Friday, April 25, 2014

The Eve of My 32nd Birthday



How in the world did that happen? My entrance into my thirties was anticipated and fun. The day was spent looking at engagement rings and going out to dinner with my family and some of my dearest friends. I went to bed that night in a daze, excited about the future and ready to grab life by the horns. And then I woke up and I'm living with my husband in New Jersey and I'm turning 32. Whaaaaaatttttt happened???

This past year has been amazing, but it's been a year of reflection as well. I received the notification that my 10 year reunion for college was this year. (For all of my college buddies, can you even handle the idea that it's been 10 years?) It was rough for me to get that postcard. Ten years ago, on this night in 2004, I was a senior in college and ready to turn 22. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life other than get married and have kids, but the world was my oyster and it was time to go after the pearl. Ten years later, I sometimes have days where I look at my life and think "you're in college, working part-time trying to earn some extra cash, and not sure where life is taking you." What has changed?

Everything, Bethany. Everything has changed. It's so easy to say "you haven't gone anywhere since college!" because the power of negative thinking is stronger than the power of positive thinking. I have fought that urge though because my life has been AMAZING over the past ten years and I would be dishonoring all of the incredible experiences if I let myself drown in negativity. My life has literally gone full circle and these new chapters are being written via God's plan, not mine.

I am writing a list of my experiences since April 2004 so I can look back and remember what I'm capable of; I hope in April 2024 when I'm turning 42, I can add a lot more things to list and smile with pride that I didn't let anything hold me back.
  • Bought my first house
  • Became a licensed investment advisor before the age of thirty after starting my career as a "secretary"
  • Sang in a rock cover band
  • Auditioned for American Idol (twice)
  • Saw the Phillies clinch the NLDS in 2008 then watched them win the World Series
  • Ran a 15k race (and multiple 5k's)
  • Became an aunt two times over 
  • Lost Grandmom and Granddad
  • Was a bridesmaid in three weddings, sang in three weddings, and attended 19 more (there are now twenty kids between those 25 weddings and I'm sure plenty more on the way.
  • Went to Africa, preached to hundreds of Malawians at a village soccer game, and helped prepare bricks that would build a school
  • Traveled to: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Canada.  
  • Met Ped, got engaged, planned a wedding, got married, best decision ever
  • Moved to New Jersey
  • Quit high paying job to go back to school and pursue a career that makes my heart smile
These are the larger things that made an impression but there were so many other daily things that have affected my life and made me the person I am today. In honor of these experiences, and in honor of the people that have experienced these things with me, cheers to us and the last ten years! Here's to the next 10!!!!

Happy birthday to me!!!