Valentine’s Day: What Celebrating Love is All About

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate important relationships and love. Valentine’s Day has always been one that I was fond of, even if celebrating as a single lady. Galentine’s day is too much fun for words, as is celebrating with your siblings.

Whether involved or celebrating solo, the same Valentine’s traditions take place. You grab a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, pop some popcorn, and search for the sappiest rom-com that’s streaming. Cuddling with a heart shaped-pillow is a must, along with feeling super cozy in your PJ’s and organic, panda facemask.

Or, on the flip side, you’re out on the town with your beau celebrating over a fancy dinner with intricate desserts and bubbly so good it tickles your nose. You get super fancy because love has no price, right? RIGHT! But what if these traditions don’t quite capture what love is about? What if the “love” we are celebrating, or how we have been socialized to celebrate Valentine’s Day, doesn’t represent what love actually means to us?

Love is so much bigger than the one-day celebration known as Valentine’s Day. Love is this massive, undefined, unconditional, beautiful feeling that is comprised of light and happiness. How can one single day signify how much you love someone?

Valentine’s Day can represent many different things; some may go above and beyond, while others may choose to avoid the holiday. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, remember that there is so much more to love…

Here’s what celebrating love should be about:

Celebrate love every day

Valentine’s Day should be a simple reminder that love should be celebrated year ‘round. Whether telling your boyfriend you love him, bringing flowers home for your girlfriend, or surprising your wife by cleaning the kitchen floor, you can show the people you love just how much you love them each and every day…

Consider the simple things

Love doesn’t need to be shown via insanely extravagant gestures—love can be as simple as kissing your partner on the nose, or holding hands, or bringing home soup if he has the sniffles. In love, it’s the simple things that matter the most. In love, it’s the little gestures that mean the most.

Remember why

Remember why you love your partner and the many people in your life. Remind yourself daily of just how lucky you are to love, and receive love, from your social network. In order to appreciate love, you must be able to acknowledge and understand it.

You are loved

Along with reminding yourself of why you love others, also remember that you are loved. Many people hold you near-and-dear to their hearts and feel lucky to have you as an active part of their lives. Remember that.

Love yourself

First and foremost, love yourself. Loving others is such a significant part of life, but so is self-love. Embrace your energy and power, and truly value who you are. There’s no greater love than love for oneself…

Spread love like confetti

I believe that love is like karma—what goes around comes around. Spread love. The more love you put out into the universe, the more love you will receive in return. Whether smiling at a stranger, or giving your dog a hug, spread love.

Love is everywhere

Love is everywhere, and it’s important to recognize that. Embrace love. Love is taken for granted, but rather, it should be valued cherished. Really take it in and open your heart to it, regardless of where it’s coming from. Let love, and be love…

Valentine's Day | Valentine | Love | Relationships | Dating | Celebrate

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xx,

Paula

How to Cope When Life Changes Instantly

One of the major lessons I learned at a very young age is that life changes instantly. It literally takes a split second for your entire world to spin ‘round and flip upside down—before you can even blink an eye, nothing will ever be the same again.

When I was 7-years old I lost my mother in a car accident. When you’re a kid, you don’t expect that life changes instantly, but it does. I didn’t quite understand where she went, or the extend in which it would affect me, but it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever fathomed at that point in my development. Yes, I still had my father and my sisters, but the childhood that I had—the childhood that I knew—didn’t exist anymore.

Over the years I struggled with how unfair life was. How could this happen? How is it that life changes instantly? It used to kill me to think of what life could have been like if she was still alive. It would hurt to even remember moments I had with her.

Overtime, however, the anger dwindled. Even though I didn’t understand why my mother was taken from me for so many years, I realized that it was better to embrace her memory. To remember the things she taught me. To remember her laugh. To remember the sparkle in her eyes. I tried to remember the person she would want me to become. I tried to remember that she would want me to be happy…

While visiting with family a few weeks ago, we decided to look at old photos. I opened the first album, and there was her face. She had a smile on in every single picture. She held us tight in every photo. She was living her best life. She embraced every single moment, even though she had no idea her life would end sooner than it should have.

