Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thirty.

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. A day I have been anticipating  for years - and no, not for the obvious reasons - but because of this blog! Hungry Twenties, a little venture I started out when I was just barely 23 years old and the thought of turning 30 was a million years from my mind. That I might even still have the blog when I would turn thirty and have to reconsider the name... was even further from my mind. And any notion of what the blog would become - and who I would become - were not even a tiny bit of a speckle in my mind.

Yet, thirty. Here I am!

I created this little place on the internet for myself in 2009. I can't even believe it has been that long. This blog has been a constant in my life more than most things throughout those years. I was just barely 23 years old and it feels like forever ago at this point in time. And not just because it was, in fact, a really long time ago.  But because I am a different person.

I did not exercise. I was overweight, more than 60 pounds heavier than I weigh today. I was living in a 4-bedroom apartment in Albany, New York. It was a fun, crazy, exciting time of my life with endless happy hours, late nights with big groups of friends, a revolving door of roommates coming in and out from Craigslist, a dating life that happened the old fashioned way that didn't involve swiping, laughter sessions with roommates until I cried, questions and confusion figuring out how to become an adult and figuring out who I was. Then one day I decided to start this space.

Without knowing where they were going, things started to change. Looking back now you can see the progression in my writing and in my mindset. Before my own very eyes and before the eyes of many readers, I started training for and ran my first 5K. I lost weight. I gained confidence. I began to love fitness and exercise. I started to see myself as strong and exercise as a challenge. I began to love to challenge myself, set goals, and push further than I had gone the last time.

I signed up and trained for my first sprint triathlon. My first half marathon. My first marathon. My second, and third marathons. My first Half Ironman. And now my second Half Ironman. Seriously guys, how did that even happen?

This year I have devoted more time to exercise than I ever have in my entire life. I have taken some of that "relative confidence" I built up over the years through running and applied it to new athletic endeavors. I am truly entering into this new decade in the BEST SHAPE of my life and with a better grasp on my physical health than I have ever in my life before. I'm learning my body better and better. I'm becoming stronger, and surprising myself with what my body can do. I am learning about nutrition and diet that will properly fuel my body. And I think of the word "diet" in the sense of what it is that I eat, not a restrictive calorie-cutting soul-crushing thing that I have to follow in order to meet some weight and appearance ideal. This fitness stuff has become my lifestyle.

On October 7, 2009 I sat down and wrote my first post for this blog about how I was eating my way through life - an idea I feel so far removed from today. Don't get me wrong, I still love food. I will always love food. But it no longer defines me in that same way. Throughout the past couple weeks I went back and reread my posts from 2009, 2010, etc. all the way through my first half marathon in April 2013. It was like reliving my twenties right before my eyes and gave me many, many moments to stop and reflect.

In my very first post ever, I posed the question "what's a girl to do?" And like that initial question, I've been finding myself facing that question yet again as I turned thirty.  As a thirty year old with a blog titled "Hungry Twenties" -- what's a girl to do? What do I do with a blog called "Hungry Twenties" when I am no longer in my twenties and no longer that same girl defined by her ability to eat multiple pints of ice cream in one sitting or an entire pizza?

I've been asking myself this question for months now as 30 has been looming. It's the number one question I've been asked as I mention I am turning thirty.  "What are you going to do with your blog???" And honestly, I haven't known. Yesterday I switched my Instagram account to "Hungry Thirties."

It was an easier switch to make than over here on the blog. The thought of changing the name of this blog seems wrong. Of changing the title and URL and rebranding this page... it just doesn't feel right to me. This blog has meant so much to me over the years. It's helped me discover so much about myself, record some of the most amazing years of my life, and served as both an outlet and a resource to voice and share my own fears and anxieties, as well as a place to celebrate and rejoice and do it with all of you! It has been a constant in my life and a part of ME.

I have made so many connections through this blog. Met some wonderful people in person, and some friends who have just remained friends over the internet (someday!) It has helped me stay in touch with some of my closest friends even better (hi Kimmy!) and I know some of my most loyal readers are my family members who I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. It's helped me reconnect with people, inspired others, and been a place that I continually come back to even after months and months away. I even achieved the goal I had when I started the blog initially, and earned some free food and free things from the blog!  It's been as integral to my twenties as anything else in my life and changing the title at the top of the page doesn't feel right to me.

