort to call, text, visit the people you love. My best friends are the same amazing ladies since childhood (and I’ve even moved countries).
- Take some time out to explore the world. . . you never know, you might meet your soul mate or discover your passion.
- Learn to manage your stress now because life only brings more responsibility (eg: potential stressors) as you get older.
- When the guy stops calling you and then tells you he isn’t ready, it’s code for there’s another girl.
- Don’t feel guilty for pampering yourself—-facials, mani-pedis and bubble baths count as fantastic self-care tools.
- Disappointment will happen. Sorrow will come. But, you are strong. You will get through it.
- In saying that, feel your feelings and don’t avoid sadness and grief. Crying can be immensely therapeutic.
- Be proud of your womanhood. Your period is a beautiful sign of health and life. It’s not something to loathe or dread.
- If it doesn’t feel good deep in your core, reassess why you’re doing it. Always be true to yourself no matter what others say or expect.
- Staying disconnected from your true center is a surefire way to breed unfulfillment and resentment.
- You can trust your body. It has a miraculous way of healing itself and telling you what it needs.
- Keep an open mind. But, also keep hold of your values.
- Don’t forget to have fun in life. It’s short and not so serious.
// YOUR TURN: What is a big lesson life’s taught you recently? I’d love you to share in the comments below!
Love and a slice of cake,