Along with several other incidents that have happened over the last few months, seeing my mom smile in those pictures reminded me that every single moment we are alive and breathing is precious. I have learned that it is possible to find something good in every situation. I have learned that sometimes it’s those awful things that happen that teach us the most about ourselves, as well as how we choose to view the world.

After devastating, catastrophic events, one has the choice to perceive life as a taker rather than a giver, but is that what life is actually about? We are what we make of things—we are how we choose to face adversity—we are who decides which perspective to take. The choice is between light and darkness—which will you choose?

Despite of the setbacks and barriers, smile, be grateful, and don’t take anything for granted. Our lives are delicate, and extremely valuable. The slightest thing can create chaos. Regardless of the situation, remember that things could be worse.

Here’s how to cope when life changes instantly:

Breathe 

Stop. Breathe. Take a second to think about what’s happening.

Wait

Don’t make any decisions until you are calm and have had adequate time to process the situation.

Count on others

Turn to people in your life that you love and trust. You don’t have to go through whatever is happening alone—lean on others and accept their help.

Feel what you need to feel

It’s okay to be angry and feel the million other emotions rushing through your body and mind, but don’t let it take over. Anger and other feelings can sometimes consume us, so be cautious…

Focus on the positive 

No matter how bad things can possibly get, there is still good to be found. Look for the silver lining. Try to focus on the positive aspects, even if it seems impossible…

Forgive 

When things go sour it’s usually because something bad has happened. Whether because of something done independently, or something done by another person, choose to forgive. Forgive so that you can move on. Forgive so that you no longer hold on to negative feelings. Let go of the hurt. Let go of resentment.

Acceptance

Eventually you’ll learn to accept, or try to accept, the new. Do your best to adjust to the changes, and remember that over time everything to be okay. Remember to breathe…

life | life changes instantly | positive thinking | silver lining | coping

The fear of loss is real–here’s how to cope…

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xx,

Paula

Ditch New Year’s Resolutions and Embrace These 7 Concepts in 2018

New year’s resolutions are quite big in our social culture. Whether going for it solo, or as a group, it’s one of those things that’s expected every year. Going around the table and sharing your goal for the year has become such a norm.

So you begin to set goals for yourself — new year’s resolutions. What will you work on? How will you improve yourself? What will you change? It’s several weeks into January, and you find that you haven’t taken any steps to meet your goal. You’re failing. You become disappointed in yourself. You find your face in a pint of ice cream wondering why you ever worked so hard on creating new year’s resolutions in the first place.

After starting the new year’s resolutions process, you’re left unmotivated—but what if you could do things differently? What if you need that initial glimpse of hope? That little glimmer of positive change in your life, just to prepare you for those bigger goals. We all need change every now and then, and maybe new year’s resolutions aren’t for you…

There are alternate routes of support when hoping to improve aspects of your life, whether in the new year or not. Regardless of goals or changes needed, center your desires on creating happiness. Consider what will bring you joy, and what will help you lead a more positive life. How will these basic changes help you meet your larger goals? First, set the foundation—once you’ve got the basics down, everything else will follow.

Embrace these 7 concepts in the new year:

Embrace love

Love truly is the greatest gift of all—it’s all you need. Whether self-love, or love shared with others, embrace it. Take it in—really feel it. Having loved ones to turn to, in good times or bad, is a blessing. Cherish those relationships, and treat them with the utmost care. Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that provide us with the strongest type of support…

Embrace happiness 

Find the things that bring you joy and run with it. Find your happiness—do whatever it takes to keep it going, and continue to facilitate its’ growth and development. Your happiness is unique; do not compare yourself to others, and do not allow others to judge you.

Embrace positivity

Pay close attention to both the positive and negative aspects of your life. Make it a point to eliminate anything toxic, including people. Cleanse your world of anything that deters you from being at peace.

