Turning 31 yesterday, I reflected on the past year as a 30-year-old. I have never been more anxious in all of my life, than when I was turning 30 last year. I feared it. It felt all downhill from there. Waaaay downhill. And, honestly, I felt like I was already at the bottom, so how was I going to handle it only getting worse?
I had, seemingly, the perfect scenario for what every single twenty-something thinks their life needs to be at that point. Knowing and understanding that really only made it worse though. I had a husband of 4 years, a 3.5-year-old, an 8-month-old, 2 cars, a career, and a house of our own. What is the problem, Heather?
It still wasn’t where I thought I should be.
I felt drowning in the mountain of debt we had accrued together. That came from a pregnancy out of left field 4 months before we got married. Me leaving my job to take a 75% pay cut. My husband losing his job due to the market being eliminated. To now building a business for him that he had dreamed of for a while. Counseling to work on our new marriage that had been thrown every obstacle you could calculate in just the first total year of our relationship. To then having another child with complications with no medical insurance because we couldn’t afford that.
I didn’t know who I was anymore.
In college, I was the most carefree, party anytime, passionate about my things kinda girl. I felt comfortable in my skin even though I wasn’t at my most healthy weight, but I was aware of what I was eating and drinking, and actually exercised then. Even when I met my husband, and I was in a stressful job, I still knew how to have a good time, and not dwell on the stress. I was still super confident in who I was and what I wanted.
Now I was a woman who hated herself, physically, intellectually, emotionally and was beginning to hate this life I had. The only thing I loved was my boys. I would sacrifice my life and soul just to make them happy for a second. And I think I did that successfully. Except, it actually didn’t make them any better. In fact, everything around me was actually crumbling.
I was way overweight from carrying 2 boys and eating every stress or feeling that was in my way. I washed it all down with wine too. My marriage was so close to being over. Ezekiel was dealing with anger and a lot of emotions for a 3-year-old. Isaac was constantly physically sick due to being born early and suffering from RSV for the first 6 weeks of his life. And I was a shell of a person going through the motions every day.
Plan of Action
I have learned when you are that far down in the depths of whatever you are going through, it is almost impossible to see anything different. It’s as if you purposefully self-sabotage your way more into it. However, one day, something changed. I had a glimmer of give-a-damn. Or maybe it was anger, but I thank God every day that I felt that way for a moment, and an opportunity had presented itself in that moment.
I heard a regular spot on the radio show I listen to every morning, “Wake Up With Taylor”. It was “The Happiness Guru, Carin Rockind” that I rolled my eyes at regularly, because, honestly, who is that damn happy? She and Taylor were hosting a women’s retreat in South Beach, Florida, and they had just 2 spots left. Long story short, I signed up, putting us in more debt, and told myself it was my gift to myself for my 30th. To get away for a weekend and drink with a radio host that I had listened to for 10 years and thought was my BFF, sounded like a good time. And the “Goddess Girls Retreat” would just be some woo-woo stuff I’d have to sit through in between drinks and beach time.
I left that weekend emotionally exhausted, and with 25 new best friends. Literally, I still talk to most of them, each day. I felt like Carin had rocked my world and turned it upside down in one weekend. I wanted to know what she could do in my life if we worked one-on-one. So I started doing life coaching with her. We have been working with each other for a year now, and it definitely has taken that full year for me to start coming back into my own.
How It’s Going
I have a lot of work to do still, but if she hadn’t been put in my life in that second, my life would be an incredibly different situation going into year 31. I’m not writing all of this to sell you on Carin, even though she is amazing. I’m writing this to remind you to be true to yourself. To remind you that when you feel like you are losing your way or yourself, to do everything in your power to claw your way out of that. It is NOT worth it. It’s a reminder to “Put your oxygen mask on first”, man if I hear that phrase one more time!
I feel more confident about my thoughts and decisions, I have female friends that lift me up and I go to for anything without judgement, my parenting is improving because I’m not trying to do it all myself, my marriage is on its way up the mountain, and our finances are adjusting upwards even with me leaving a job of 2.5 years to “take a break” and figure out me. Comfortable. Thankful. Fulfilled and enlightened. I am STOKED to go into 31. 30 was supposed to be the worst. It ended up being the BEST year of my life.