Today is the last day of my twenties, and I gotta tell you, it is bittersweet. Luckily, most of my friends are already 30, but it is still tough to leave my “younger” years behind.
To commemorate my twenties, here is a list of 20 things that were awesome about this time in my life. In no particular order, here they are!
1. I travelled! To the Dominican, Mexico (twice), California, Phoenix, Montana, Prince Edward Island, Vancouver…I even made my first ever trip to Saskatchewan! Some of these trips were made solo, some as a newlywed, others as a married couple or with my kids.
2. I volunteered for a suicide prevention and crisis line. Here, I made a lot of friends, learned a lot of valueable skills and developed a rich understanding of mental health and the struggles that can accompany it. I feel this experience has made me a better nurse, and a better person overall.
3. I got my first degree! In 2005 I graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the U of L. I originally started out as a biochem major with a goal of pharmacy, but soon found a new path and passion. Although I was pretty sure I didn’t want to do anything with this degree, my dad always said “there is no such thing as a half degree) so I finished out. I feel this is the BEST “starter” degree anyone could ever pick…there is not a field you can go into that psychology doesn’t apply in some way or another. I made a lot of great friends during this degree, and ate a lot of humble pie too. I went from being on top in high school to genuinely struggling in some areas in University. Some courses I got A+s by barely attending, others I barely squeaked out a C by busting my ass. Lessons learned in abundance here!
4. I got another degree! In 2010 I graduated with a BSc. Nursing. I knew that I wanted to work in healthcare, but struggled with wha area I would fit into. After bouncing around the ideas of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and other disciplines, nursing finally came around and slapped me in the face. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and much like my other experienced, I made some amazing friends.
5. I bought a house! Tyler and I, at the ripe old age of 22 and 21 respectively, bought the house we currently live in. Our original 5 year plan didn’t quite work out, with double degrees and double children, but we have made a lot of improvements to the house and still have more to come. As much as I hate the esthetics of this house, I love the life we have built in it.
6. I got married! Not to mention that I met and fell in love with my husband first! Ty and I got engaged in 2006 and married in 2007 in a fairly big and formal wedding. I loved every minute of our wedding and look back on that day with so much happiness. I would love to renew my vows with Tyler..maybe at our 10th? How lucky am I to have not only married my best friend, but to have also fallen more and more in love with him every day.
7. I got my first nursing job! As an undergrad, I got a job at the Raymond Care Center (which is now closed). I took this job originally because it was available, and continue to thank my lucky stars every day that I lucked into that job. I learned so much working there and was given a lot of autonomy.
8. I got my first job as an RN! Sometimes, the universe just works with you, and I am so fortunate to have gotten my first job on the unit of my dreams. During the time of a hiring freeze, I was hired on casual after precepting on pediatrics. I went on to get a few temporary positions and am excited to go back following my maternity leave. I love the team I work with and the relationship I have with my coworkers. It is so cool to have a job where you learn something every day, and I feel so blessed to love my work.
9. I had a baby! In 2010, we welcomed all 7lbs 6oz of little miss Abrielle Sophia into our arms and hearts. Having a baby changed me in ways I could never explain. For the first time in my life, I felt 100% good at something, and so comfortable in my role as her mother. With few exceptions, she was a dream baby and continues to get cooler, sweeter, and more funny every day.
10. I had another baby! Gracelyn Ella joined our happy family in 2012, just two days after her big sister’s birthday. Having Gracie has allowed my confidence as a mother to grow, and I do not exaggerate at all when I say that I thank God EVERY day for blessing me with these two beautiful girls. Hearing my baby laugh or smelling her sweet skin as she snuggles into me is a little piece of heaven on earth.
11. I blew my knees out. Back in 2003 I was heavily into running and working out, and I blew my knees out. This turned out to be a little bit of a blessing at the same time as a curse, as I was able to let go of some very disordered eating habits.
12. I started running again! This year, I bought a treadmill from my sister for a great price, and started off incline walking. Quickly I progressed to interval running, and am now able to run for a heck of a lot longer! This is probably the best purchase I have ever made, because in turn…
13. I took back my health! I got so tired of having no body confidence and feeling horrible about myself. Once I started running regularily, I started actually tracking what I was eating. Slowly but surely, I am taking off weight that I never should have put on to begin with. Along with that…
14. I got some damn self esteem! Not because I weighed less than I did before, but because I finally started appreciating my own strengths. Am I happy with my body? Oh, heck no! Am I proud of it? You better believe it! This body is strong, capable and good body and I feel so much more confident in my own skin.
15. I had my comeback race! I was told when I blew my knees out that I would never, ever run again. This year I did Colour Me Rad, and felt amazing the whole time. I have a mini triathlon scheduled for this weekend, and a 10k on the books for September. Never say never!
16. I became a vegan! This was a kind of “on a whim” undertaking where purchasing a book (The Kind Life) in 2009 led to me trialling a vegan lifestyle for 2 weeks which led to me still doing it today! I feel so much more well now than I ever have.
17. I started blogging! Now, this part shouldn’t be a big old shock, but in 2011 I started blogging as a way of shortening my facebook statuses and preserving motherhood memories. I now only blog a few times a month, but really love the whole community.
18. I let go of the idea of perfection. I can’t say exactly when this happened, but I no longer accept the idea that anyone or anything is without fault. Removing that standard and pressure from myself and others has led to a lot more happiness in my life.
19. I became a better listener. This is one that I still work on, because I am a born talker! My experiences in life, on the crisis line, in school, friendship and work have all helped me learn the importance of being a sounding board. I still work on this every day, but pride myself in being privleged enough to serve as confident to a lot of people.
20. I learned to love myself…this one needs no follow up
There you have it. Good bye, twenties, it has been a blast! I can only hope that my thirties will be as transformative and fulfilling!