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I have only been in my 30’s for 11 months. I turn 31 in October. Even still though I am loving my 30’s so much more than I loved my entire decade of being in my 20’s. My 20’s were a rough decade for me and I went through a lot and with that came a lot of growing up. Which is a good thing but not a lot of fun to actually go through. I know there will be plenty of lessons to learn and growing in my 30’s as well. I just feel more prepared to handle it now then I did before. I’m more excited for the life lessons that will come my way because I know they will make me a better person and give me a better life.
So a recap of my 20’s is this. At 19 I got married to my boyfriend of five years. Yes that means we started dating when I was 14 and over 16 years later we are still together. I don’t recommend this for everyone. There is a lot of growing up that takes place in these years and when you are both growing up and changing and legally bound together it is a rough journey at times.
There were a lot of hard times and struggles in our marriage. I think the first five years of marriage were especially hard on us. We also had our daughter when I was almost 22. So although my 20’s were not the best decade of my life I have to say that becoming a mom was one of the greatest things to happen to me. Going through all of the struggles and hardships were worth it to have our daughter.
Then in 2010 when she was 3.5 and I was 25 life dealt me a blow. Some of you who you are regular readers of my blog know this but since I have a lot of newcomers I am sharing it again. I suffered a traumatic stroke out of nowhere. There was no cause, after numerous tests by many doctors they could never find a cause. It is very rare and I just had one.
So this stopped everything in my life. I was hospitalized for a month. We had just moved into a new apartment and had to move back into my parents house. I needed help and my husband needed help caring for our daughter. I couldn’t do a lot when I came home. I was working as a nanny and had to quit. I was going to school part time and had to drop out. I couldn’t walk for a couple months, then I had a walker. I still wear a leg brace when I walk and always will.
It’s one of my only lasting side effects. All in all I got very lucky. About half my brain was damaged. What saved me is I was young. The younger you are, the easier it is for your brain to repair itself. Also all the reasons I should have been healthy helped me recover. I was 25, a non smoker, very rarely drank. So I managed to recover I estimate to 85% of my old self. I wear the leg brace, I suffer from depression and anxiety. I also will need to take seizure medication my whole life because without them I suffer from Grand Mal seizures. I’m slower then I use to be. I have weakness and some limited use of my left arm and leg.
The stroke changed the course of my life and I wouldn’t have wished it on myself or on anyone. It was a horrible and terrifying experience. It taught me a lot of life lessons though and really forced me to quickly grow up. I grew up more in the last 5 years then I think anyone else would.
It forced me to really slow down and look at my life. What was working and also what wasn’t. School wasn’t really working for me. I hadn’t discovered my passion yet. The stroke forced me to stop both school and work and really evaluate my passions.
Me at 26. 10 months after the stroke. There are almost no pictures of me for around a year post stroke. I felt very insecure. The left side of my face slightly drooped. No one could really tell but I could. So it was hard to find a photo.
I started reading blogs right after the stroke. There wasn’t much else to do. Plus it felt good to feel like I knew people through reading about their lives. I thought of starting one for awhile. The depression really prevented me from starting one for awhile. I didn’t have the confidence to start one for a long time. I was doing a lot of therapy to help me cope and work through my depression.
After about 2.5 years I was ready to start blogging. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with this blog. I had no long term plans when I started. I think that’s for the best though. I knew that bloggers could make money and be successful but didn’t imagine myself getting to that point. three plus years later I’m still here blogging and loving it.
I think that in the last year I’ve gained the confidence to really start doing what it takes to grow and develop this into a business. With products and courses. I know I never would have had the confidence to do this in my 20’s but I’ve grown up a lot and this is one of the differences I’ve found in myself between my 20’s and 30’s.
I also learned through growing up and having a stroke who in my life really mattered and who didn’t. I realized how much I loved my husband and how much he loved me. For more on how the stroke saved our marriage in my opinion. I honestly don’t know what our journey would have been had life gone differently. I know that we have both grown up a lot and changed a lot in our 11 years of marriage.
Here I am at 30.
I learned a lot and grew a lot in my 20’s and I’m grateful for that. I think I needed those lessons and life experience. This last year I have felt different and I think my life is starting to feel like it’s coming together. I know I will go through a lot of lessons and experiences over the next nine years. I just feel smarter and more ready to handle what comes at me and make better choices.
If year one is any indication of what my 30’s are going to bring to me. I’m excited for what is coming. I am smarter, wiser and more experienced in life. I know what I love and want in my life and am secure and confident to know how to go about getting it. It is a really good feeling and I’m ready for it.