Embrace change

There are always things that need to change, but first, concentrate on the basics. What is causing you stress? What’s causing you sadness? What’s hindering you from growing as an individual? Along with removing things that are toxic, how will you alter your life so that light can enter? How will you eradicate the darkness?

Embrace your health

Laugh. Dance. Play. Run.

We all have limitations, but do whatever it takes to enjoy your mind and body. Be grateful for your health, and take care of yourself. Avoid taking this gift for granted—you only have one body, so treat it well…

Embrace today

This cannot be emphasized enough…be present. Enjoy every single moment of every single day—be there. Remember the scents, the sounds, and the face of the person you are engaging with. Remember the sound of their laughter. Remember the feeling of the sun beaming down on your face and warming your skin. Remember that exact moment that perfectly-shaped snowflake landed in the palm of your hand during the first snowfall of the season. Whatever you are doing, be present.

Embrace life

Accept what life has handed you, and rather than resenting the universe, try to consider how this can benefit you. What is the silver-lining in this situation? Once you start to focus on the good versus the bad, you will open the gates to appreciation and acceptance. Living a life that you accept is far more exciting than a living a life that you detest…

Happy New Year!!!

new years resolution | change | positive thinking | goals | new year |2018

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Paula

9 Tips on How to Unplug from Social Media

I truly have a love-hate relationship with social media. Times have changed, and we now have 24/7 access to excellent tools that allow us to surf the web at any moment of the day—we literally have the entire content of the internet at our fingertips.

Having access to the internet and social media has been life altering in many positive ways, but is it possible that people are pushing the limits? Is it possible that we have begun to encounter more negative aspects than positive ones? Is having constant access to the internet changing the way in which people interact, view, and experience things?

There are many aspects, such as connecting to others, that have had such a positive impact on the way that people interact. I absolutely love seeing what my friends are posting on social media—whether it’s photos of their burritos, boyfriends, or babies—seeing how happy they are brings me so much joy.

However, there are parts of the online experience I don’t necessarily enjoy. One in particular is when I’m spending time with someone who cannot be bothered to put their phone down long enough to be present and enjoy the time we are spending together.

It’s important to consider if the hype of social media is causing people to forget what living life is all about? Is the need to post a photo, or see someone else’s photos worth missing out on your own experiences?

Life is meant to be personally seen and experienced so we can create memories. Yes, a photo is worth a thousand words, but what if one can’t remember what made taking that photo so special in the first place?

A while ago I posted an article about how the new FOMO is not being able to unplug and enjoy being present in the life you’re living—the fear of missing out on real life experiences and joy. With this, it’s also important to learn how to unplug.

Check out these 9 easy tips on how to unplug:

Put the device down

Seriously, the first step is to put the phone down. When with others, turn it off or put it on vibrate and focus on those in your presence. Enjoy the time you spend with others—time is the one thing that we can never get back, so make it worth while…

Look around

You may see things you never saw before. Beauty is sometimes in the places we least expect. So again, put the phone down, walk with your chin up, and enjoy your surroundings.

Engage others

Spending time with your friends? Great. Talk to them. Shoot the shit. Laugh together. Whatever you do, just enjoy yourself.

Live for you and no one else

Engage in activities because they will improve your quality of life and add value to your life. Refrain from doing things because “everyone else” is, or because it’s “cool.” Imagine yourself looking back twenty years from now—will that memory make you smile and have positively contributed to your life somehow? If the answer is no, it’s definitely something to re-consider…

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Social media may not be an accurate depiction of people’s lives. Hence, it’s important to live the best version of your own life. Yes, FOMO is a real thing, but make sure it’s a fear that’s actually worth giving up valuable time and experiences.

Unfollow models and bloggers

Seriously, unfollow. The lifestyle that people are paid to lead is not realistic. Do not feel like you are missing out. The sooner you can unfollow these accounts, the sooner you can live the amazing life sitting right under that beautiful nose of yours…

Focus on you, because you are beautiful.

