The Big 2-9!

It’s the first day of summer! And it’s my birthday! ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‚โ˜€๏ธโฃ
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To be honest, I’ve kind of dreaded turning 29 for most of this year. Maybe some of last year. If I’m being honest. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (One of the books in this photo seems to be telling me I should be.) โฃ
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I expected to be somewhere more “settled” by now. After all, aren’t your twenties the years you’re expected to be figuring life out and progressing to the stages of marriage, successful career, home ownership, and parenthood? I have accomplished one of those things, and I’m pushing toward my thirties. โฃ
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Oops.โฃ
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But then I stopped to think about everything that I actually have accomplished. I may be struggling to figure out my career, to settle into a new state, and to chase my dreams, but I’m doing it. My husband and I moved across the country to start over and pursue a better life for ourselves. A better chance at some of those other things on that above list. โฃ
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I’ve survived trauma and loss, picking out my parents’ coffins at an age when most of my peers were picking out their wedding colors. It was awful, but I ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. I helped my baby brother graduate homeschooled high school when Mom and Dad were no longer there to teach and encourage him. (He worked so hard and I am incredibly proud of the courageous young man he is!) I ran a marathon before I turned 26. (My boss best friend was beside me the whole way.) I recovered from the anxiety induced by a car accident that broke my leg, and continued to drive. (Who knew driving could be an act of bravery?) I’ve published 2 novels and a children’s book, and I’m working on my third novel. โฃ
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This is not meant to be me bragging…I just want to remind myself (and others) that sometimes success isn’t the cookie cutter look we make it out to be. (Seriously. Make a list of the amazing things YOU have accomplished, if you are feeling a little “behind” like me. Also note that none of those things I accomplished were done on my own. TEAM EFFORT, always.) For me, I have spent my 20s loving even when it hurt, pursuing hope even when I didn’t think I wanted to be alive anymore, and fighting for my family. Now I’m entering a period where I get to fight for my dreams.โฃ
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I am privileged to have experienced so much wonderful love in my life. I am privileged to have the chance to start over, even at age 29. I am privileged to be able to read and write books, to enjoy the bookstagram community, to be breathing today. To know my Mom and Dad loved and still love me more than I can comprehend, and instilled the strength I need to survive whatever life throws at me. To have a God who carved stories in my heart and gifted me with passion and hope and joy. To have a husband who holds me when I grieve and rejoice. To have a close-knit family who united to overcome pain together, and to have friends who are as dear as family and who have walked with me through my best and worst days. โฃ
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Yes, 29 may feel like an age when I should have a beautiful house or a thriving career. But I think what I have is much bigger than a pretty home or a fancy job. ๐Ÿ’• โฃWhat are some amazing things you have accomplished that might fall outside the “expected” milestones for your age? And which amazing people were there for you along the way?