{Happy Birthday} Hello 30!

One little Ninja and her Mama
October 27th, 1982

You have no idea how excited I am to put my twenties behind me. My twenties were amazing yet terrible at the same time. In truth I wouldn’t trade them for the world, they made me into one hell of a woman.

In ten short years I traveled the world, graduated college, bought a Prius and a house, got married, became a mom to Nylan, had a pulmonary embolism induced stroke, became a mama to a baby in heaven, got divorced, adopted a muppet like dog, hit rock bottom, and found myself. The only thing in the above equation I plan on repeating in the next ten years is travel, marriage, house, prius, dogs, and kids. Thats it no ifs ands or buts about it. Then again I of all people should know that we really don’t have control over our lives. The only thing I can control is how well I live my life. An I am determined to live one hell of a life.

Not having a plan used to scare the crap out of me. Now its a thrill. When I walked out on my ex husband I didn’t have a clue on what my life was going to be like. I just knew that it had to be better and that someone out there would love me. I dabbled in dating only to come up empty-handed. Turns out Mr. right was waiting in the wings. Charlie was an amazing man who was brave enough to take on my baggage. He patiently waited for me to drop my bags at the door and walk into his life. Charlie made me feel like anything and everything was possible. Mostly he showed me that love does exist, it’s not just a dream. Love is worth waiting for ladies, it truly is. The biggest lesson of my twenties was “don’t go for Mr. Right now, instead hold out for the one who takes your breath away.” Don’t get me wrong, I will always have a tiny place in my heart for my ex husband, at the end of the day he just wasn’t the one.

My ex showed me what it was like to be last. Scott always put my wants, needs, and well me last. I was never a priority in his life and what I needed didn’t matter to him. My dreams were shoved to the bottom of the pile, heck I gave up law school for him. Yet, I am glad I met Scott. Because without Scott I would never have met Nylan. Nylan will always be my first son and one of my greatest joys in life. This equation proves that there is always good in the bad, we just have to pick out the good parts and sweep the bad a side. You can guarantee that Nylan and I will continue our bond into my thirties. Any man I date will have to realize that I have a date with Nylan one Saturday a month and that date will never be cancelled on.

Dates are funny little things. Some dates stick in our minds and others leave us forever changed. I am not talking about dating rather the dates on our calendars. April 3 2005 Scott and I had our first date, November 13 2006, Scott asked me to marry him, and on May 31 2008, Scott and I said I do. October 22, 2009 is a day I will never forget. That was the day I had my PE induced stroke. May 12, 2010 was the day I found out that the child I was carrying had died and June 27 2010 was the day I walked out on my marriage. August 13, 2010, was the day I adopted the muppet like dog. On September 24, 2010 I quit my job and on December 23 2010, my divorce was finalized. May 27 2011, was the day I started at the big firm. January 27 2012, I became an aunt, February 6 2012, was the day I started at the little firm and on February 16, 2012 Charlie died. The above dates are forever engraved in my memory. All other dates are irrelevant and are trivial compared to the moments that changed my life. Each and every one of us are a collection of dates. Dates tell us how far we’ve come, how long we’ve loved, and how long someone has been gone. My hope is to only add happy dates to the running list during my thirties. Lord knows I could use some happiness to go along with the bad.

I’ve stuffed a lot of living into ten short years. Even I look back and think “Holy Shit AJ! Do you realize you’ve been to Egypt, lived in a Palace, snorkeled in Alaska, and Zip Corded trough the jungles of Belize?” Then I look at my scrap books and say “Yup, I sure did!” Incredible is the one word I’d use to describe my life. Its been incredibly strange, awesome, and darn right tough at times. Hitting rock bottom gave me the strength to dig out and find my way to the top. Now that I am on top, no one will ever knock me down again. The past ten years have taught me to hold my ground and to fight for my place on the mountain. My heart is strong and I have vowed to never lose myself again. I am going to savor my place on the mountain and enjoy the time I’ve borrowed.

I am going to enjoy the time I have on this earth and will not dwell upon the past. Sure I have questions that will go unanswered. I will never understand why my ex husband stopped loving me or why I had to be the one who suffered a PE induced stroke. Mostly I’ll never understand why God called my son Aloucious and Charlie home. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around what was going through that drunk drivers mind the day that Charlie died. Nor will I ever understand why my ex husband chose to stay in Vegas and push his grieving wife a side. I just know that one day it will all make sense. That in life we cannot have the good without the bad. It has to make sense, otherwise every moment of the past ten years was worthless. My faith tells me that each moment is part of a grander plan. I may not understand that plan, yet I am willing to go where ever fate takes me.

A Toast:

To one more incredible borrowed year on this earth. May year number 30 be filled with love, adventure, hope, and more laughter than one soul can handle. Goodbye 29 and Hello 30!

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