Do not seek validation online

The number of likes on your Instagram or Facebook are in no way equal to your worth as a person—you are worth so much more than a virtual thumbs-up. The sooner you can see this, the sooner you can put that phone down…

Less is better

Privacy is a beautiful thing. Less is better. The less you post, the less people know about you. There is so much data on the internet, and that can sometimes be scary. Do you want everyone to have access to where you are and what you’re doing? Remember, once something is posted, it can never be unseen. Post with discretion.

Go off the grid

Going off the grid can be so badass. As mentioned above, people are now able to access our every move and see exactly where we are and what we’re doing—some secrecy can go a long way…

social media | unplug | be present | less is better | internet

Is social media bringing you down? Read up on how it might be destroying your self-esteem…

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xx,

Paula

15 Non-Negotiable Rules For Navigating The World Of Your Twenties

It’s all about life rules…

Millennials | rules | life | lifestyle

Hey guys! I feel so lucky to have had another piece shared via Thought Catalog. This particular piece is very special to me because it’s about many of the life lessons I’ve encountered over the years. These non-negotiate life rules have helped me lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

Whether in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, know that these rules will always be by your side to provide you the support and logic that you need.

These rules also help you remember what’s actually important in life. Like people, and our families…

Of all the things discussed in the article, this is my favorite:

Have no regrets

Life happens—it is what it is. Regardless of the situation, you must have been able to take something valuable away from even the most awful moments. Life itself is a huge learning experience. Embrace the good and the bad—find the silver lining. The things you learn will come in handy someday.”

Spread love like confetti, and cherish the love and care that you are provided by those that matter. Be happy, and appreciate the little things.

Life is meant to be lived, so laugh, love, and do the things that bring you joy…

xoxo,

Paula

Inspired to make some changes? Check out why you need to unplug…

Seven Reasons Why You Are Enough

No matter what anyone says, you are enough.

For several years, mostly when I was younger, I felt as though I needed a special someone to feel complete. To help me feel whole. The thought of having someone else around to love, laugh, and explore with was so near and dear to my heart. But over time, I learned something different…

Between failed relationships, and even more failed relationships, I found that I was taking time to work on myself. To improve my life. To work on my goals. And yes, even though I still wanted a partner, a love that was so amazing that my heart would burst from all of the joy, I learned that I was everything I ever needed. 

Growing into the person you hope to be is not a small task. All of the shit you go through in life, whether it be loss, broken relationships, family issues, money issues, or addiction, you come out of it with a set of skills and the knowledge needed to be better. This is something that no one can ever take away from you, or give you. These life lessons are yours, and only yours.

So what makes you enough? Actually, let me rephrase that—what would keep you from being enough?

You are a person with a great deal of knowledge, strength, and courage. You stand tall in the world, and you are the best version of yourself. Not to mention, you are independent, you are alive, and you are thriving. Even if you are in a great relationship, you know that, no matter what, you can make it on your own. This person is in your life because you want them there, not because you need them there.

Regardless of what society tells you about needing to have a partner, a relationship, or a marriage, you don’t. Yes, being in a relationship with the right person can be great, but what you really need is to be your own person, to love yourself, to know who you are, and to feel that you are enough. 

Here’s why you’re enough:

1. You are intelligent

You are beyond intelligent. You’ve created this beautiful life for yourself, and you are absolutely capable of making informed decisions. You continually work on being the best version of yourself. If that’s not smart, I don’t know what is. You are badass.

2. You are independent

Whether flying solo or not, you are independent. You’re on your own. You manage your life, and you’re effing awesome at it. You run the show, and you are very much on top of things. Again, badass.

3. You have meaningful relationships 

Having people that you love and care for is crucial. These relationships can be with friends, family, or colleagues. Love is love. You are there for those that are important to you, and are capable of accepting the love and care that they provide you as well.

4. You are reaching your goals

Whether it’s career goals, school goals, or special training, you are working towards something! You are building a life for yourself, and focusing on something you absolutely love. You are able to stand on your own two feet and take care of mind, body, and soul.

5. You are healthy 

You take care of yourself and focus on your overall wellness. Having a well-balanced life is so important, and maintaining that mind-body connection makes all of the difference. Keep learning, keep growing, keep thriving.

