Before I really get started with this blog post, I’d like to say that I hope all of my readers had a great holiday season. Wishing you the best in this New Year we’ve got before us. Also, the world did not end. Which is always a good thing. I’ve been saying this wasn’t going to happen forever, but nobody listens to me.
Now the confession: I wrote the first draft of this blog a month ago, and when I came back to post it, I realized how different my views were in just that short a time.
Initially, the blog was written to absolutely bemoan the fact that this coming Saturday, I will be turning 30. The big 3-0. THIRTY.
And then two things happened to derail that train of thought. Both good and horrifically, mind-numbingly bad.
1) The Sandy Hook shootings. There are no words to describe the way this left me feeling, but my brother wrote an amazing blog about what it says about our media and the way they handle coverage of incidents like this and I feel like he said it better than I ever could. You can read it here. Upon hearing this news, it seemed incredibly foolish to complain about getting another year older when so many others would not be getting that chance, especially when so many of those involved would never reach their double-digits, let alone 30. This was an instant reminder to cherish every second of your life, and not to complain about trivial things.
2) That would have been enough of a reason alone to let go of that whining blog post. But then, something amazing happened. One of my chief complaints about turning thirty was that my fiction work had yet to be published.
And then, on Christmas Eve, sitting beside my mother, my husband and my son, I got the news that I was getting published. As a matter of fact, I had won second place in a speculative fiction contest, the resulting anthology being set for release by StoneThread Publishing on February 1, 2013. More info on that can be found here. I squealed ridiculously upon receiving this email and managed to scare the crap out of everybody around me. I realized in that moment what I should have already believed, but hadn’t allowed myself the luxury.
My thirties are going to be my decade.
And so, I write this letter to myself, to read whether I’m on the verge of turning 31 or 39 – my list of things to remember, written right now, while my brain is still clear and happy, still riding off the Christmas high. My list of lessons I’ve learned in my twenties. Here goes…
Dear 3_ year old Justine,
Your thirties are going to give you the best times in your life. Don’t waste any of it. This is when things are going to begin to happen for you. Save well. Don’t overspend. Make your money count for something. Don’t worry about the thoughts and opinions of others. Those that count will still be around no matter what you write or what you believe. Keep working – don’t let anything sway you from your dreams. And most importantly, appreciate what you have – it gets you through those moments where you feel like you don’t have enough.
Your 20-something year old self – AKA She who worries too much.
Happy 30th birthday to me. This blog is to remind myself, and all of my readers that every day older is another day you’ve got – an important thing to remember. So stop complaining and let’s start making our lives into something we want.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!