Monday, January 28, 2013

R.I.P. Twenties

My two biggest deals from 2003 - 2013

Tomorrow I will be thirty.


Three decades old.

I spent my 20th birthday in rehab
fresh out of the mental hospital,
so suffice it to say
it's been an interesting 10 years.

I had two babies
and graduated college
and worked 13 jobs.
Fell in love and hate
and like and lust.

I made friends
and lost friends
and fucked up royally
more times than I can name.

Today after work
Paul is taking me
on a surprise birthday getaway
and I can't wait.

My heart is full of the 
"how did I get here's?"
and peace.

There's a lot of peace.


I started to feel 
kind of sorry for myself last month.

Started to feed into
the fantasy of what my 20's 
should have been
what they had 
actually been.

And I mourned it.

I mourned that I had not partied,
I had not traveled,
I had not lived with roommates
or alone.

I turned those ideas 
over and over 
in my hands and in my mind.

Reflected on how 
I started getting sober at 20
and had my first baby at 21.
I felt good and sorry
and kind of bummed
until last week
when the pleasure of what actually was
started to settle in.

The lessons and adventures,
regrets and pain,
friendships old and new.

Things that I learned the hard way.

So here
without further adieu,
the top 10 lessons of my 20s.

1. Debt is easy to amass, impossible to evade, and painful to rectify.

The day I turned 18 I got 3 credit cards and a cell phone.
I went to college for 11 years and took loans out the entire time.
There is a very large number listed as my total debt on my credit report,
But I've also payed off a car and no longer receive 10 calls a day from creditors
so I've come a long way baby. 

2.  Being selfish can cost you friendships and/or an apartment, and "I'm sorry" doesn't always fix it.

A few years ago I lost a few of my oldest friends and got evicted from my apartment.
I didn't understand why for a very long time, but I do now.
The fact is if you show up at a friend's wedding without a card
but with your make-up done professionally
you are an asshole.
And if you pay your rent on your own schedule
because you are financially irresponsible
and expect your landlord to just deal,
you are also an asshole.

3. Really, truly sincerely, they ain't lyin' when they say
"You cannot love someone until you love yourself".

Two serious relationships, 4 intense crushes, a booty call,
and one debacle later, I can say with assurance
that no one was able to love me or fix me or know me
until I stopped needing them to.  

4. The baby stage of motherhood FLYS by.

I cannot remember what it feels like to nurse a baby
or to hear the sounds of my boys' coos and giggles.
It's been 3 years since an infant tub
was parked in my bathroom
and the scent of Johnson & Johnson baby lotion
hung in the air.
A slice of my heart aches with the thought and there is no going back
(especially because Paul votes NO on Baby #3).

5.  My parents' marriage is enviable.

When my grandmother died 5 years ago
each of her sons approached the casket to say goodbye.
When it was my dad's turn he asked my mom to walk with him,
and as he stood tearfully next to his mother's grave
my mom gently placed her hand on his back.
It was in that moment that I saw them for the first time
as the team they've always been.
There union is imperfect, as all unions are, 
but 22 years is not something to balk at and the big secret is the hard work.
The date nights and the laughs and the super intense hard work. 

6.  The best friendships will feed your soul.

They are the women who spent the night at my place
when the boys were at their dads
and I couldn't stand the emptiness of my house.
The ones who took me out for their birthdays
when I couldn't afford the gas to leave my house.
The ones who understand if I don't respond to emails and texts and Facebook messages
because they know I will eventually.
They are the ones who have front row seats to who and what I really am
and love me nonetheless.

7.  Quitting smoking is a bitch.

I picked up smoking 15 years ago.  Ugh.
I've managed to quit with both pregnancies and beyond,
but staying quit has been a beast.
I wish I'd never started and I hope my kids never do.

8.  Being responsible can be freeing.

I was never much of a birth control taker,
(Please meet Lucas and James!)
but last year I got an IUD (TMI sorry!) and hallelujah!!!!
I don't know why I'd never thought of it before
or why I lacked the wherewithal to take care of such matters
but I suppose life was exactly as it was intended to be.
And hello! the reward of a worry free sex life.

9.  You may not find your dream job, deal with it.

I spent 18 months post-graduation trying to find a job
I both loved and made enough money at
to provide the boys and I with the life we wanted.
I finally settled on one I like that comes with health insurance.
Because entry-level PR jobs are a blast
but so are health benefits and pay raises.

10. Practice forgiveness of others and of myself.

If I wanted to hang on to every sorry, miserable thing 
anyone's ever done to me I very well could.
I have the memory of an elephant and am an expert at revenge,
but I don't want to.
I want to be able to move freely about the world,
looking everyone in the eye,
never afraid to run into anyone, anywhere.
I've made so many mistakes but I can't change them,
so why would I torture myself over them.


Last week my girlfriend Andrea and I
were chatting about my amazing date night with Paul
and her fantastic weekend away with her husband.
She texted me,
"Are we really allowed to be this happy?"

And the answer is yes.

Yes we are.

Yes I am.

Goodbye angsty twenties
you were worth every drop
of blood, sweat and tears.

Hello thirties...
can't wait to meet you!



  1. I love you to the moon, and my eyes feel all hot and prickly xoxoxo

    1.'re friendship loved me back to life. xo.

  2. The thirties ROCK, girlfriend. And you've earned every fabulous, fantastic thing coming your way. Happy, happy birthday!!!

    1. I'm a week in and the 30s seem pretty fantastic. Big love to you lady bird. Today and always. xo