6. You are strong

The fact that you have overcome whatever it is that life has handed you thus far is evidence that you are strong. You continue to move forward, and push through any hurdles encountered on the road called life. Your ability to stay motivated is so powerful, and you should constantly be reminded of your courage and bravery.

7. You are enough

No matter what anyone might say, you are enough. Some will try to make you feel small, and try to make you feel that without them you are nothing. THIS IS NOT TRUE. You are able to provide for yourself, love and care for others, and continually grow as an individual. All of the things that you do only require you, and no one else.

You are wonderful, you are smart, and you are kind. Love yourself because there are so many people out there who love and adore you too. And if someone doesn’t appreciate how great you are, they don’t deserve to be a part of your life. Stay motivated, stay strong, and never allow another being to tell you you’re not worth it.

You are enough.

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xx,

Paula

Nine Ways to Quit Negative Thinking

We all do it. It’s ok. I’m guilty of it too. Negative thinking is one of those things that happens, sometimes more often than not. It can be because you’re hard on yourself, because others are hard on you, or because life has previously handed you some super sour lemons. Regardless of the reason, negative thoughts can be all consuming

Again, having some negative thoughts is normal; you’re only human. Nothing is perfect all the time. However, this negativity can quickly become a habit, and change the way in which you perceive the world around you. How can you appreciate anything if everything around you is so terrible?

Negative thinking can cause a great deal of dissatisfaction, even if things are going pretty well, generally speaking. Nothing is good enough. You’re not good enough. Everything is shit. Life is shit. Everyone is horrible. Why is this happening?

Well, it’s happening because once you go down that road of negativity, you find yourself in a downward spiral. It’s moving quickly, and you’re not quite sure when it started, how it started, or how to get out of it. You are angry, and your outlook on life is one that is, for lack of a better word, unhealthy. It’s time to make a change…

Here’s your step-by-step guide to working through negative thinking:

1. Stop and breathe

When you find a negative thought coming on, stop, take a deep breath, and try to breakdown what makes this a bad thing. Once you’re able to identify what’s causing the thought, it will allow you to understand why you feel the way you do.

2. Challenge the negativity

Challenge that negative thought with a positive one. Once you’ve mastered step one listed above, you can take that negative thought and replace it with a positive one—if this is difficult at first, try replacing it with a neutral thought.

3. Look around

There are so many wonderful things in your life, and it’s important to identify a few positive things each day. Whether it’s how cute your dog is, to how amazing your SO is, or as simple as the plant on your kitchen counter that continues to bloom, take in the things that make life beautiful.

4. Know that you are enough

Positive affirmations are really important. Once you feel good about yourself, everything else will start to feel good too. As you’re getting ready for your day, say three positive things about yourself in the mirror. Do this each day for a few weeks, and you should begin to notice a change.

5. Do what you love

Bring joy into your life. The happier you are, the better life will feel. Do more of the things you love, with the people you love. Enjoy yourself.

6. Smile and welcome the unknown

Put your beautiful smile on, and be confident in the amazing things you bring to the world. Walk around with an open heart, and welcome what the world is offering you. Sometimes it’s the unexpected events that truly impact our lives for the better.

7. Acceptance

Accepting the things we cannot control, although easier said than done, will allow room for personal growth and the ability to appreciate things for what they are. Try to find the silver lining in every situation. It’s true that every bad comes with good, and vice versa.

8. Get your cleanse on

Misery loves company. If you want to make a positive change in your life, sometimes that means cleansing your life of all negative things…including people. Surround yourself with those who are positive, those who bring good to your life, and those who bring out the best in you…

9. Appreciate more

Appreciate the things life has provided you. Once you learn to let go of the negative thinking and focus on the positive things in your life, you will feel more fulfilled. With so much good, you will be less likely to focus on the negative things.

