Coming Home: Reflection on My Twenties

Today I turn thirty and leaving my twenties has me super reflective. I feel like your twenties really is the first decade of your life that you can truly look back and determine how you grew, what changed, what goals you accomplished, etc. Let’s face it. When you’re a teenager, you don’t really care or have that kind of awareness. But this is the first birthday where I’m truly self-reflective:

  • Where did I come from?
  • What did I do?
  • What did I learn?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What do I want to change?
  • What do I do now?

Sure when I started my twenties, I thought I would be in a much different place ten years down the road than I am now. Never did I think I would be living in Denver, Colorado. Never did I think I would be single or childless. And never did I think I would be a self-employed photographer. These were not goals or dreams. In fact, I really set no goals for myself. This is just what came to be with little thought other than making choices based on chasing what felt right. It makes me wonder what I could accomplish if I actually set intention behind those feelings during this next decade of my life. Because never did I think when I was twenty that I would…

  • Move across the country alone
  • Support myself and live alone for eight years
  • Camp & rock climb (yea…I know…shocking right?)
  • Getting to know myself
  • Start a business at age 24 (I was actually very opposed to self-employment)
  • Live in Europe for three months, let alone travel for my job to seven different countries
  • Get a dog, who has quickly become the best thing I’ve ever done
  • Redefine family
  • Touch both the Atlantic & Pacific oceans
  • Meet and lose the love of my life (which taught me more than I can go into on a bullet point)
  • Hike over 75 trails
  • Pierce my nose & get a tattoo (let alone three)
  • Drive across the country (about seven times)
  • Learn the meaning of true love
  • Photograph over 100 weddings
  • Visit nearly half of the fifty US states
  • Climb a 14,000 ft mountain
  • Buy a car
  • Find what I actually believe in

My twenty-year-old ideas were so much smaller. So simple. However, life had bigger plans. Plans that didn’t involve getting married, buying a house, settling down, or having children. Plans I could have never done if I settled into those simpler ideas. I feel like I spent a lot of my twenties fighting and fearing this. Yearning so badly for that simpler dream because it was comfortable and felt like home. I actually held myself back from so much trying to stay in a place I didn’t belong. I latched on to people not meant for me and ideas that I had outgrown in hopes of feeling at home. My twenties were literally a battle against my own heart and soul. Because of this, I don’t think I have ever actually accepted any of what I have accomplished or become. Surely I cannot be that woman. I was supposed to be something entirely different and my own skin doesn’t even feel like home.

But as I’ve entered into this new decade, I want to acknowledge myself. I want to realize I am no longer that visionless, simple twenty year old. I want to embrace that my twenties and all it held pushed me outside of those small dreams. I want to celebrate that I do know what I want and what is good for me. And I want to step into this new chapter with self-awareness and place intention behind that knowledge. I want to let go of what never happened and be proud of what actually did.

So here’s to thirty! Self-love, intention and finally embracing what life has given me (even if it wasn’t what I thought I wanted)! Here’s to finally embracing the woman I am and coming home!

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