I have to say I have loved my 30’s, but I find my self more introspective about turning 33 than I did 30. I was processing with my husband the other day about how I have lived in Chicago for a decade now. It kind of shocked me for two reasons. One, how in the world has 10 years gone by so fast and 2. What have I learned since becoming independent, married, a mom and a business owner all in the last 10 years.
Perfection is the enemy of present: I for so many years cared so much about what others thought about me and the projection of myself that I was putting out into the world. I wanted to seem put together, smart and with it. I wanted to be a strong female with the perfect hint of ladylike. What I have realized is that is boring! Nobody wants perfect, it is not authentic. So I don’t take myself so seriously anymore. It has been really freeing. I don’t need to be the perfect wife, the perfect mom, friend or business owner. I can be me and make mistakes and ask for forgiveness. I constantly have to fight my need for people to think I am everything to everyone and do it all in heels and red lipstick because that couldn’t be more from my sweatpant, fun-loving self.
Being married is not easy but it is rewarding: So Joe and I work together, parent together and basically do everything together. Many people say, how do you do that? My response is typically that we fight more than most couples but it is only because we spend about 100% more time together than most couples. We love being together. Sure, marriage is hard. Everyone says it and it is true, but I wouldn’t want to be married to any other person in the world. He makes me a better person, lightens the mood with his quirky ways and loves our kids better than anyone! I have grown more as a wife to this awesome God-loving man of my mine than anything else.
Have Fun It is so easy to let the pressures of adulthood suck the fun out of life, but Joe and I have made the decision to not let it. No matter how our kids are acting, how our marriage is doing or how business is going, fun is the anecdote. When our kids are acting a fool, which is regularly, we turn to fun with wrestling or tickle wars and they cant help but to turn it around and laugh. When our marriage is struggling, we turn to fun. We go indoor sky diving or bowling or something that can help us let go and laugh. It helps us to have the serious conversation about what is bothering us by first knowing we still got the fun factor. And for sure turn to fun when things are struggling at work. There are times, lots of times, when owning your own business can be stressful or no fun at all. That is when you can either lose it or you can turn it around. We choose to turn the music up, dance and withstand it. Turn to fun, why not?
Love Yourself: When I asked my husband who he would want to spend the day with if he could with anyone, I was a little surprised to hear him say himself. Surprisingly, I was not shocked by his response. He is authentically Joe to the full extent unashamed. I found it beautiful and it actually is what thrusted me into a lot of self reflection. Why I am so hard on myself? Why do I sometimes fear being alone? What I realized is that I focus so much on my imperfections that I don’t embrace who God made me to be. Oh to whisper to my 23 year old self “don’t be so hard on yourself, you’ll be ok.”
I have developed so much in the last 10 years. My advice to 20 something’s, don’t take yourself so seriously. Have fun. Love yourself.