Focus on the good, challenge the negative, and remember all of the things you have been blessed with. Life is beautiful…

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xx,

Paula

Don’t Settle: Why You Should Wait for The One

I know. It’s literally the most cliché thing ever, but seriously, don’t settle. Wait for “the one” because it’s so worth it

As we get older and into our twenties and thirties, society tells us that it’s time to settle down. This message is clearly conveyed to us by the abundance of invitations in our iCalendar for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and well, whatever other cheesy crap goes on.

You get dressed, put a smile on, walk in without a date, because you’d much rather fly solo than walk in on the arm of the douche of the week…

I literally did this for two years. TWO YEARS. It did feel much longer than that, however, due to my ex basically being non-existent emotionally. He was just a warm body and not much else. Zero fun.

Anyway, I went on date after date with plenty of handsome, intelligent, successful men, all while trying to ignore the thought that my clock was ticking. Literally all of my friends were getting married—I guess that meant I should also be aiming for that? Everyone in my life was asking if I had met someone wasn’t helping either. Even with all of the pressure, I refused to settle.  

None of these lovely dudes were the right dude. And even though we had fun, and laughed, and these fellas had plenty to offer, it still wasn’t enough—something was missing.

Remember that puzzle I talked about last week? And how when you find your missing piece, everything kind of comes together? Yeah, that happened after two years of dating. From the moment we sat down with that first bottle of Cabernet we shared, I knew there was something about him. Something special. There was a spark.

Regardless of my excellent ability to self-sabotage, I managed to stick it out. With this, I was lucky enough to find my one. Again, I really believe that life provides you with exactly what you need at exactly the right time. If I would have settled at some point in my dating adventure, there’s a chance he and I would have missed our opportunity.

Here’s what it feels like when you find the one:

You feel it in your gut

Things just feel right. I can’t quite explain it, but every part of you is drawn to this person. It’s kind of magnetic…

Things are easy

No fighting, no games, things just flow. Every couple has their issues, but it goes back to that 90/10 rule I wrote about a while ago. You should be happy wayyy more often than not.

Your lives mesh well

You like to do the same things, your social circles click, your families are basically in love, it just works.

The attraction is real 

I’m not just talking about a physical attraction, but your energies really connect. Energies find similar energies. Again, you just vibe.

Support

You will find yourself in a supportive environment. It’s most likely working because you guys value the same things. With this, your partner will be your biggest fan—the one who supports you the most. What’s the point of being in a relationship if the person by your side isn’t willing to stand by you?

Your love language

You will most likely have the same love languages. If you don’t know what your languages are, you can take the test for free here. Trust me, it’s worth the time!

You can’t imagine life without them

Even after a short period of time, you can’t imagine what life was like before sharing your experiences with this person. How was it possible to live, or exist, without them? It just seems insane…

Everything is better with them

Literally, everything. They improve your life just by being in it. You can’t wait to share news with them, and all you can think about when leaving the office is getting home to them. The level in which this person enhances your life is substantial, and being able to have this for possibly ever because you chose not to settle is just beyond comprehension.

You’ll know when you’ve found the one…don’t settle, and don’t lose hope. It’s all about timing…

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xx,

Paula

Love is Not Created Equal

Love is one of those things that comes in all different shapes and sizes, and it’s never the same. Each piece is different, and definitely not created equal.

Have you ever been in love? Or thought you were? Where you feel like your heart is going to burst because you love the person standing by your side so much? Yeah, I’ve been there. Been there, and done that. Twice. The difference, however, is why one relationship lasted and the other didn’t. One was corrupt, and the other wasn’t.

Love can be an evil-eyed monster sometimes. It can be so intense that it literally feels like you’re dying inside. It’s the kind that makes you sacrifice your needs, your happiness, and your wellness just to make the other person happy. A love that is miserable and viciously demanding—it’s simply the worst.

That was the first kind of relationship I had. Where I loved so much that it turned to hate—eventually some of that was me hating myself.

I took so much away from who I was and what I wanted. What I thought was me “loving” someone else was actually slowly chipping away at me.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to find a love that is the complete opposite. A love that I gladly give, unconditionally, because I know I will receive the same. A love that makes me smile, and feel full, and laugh uncontrollably all the time. One that is so selfless and passionate, that my heart feels like it’s going to burst.