Yet starting something new doesn't feel the same either. Do I really want to create a whole new blog? Try and deal with migrating readers? Have to reference back to old posts and old blogs here? Abandon this little corner of the internet for something new and shiny and branded differently?  I don't really want to do that either!  Truly, I've been stuck.

I have been writing regularly in this space with over 100 posts a year since 2013. I've recorded travels and adventures around the world, training and eating and exploring new parts the country and of myself. I have written about weddings, and babies being born, and moves across the country, and my continual ups and downs with confidence and body image and health.

This blog means so much to me. YOU, the people out there reading these words right now mean to me. However, with all this being said, I've sort of come to the conclusion that I have decided to take a break from blogging my day-to-day.  That I think the time has come for me to step back a little. I need to determine what to do with my little corner of the internet moving forward. I am not goingto take a break completely and I still will be writing here for the time being, but I have some changesI want to make. And I will likely be posting a lot less frequently. But I won't be gone forever.

I don't think I am ready to say goodbye to the blog. I mean, I am basically never ready to say goodbye to anything. It is an active thought process for me to not become a hoarder and fill my home with every memento from everything in my life. It's one of the reasons that I love blogging so much. And video. And photos. And social media. It gives me a way to hold onto all the memories and the moments and the feelings and the things I am experiencing. It gives me something to look back on and transport me to a place and time and moment that I may have otherwise forgotten about.

So I won't be gone forever. Just on to the next evolution of Hungry Twenties I think. Whatever that may be.

I had a wonderful day yesterday on my birthday. To be honest, I was a little nervous going into it. On Tuesday night I didn't want to go to sleep, knowing that when I woke up I would no longer be in my twenties. But I also knew that, as is the nature of life, even if I didn't go to bed, I would eventually turn 30 either way.

Then, I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling happy. I began my day slowly and by taking some moments to myself, writing a list of 30 things I love about myself.

I went to work, earlier than usual, as I had a work obligation that required me to be in the office by 7:00 a.m. I stopped to pick up my favorite coffee on the way and didn't feel cranky at all about the early meeting that caused me to skip my morning workout - instead, I felt filled with gratitude that I have a job. And a role on a team that puts me in the position to have the opportunity to present to senior leadership.

There was a bounce in my step as I was wearing a pair of pants that have had the tags on them since I bought them in January 2014. These were my "goal pants" that I actually wrote about on here quite a bit. Well, those goal pants never fit throughout 2014. And they remained a goal throughout most of 2015 too. However on my birthday yesterday, two and a half year after buying them, I rocked those bad boys for the first time. I felt so good about myself, despite them still being a bit snugger than I like my dress pants. I decided I no longer want to be constrained by waiting until things are perfect. Otherwise, I may never get to wear the pants (which could be a metaphor for anything.)


I had a wonderful morning at work and genuinely had fun during the time I was there and with my team as we celebrated my birthday at lunchtime. Afterwards, I got in the workout that I missed from the morning, doing a 45 minute run with some short speed intervals along the Chattahoochee with a light rain falling. The air was cooler and the wind was blowing and it the workout felt tough, which made me feel powerful to finish it.



I got a massage, relaxed at home, caught up with friends, was delivered a beautiful bouquet of flowers and then went to a wonderful celebratory dinner with some of my friends. Who happened to all be strong, smart, fearless, compassionate, fun, beautiful women who I met through fitness, running and triathlon in Atlanta, and who all welcomed me into the dirty thirty club with open arms.




Yesterday, the bouquet of flowers I got had a card with it that said "Happy 30. Stay Hungry." which really resonated with me. I had been thinking about wanting to break from the word "Hungry" as I don't identify with that 23 year old overweight and lazy girl eating her way through life. Yet, there's a whole other definition and meaning for the word hungry. Most recently popular with Steve Jobs Stanford commencement speech ending with "Stay hungry. Stay foolish." Well, I hope to maintain hunger and passion and drive in all that I do, throughout my thirties and beyond. It was the perfect thing to read on my 30th birthday.

Tomorrow I head off to Australia for the Half Ironman World Championships. I am going to share that adventure with you in some capacity. I will write about the trip and the race. You guys have been all along with me for this journey and I thank you for that.

So much love,
Hungry Twenties Thirties

1 comment:

  1. I love that you changed your IG handle. I had such a big smile on my face FOR YOU.

    And just fyi...I had a nightmare that you decided to stop blogging altogether. I'm not even kidding, and it was without knowing this post was coming (this was like 3 days ago). I'm so glad that you're going to keep sharing with us because you're amazing!!!

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