(Me and 5 of my besties at my surprise 30th b-day party)
One of my favorite movies of all time is 13 Going on 30. In the movie, a young thirteen–year-old girl, Jenna, hates being a teenager and makes a wish in her closet to turn her ideal age, 30! As she is making the wish she keeps repeating, “Thirty, flirty, and thriving, thirty, flirty, and thriving.” The next shot is of Jenna at thirty-years-old (played by Jennifer Garner), laying in her bed, and waking up to this new wonderful decade! I’m going to jump on that train and go ahead and welcome my 30’s as an opportunity to take everything I’ve learned thus far and to THRIVE (less emphasis on the flirty and all emphasis on the thriving).
So far, so good. Last night, one of my best friends threw me a surprise 30th b-day party with five of my besties! We had a blast catching up, eating sushi, and rocking out to T-Swift’s “Shake It Off” in the parking lot (I opted to bust a move while poking my head out of the sunroof of my friend’s car)! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so much love in my life. I did, however, have a meltdown a couple of days ago about being alone on my 30th b-day. I was struggling with the thought that usually, if you were married, your spouse would plan something special for your 30th and feeling sad because he wasn’t here to do that. I took it out on my parents who thankfully forgave me. After allowing myself to cry it out and talk it through with my mom I felt so much better. Doing that enabled me to shift from victim mode to empowerment. Since then, I’ve planned a wonderful day for myself filled with all the things I love to do. I don’t have to have someone with me to enjoy my birthday, I have all the love I need inside of myself!
(Thank you Lindsay for making my 30th so special.)
So if you will allow me to be a bit nostalgic, I would like to take you back 20 years and introduce you to a younger me. I want to share some memories and highlights over the past 30 years. When I was little, you could say I was a bit of an attention hog. Not sure if that was middle child syndrome or genetics, but I was always putting on performances. It’s a huge joke in my family that if there was ever a camera, my face was in it. At one point, I would put on ballet shows for my parents, and somehow my adorable little brother ended up dancing and the camera angle went from my head to my legs (aka my little brother’s height). I would have to get their attention and remind them that this was my performance and that they were supposed to be shooting me, not Pres. Haha. Looking back, I can’t blame them because he was so stinking adorable, but at the time I wasn’t having it.
I decided early on that I wanted to be a singer. My dad owned a nightclub so I would go with him on Saturday mornings and dress up and pretend I was a professional singer. My dad’s side of the family are singers and I remember going to the Wylie Opry with my grandmother to watch my cousin sing and realizing I wanted to do that, too! There was one song that I particularly loved singing, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Not by Mariah Carey, but another song with the same title by Vince Vance and the Valiants. They used to come to my dad’s club and preform, and I would get on stage with them and dance and I loved it. I’m not sure how it came about (my dad probably asked Vince if I could do it), but I got asked to sing their famous song at one of their shows at my dad’s club. I practiced and practiced and practiced. I had three of my best friends as my backup singers. When the day came we preformed and it went so well, I was for sure this was what I wanted to do with my life. I think I was nine or ten-years-old at the time. This opportunity led to me getting to sing with Vince Vance at the Denton fair. It was all so exciting and I felt right at home on the stage.
Years went by and my love of performance never went away, but it ended up taking on different forms. Throughout the years I did ballet, gymnastics (which I loved the most and practiced four hours a day, five days a week, for six years), track, cross-country, and cheerleading. I’ve always been a big dreamer and a multi-passionate person. Of all the loves in my life, finding Jesus Christ has impacted me the most. What it’s done for me is given me an example of how to live my life. It gives me purpose and meaning in my relationships and in how to treat others. Jesus is love and to embrace His love for myself, to show that love, and to be that love to others is what has made me who I am today. Here is to turning 30 and thriving! Love each one of you! Blessings.