A love that provided me with the support and care I needed to be a better human being. A love that gave me the hope and courage to pursue my dreams. One so strong that it would stand by me no matter what.

This is my definition of love. This is what I expect and need to have a successful relationship. How I was lucky enough to find it? I have no idea.

So take time to think about what you need in a relationship. Is it the type that will make your heart feel so full that it’s going to explode from all the joy? It could be the type where you and your partner just can’t bear to be apart? Or the type that will allow you a great deal of space and the ability to be as selfish as you need? Each person requires something different, and as long as you and your partner are on the same page, it will fit.

Love is like a puzzle. Once you find your missing piece, it literally feels like your whole life has come together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d always felt very fulfilled: I have great friends, a wonderful career, and an abundance of adventures to look back on. But still…something was missing.

I came to find that my missing piece was sharing my life with someone who wanted the type of loving feels I was able to give, and vice versa. A person who has the same values and goals. A person who enjoys the same lifestyle.

Basically, it’s all about that puzzle—when it fits, it fits. When you know, you know.

Don’t settle for anything less…

xx

-Paula

To learn more about how I found my love, click here!

What Turning Thirty Feels Like for a Millennial

Wow. I just turned thirty. Who would have thought turning thirty would come as quickly as it did…

I can still remember my twenty-first birthday—it literally feels like it was just yesterday. Twenty-one is always the golden age you really wait for because you finally get to go out drinking and things. You know, the fun stuff, lol.

As I look back on all of the crazy shenanigans my friends and I got ourselves into, and how much fun it was, I realize that I could no longer engage in those types of activities at this point in my life. Growing up entails so much, and until you hit a huge milestone, such as turning thirty, you don’t realize how much you’ve changed.

The change I see isn’t a negative change. It’s a change full of memories, successes, adventures, and many mistakes—mistakes that I learned from. It’s so hard to believe that I’m letting go of my twenties and moving on to a new chapter.

I think the transition from twenty-nine to thirty isn’t just about another year, but rather, the end of your childhood. The end of your young adulthood. Your ability to make mistakes and still have an opportunity to come back from that. It’s about resilience, and heart break, and growth, and learning to love yourself.

Holy shit. Did I really go through all of that and make it out alive? Whoa. 

Yup. That’s what turning thirty feels like to me—knowing that I experienced some of the most difficult, life changing, yet amazing years of my life. This is why I am who I am today. These are the experiences that got me to thirty. These are the lessons that helped me stand on my own two feet and be successful.

This is turning thirty.

So yes, I’m feeling super anxious, but also super excited. I couldn’t imagine starting a whole new decade and chapter in my life without being where I am now. Without being who I am now. Without being comfortable in my own skin, loving what I do, and loving the person I share my life with. Not to mention, having the sweetest pup on the planet.

I seriously couldn’t ask for much else…

Turning thirty, especially if you’re not where you had hoped to be, may not be as easy. However, I am still a firm believer that timing is everything. Maybe you need to be stronger before you are handed your big moment. Maybe you need to be wiser. Maybe you need to have hit rock bottom first.

Regardless of the scenario, remember that life gives you what you need when you’re ready and able to accept it. So roll with the punches, focus on the positive things, and let life take its course.

Each year brings us new excitement, love, and adventure. Embrace. Every. Single. Moment. Take it in like it’s the last thing you’ll ever see, hear, taste, or feel. Appreciate everything that you have been given, and remember that you are not only one year older, but also one year wiser and one year stronger.

Aging isn’t about getting older, it’s about all the things we learn along the way.

Even though I am nervous, I couldn’t be happier to be turning thirty.

Thirty is the time when life is stable, things are comfortable (but not boring), and staying in on a Friday night with a box of pizza and bottle of wine is cooler than going to the club.

Wait…so I never technically have to go clubbing again!?!? Hallelujah!

Thank you, thirty, for a beautiful welcoming filled with an abundance of joy and laughter…I really couldn’t have asked for more…

xx,

Paula

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