I have now entered the last hours of my twenties. Thirty comes Friday at midnight, so I thought I might reflect a little before the hilltop comes and I'm launched over it.
I started my twenties off as a newly single college student in Michigan, who really had no idea who she was. For 3 years before that I defined myself someones girlfriend, but really had no other definition of myself to stand on. I spent the first 6 months of my twenties having fun and learning more about who I wanted to be and enjoying life as it were. Out of nowhere, I met my soon to be husband, fell immediately and madly in love with him, and we were engaged two months later.
We married in August of 2000 when I was 21, and in August 2001 we joined the Coast Guard. I say WE joined because it was a mutual decision for him to join, and I even had to sign a "permission form" for him to do so. He graduated boot camp and we were stationed in New York.
Less than a month after leaving home, my Daddy died unexpectedly, and my world turned upside down. Losing him was completely devastating. I will never forget where I was when I found out, even though the months afterwards are hazy at best.
Since then, we have lived in Virginia, California and, now, Alabama. I have met the most amazing people along the way, and made some of the greatest friends on the planet. We have traveled to places I had only hoped to ever experience. I even won a car. How cool is that?
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at age 23, and despite being worried about fertility for years, I was able to have two incredibly beautiful children. Both of my children came early after each attempted 33 and 32 week entries unsuccessfully, but both were born healthy. I am also the blessed Mommy of an angel in heaven, having lost my first baby in November of 2005, at age 26. I gave up my "career" in Insurance to be a Stay-At-Home-Mommy and couldn't be happier with that decision, even when my 2 year old drives me bonkers.
I gained and lost around around 200 pounds in my twenties, but not all at once, obviously. I gained 40 pounds before and after my wedding, lost it a year or so after that. I maintained that weight and lost even more before gaining 50 pounds during my pregnancy with The Big Little One. Lost all of that, only to gain 47 pounds during my pregnancy with The Little Little One. I'm close to my goal weight, now, and am currently on a mission to accept myself for who I am and what I'm doing, rather than what I look like.
I've had tragedy and triumph in my twenties, but the triumphs well outweigh the tragedies. I am very happily married to a man who is as in love with me as I am with him. I have beautiful and healthy children, a stable (yet unstable) life, the best family a person could ever hope for, the most wonderful friends all across the country, and love. My life is filled with love. It is all I could have ever imagined and more.
So, if my thirties are even half as good as my twenties were, I'm ready for them to start. So long Twentysomething Leah.
Bring it on!