Dating and love. It is quite the adventure in your 20s, and 30s and beyond. This week's Love for 30 Project contributor is Kristi, and she opens up about her love life and shares the lessons she has learned. Kristi realized that with age comes growth that has shown her that loving herself is where it all begins.
If you are interested in joining the Love For 30 Project and share your own story, please email me, email@example.com.
Life and Love After 30
The day I turned 30 I was honestly not in a great place in my life. I spent the afternoon on a cruise to the Bahamas with my brother and sister. (Ok, so technically I was in a great place, just not emotionally speaking). I was still reeling from a breakup with a guy who I was certain was going to be 'the one.' I can remember being on the boat and feeling physically ill, with a fever and chills. It may sound crazy, but I attribute to my body's reaction to the meaning I'd placed on turning 30. I was physically rejecting the fact that, here I was, entering another decade single and alone --- or at least that's the way I perceived it at the time.
I spent much of my twenties believing that I never would find true love. I thought that I was destined to be alone and that's just the way it was. Needless to say, when my 'sure bet' relationship ended shortly before my thirtieth birthday, it was a big blow. Still, I've always had a determined attitude, and with the help of an amazing therapist I slowly started to open myself up to the possibility that maybe I could find in love again.
It's been a little over two years since my thirtieth birthday and the day I spent on that boat. Since then, I've grown and stretched my boundaries beyond what I ever dreamed possible. I've found love, lost love and found love again, all with a healthier attitude and a much more open heart. If I could get ahold of my twenty year old self now, or even that girl, fresh off a breakup on the cusp of her 30th birthday, I'd take her by the shoulders, give her a little shake and this is what I would say:
Everything is going to be ok. You may not see it now but there is life on the other side of a breakup. (In some cases, it's actually a whole new beginning). You deserve so much more than what that relationship was ever going to give you. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that everything is eventually going to be ok.
Open your heart again. Take chances. Be willing to let love in --- you'll be a better person for it.
Stop comparing your life to others. There's a whole world out there that you need to explore and there is still plenty of time to accomplish your goals and dreams. Whatever you think you are going through, you are not alone. Talk to your girlfriends. (Preferably over wine.) Remember that we're all in this together.
Trust yourself. Let me say that again because it bears repeating: trust yourself. Always, always remember that you are worth it. Your ideas are meaningful and your feelings matter. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
Love yourself. Encourage yourself. Learn to be your own best friend. Don't confine yourself with rules that don't make sense for you. Take it easy on yourself. Let life happen, stop trying to fight against it.
Revel in each passing year - enjoy life's little moments. Celebrate your accomplishments. Above all, be happy.
Kristi is a veterinarian and author of Lifesprinkles, a healthy living blog where she shares her passion for food, fitness and inspiring others to live a more healthy, balanced life. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her three dogs Eddy, Alan and Jelly Bean. For more reading (including recipes, personal experience with therapy and healthy living tips) you can check out her blog, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter (@klifesprinkles).