35 lessons to learn in life

35 lessons to learn in life

Well. I’ve done it. I’ve hit 35. And, in my infinite wisdom, I have been sitting here thinking all day about lessons to learn in life. Lessons I have learned in life. You know, this things you wish you knew then, but you know now.

When I started this blog, I was in what I defined a full-on 30-Life-Crisis. I had no idea what the hell was going on in my life, only that the life I had dreamed of was, in fact, the life I was living, but no longer the life I wanted. So, I did what any sane (ha!) 30-Life-Crisis person would do: I ditched it. I headed to  a foreign world to soak up different languages, cultures, foods, experiences, and then, when that ended, I came home, decided it wasn’t for me, and then moved to Thailand.

I think today, it is safe to say while I may be hitting that 35-year-old milestone, I’m certainly not in that head-spinning mode I was in five years ago when I lived in Atlanta and was trying so desperately to find out that one thing in this world which would save me. Editor’s Note: if you are curious about that one thing to save me, spoiler alert: it’s me. And, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, it was me all along.

At 35, looking back, there are so many things I wish I knew at 30. So many things I wish I knew at 29. 25. 21. 18. Every year we get older and wiser, but these days, I find myself just wishing I knew then what I know now. If I could go back and bestow the lessons learned to my younger self, these would be them:

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A BRIEF intermission: My 30 Life Crisis … solved?

What happens when you turn 30, and realize the life you are living isn’t what you expected?

You are single.

You have no children.

You want out of your job.

You don’t own a home.

You don’t have anything tying you to any specific place.

You aren’t sure exactly what you want out of life, but know what you’ve got isn’t what you want?

What do you do?

Well, let’s make this a little more specific.

What do I do when I wake up, realize I am not living the life I ever imagined?

Sure, my future has gone through many different versions: as a child, I dreamt of winning an Emmy for my dramatic performance on a soap opera (preferably “All My Children”); as a teen, it was being a sports reporter covering the NHL; and as a 20-something, I lived to become a power publicist in Las Vegas.

Now, at 30, what do I want for my now, for my future?

What I’m doing isn’t working for me. I have all of this passion, all of this unbridled desire to LIVE, but just haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly how to accomplish this. Until now. 

Since my return from Croatia, I have teetered between sanity and tears (bless you, Mom and Dad and my inner-circle of amazing friends), a career change and a life change. This is what I have lovingly dubbed my 30 Life Crisis. Easily defined, a 30 Life Crisis is the point where one wakes up on their 30th birthday (or close to it) and wonders just what the hell is going on.  A person can clearly recognize where they are in their life and can understand how they got to that point, but also comes to the realization they want like hell to change it. For those who are nodding in agreement and living this moment, embrace it. Enjoy it. Make a change.

After months of research, weighing my options and learning from my travel peers what works and what doesn’t, I have decided to take an oh-so-scary step to infuse my passion with my daily living and quit my job, put my life in storage, foster my cats (shout out to Megan P.), and GET LIVING.

Not to stop the Croatia story in its tracks (promise, it will continue and lead up to this post and beyond) but I am too excited to not make this announcement:

I have booked my flights for my upcoming solo

backpacking adventure through

Europe and North Africa.

Stay tuned, The Adventures of D takes a whole new turn on Sunday, March 7 when I leave for London. My return ticket is for Fall 2010 out of Zagreb, Croatia, but I don’t have to take it …

Ah, 30 Life Crisis, I do love you so.

And, while I don’t expect traveling to solve my crisis, I do expect to learn more about me. About other people. And, most important of all, about life.

In the words of the travel agent who just booked my flight: “Little one, find yourself and tell me about it.”

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