This past year has been a tough one. A lot of ups and downs. Even God testing me to see what I can handle. The truth is that even though I have gone through a lot, I have learned a lot and grown. During this process, I lost the ability to express myself creatively for along time. I stopped writing and got a little lost. I have had time to sit and reflect on all that has changed for me since being in my twenties. I think that everyone should reflect with each new stage of life to see where they have been and how far they have come.
In a few weeks, I will turn 35 years old. I am noticing that my thirties so far are filled with learning lessons. My twenties were all about trials and errors. I can admit now that I didn’t always learn from my mistakes back then. Instead, I usually chalked it up to being someone else’s fault and not my own.
Now reaching my mid thirties , I am beginning to look at life as a bunch of reactions or responses to situations that occur. In my twenties, it was all about reactions. I had 3 of my 4 kids while in my twenties, and I definitely lived off of reacting to the stressful situations that life threw at me. I didn’t take a second to look at the whole picture. Sometimes that clouds us and makes what is happening appear different or negative that what it really is. Now in my thirties , I try to take a moment to think before responding to the situation. Sure, I am human and I don’t always follow through with that. Especially since I am a stay at home mom and it is still summer break.
I have learned that the most important thing in life is family. I always knew that, but when you go through the possibility of separating your family, you begin to see what really matters. I had the opportunity to teach again back in Arkansas. I ultimately turned it down partly due to the fact that it would just bring more stress and separation to my family. The whole process made my appreciate my husband and kids so much more. My life may not be perfect but knowing that I have 5 people who love me deeply makes every trial and error worth it.
I have also learned that it is important to take care of yourself. Recently, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I didn’t even realized that I had it for the past twelve years. It is only in the last two years that I have noticed a lot of changes and physical problems. I had to learn to take better care of myself this year. I completely changed my eating habits, cutting out most gluten and limiting dairy. In the process I have lost over 35 lbs. It has also made me feel somewhat better physically. I have started taking antidepressants to help with my depression, stress, and anxiety. I found out that all of those are triggers for MS. So, not everyone will realize that they have a incurable chronic illness in their 30’s, but everyone can realize that they have to take better care of themselves physically and mentally.
I still have half a decade left of my thirties, and I know that they will be filled with more life lessons. Seeing how far I have come, I know that I will be able to handle what these years will give me. I may not see it when it happens, but I definitely will when I am in my forties reflecting back.