I got over the guy I followed to Virginia. Of all the things in my life that didn’t work out, this is the one I’m most grateful for.
I wore nothing but white shirts and blue jeans for a month to remind myself to be a blank slate and that beauty was more than… well, what I thought it was.
I got my eyebrow pierced. I also got a tattoo. Such a rebel, right?
I worked as a bookstore clerk, dance teacher, substitute, and ice cream scooper. These were all after I got my college degree. In History.
I navigated a national crisis. And later, a local one. Neither very well, but still.
I fell for a drummer. It wasn’t the best idea, but it was a fun one. And also crucial in finding the love of my life.
I graduated college... even though my last semester I skipped over 30 classes.
I managed to get an agent. And an editor. And a mind-blowing book deal. I'm still not sure how this happened.
I wrote to the Queen of England asking to become a dame, citing my recent rescue of a turtle as the prime reason. Never heard back.
Oh, I rescued a turtle.
I rode an elephant, took a road trip by myself, rode a mechanical bull, learned to hula hoop, and wrote a book. All because I wrote down that I wanted to. I didn’t accomplish everything on those lists, but I’m glad they existed.
I hit a freaking deer.
I finally met Brian Littrell. Some loves never die.
I co-captained a dance team.
After 3 kiss-free years, I kissed the man who would become my husband.
I totally snuck into Epcot.
I felt the total and absolute calm of the moment I discovered I was pregnant with Guyden. And later, the nervousness with his kicks. And then the exhausting and incredible love of his actual existence.
I embraced my curls. I embraced my curves. I embraced my weird.
I rediscovered how much fun it was to be a fan. I love being a fan.
I had a fallout with the friend from high school I thought I’d never lose. A few years later, we got over it. Some friendships are meant to be and are always worth the work.
I got married and lost my virginity. In that order. Easily one of the best decisions of my life.
I skipped my high school reunion. I can’t imagine anyone was really bummed, but if they keep them up, I want to go to the next one.
I learned how to shoot and edit videos, a skill I never thought I’d possess.
I lived a quiet life, mostly. And I was happy more than I was sad.
So there it is. Pretty much.
My advice on living after 30 short years? Give yourself room to make mistakes. Hold on tightly to what matters to you, even if it’s unpopular. And love people. Love is it.