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Five Things

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I've never been a big birthday person, at least when it comes to celebrating my own. It's always made me slightly uneasy to put so much emphasis and expectation on one day, destined to disappoint. But I've taken a different approach today, for my thirtieth. And for the first time (besides my 21st, for obvious reasons), I'm excited; ready.

I grew a lot in my 20s. How to learn from my mistakes, to pursue things that frighten me, what it means to work hard, and how to say "no." With any big milestone, I think it's crucial to have perspective - to rejoice in the things you've accomplished, but to also acknowledge future goals and aspirations. In keeping with the theme of today's post, I've thought about the five things that currently define my life and how they've changed in recent years. Friends and family have always been a priority, but my social circle has become increasingly intimate, no longer burdened by a large group of casual acquaintances. The more comfortable I've become with myself, the better friend I've been able to be and that kind of vulnerability has made for even deeper connections.

My friends have become my family. I've embraced my introverted side - that it's okay to favor a quiet night in with a glass of wine and a good book instead of a crowded bar. It's helped me understand that a truly great home is one that's clean, comfortable, and calming. My dad once wrote in a book that he gave to me, "Find your passion, then find someone to pay you to pursue it." When I started my blog, I had no intention of turning it into a business, I simply created a space where I could share things that inspired me.Pursuing a job that was undefined (you can't exactly major in blogging) was the biggest risk of my life, but it's led to a career that fulfills me more than I ever thought possible.I feel lucky to have lived in the same city for eight years, which has provided me with a sense of community. I find comfort in knowing that I'm part of something bigger beyond just myself, so I give back to things that matter to me (mainly local animal shelters). Because of the joy that our two rescue cats have brought to our lives, I learned the significance of paying it forward.

I see now that the most important relationship is the one I have with myself. For someone who's extremely self critical, this has always been the hardest thing to tackle. To work on my faults, not just scrutinize them, to view my shortcomings as works in progress, and to give myself a break when I'm feeling most insecure. I try to envision the woman I want to become - who's able to find balance in her life, project positivity, and constantly better herself. But tonight is purely centered around having fun, with a dinner party at our place with friends and family. Have a great weekend.

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