As I sit here drinking my morning cup of tea, I cannot help but to think about how I am entering my last year in my thirties. It is hard for me to not reflect on the past years and all the major life events that have happened and the blessings of my life now.
I have never NOT wanted to be a mother.
Like many women who have such a strong desire, we feel the passing years strongly. For me, turning 40 was my cut off age. At first it was 37. As the years went by and I became closer to my mid-thirties, I decided on 40. (I was also realistic and knew that the chances of achieving my dream were growing slim as I was focused on work and the gym, while not entering into a serious relationship.)
When I turned 30, I had just ended a year-long relationship and joined a local gym. I was in an apartment that I loved. My early thirties brought a new perspective on my life; I was taking charge and discovering myself and things that I loved. I was crossing things off my bucket list and trying things that I never had before.
I went to several concerts and discovered Dave Matthews Band. That concert in the pit was amazing! (I also fell in love with the music of a local artist, Matthew Mayfield.) I was an avid hiker and can proudly say that I slept on the literal edge of a mountain. I hiked through the clouds to reach the top of that same mountain. That was a surreal experience that I have never forgotten. I learned how to shoot a bow and discovered a passion for it, along with boxing and exercising.
I went on so many adventures, and some by myself.
I went caving and discovered it was definitely not for me. I also saw the Milky Way while shark fishing. I fell in love with Mexico Beach, Florida. I developed a “why not?” attitude and was more than happy to try many new experiences. I was living an adventurous life, and, for the first time, I was living it for me.
I experienced two more miscarriages in my thirties. I also became a mother to two very wonderful children. After my daughter was born, I was able to close the door on having children. It was hard but I feel incredibly blessed with the two little humans I get to raise. The fact that I am a mother after praying for so long to be one is surreal. I found that as much as I enjoyed the free spirit lifestyle, nothing brought me the complete fulfillment that I now feel as a mother.
While being a single mother was not what I had in mind, I still would not change a thing. I get to raise both of my children into the amazing humans they are quickly becoming. It can be very challenging, but it is beyond worth it!
My thirties brought both excruciating pain and tremendous joy.
We lost both of my grandparents—my mom’s parents—and that is a pain I am still healing from. They and my mom had a very large hand in my upbringing. I love saying that both of my children carry on not only their names, but also their blood types. In September of 2022, my son’s dad passed away. While we had our problems, that was a loss I needed to take time to grieve in my own way. There is still joy to come, though.
I have come into my own this past year. I have once again started going to the gym. I have become an advocate for autism awareness, and I am praying this will be the legacy I leave for my children. Shockingly enough I have signed up for my first 5k (that will probably also be my last since I am a gym rat, not a runner). I have started my dream job, and that is writing. I am beyond blessed to be writing for the Birmingham Mom Collective. When I got the email, I screamed in the middle of the thrift store I was in with my mom and started jumping up and down.
I am not sure what this last year will bring, nor what my forties will show. I do know that I now have so many stories to share with both of my children and cannot wait to take them on adventures with me as they get older.