Adventures, Inspiration, Joy & Happiness, Life, Love & Marriage, Photography

Here’s To 37

“Everything I know I learned after I was thirty.” – Georges Clemenceau

Another year older. Another year wiser? Of the former, I am certain, but the latter is debatable. I still make mistakes. In fact, I still make the same mistakes. I know I shouldn’t eat that hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge, and I know going into it that the minute the spoon scrapes the container for the last time I will regret it. But guess what? I will enjoy every sinfully delicious bite!

But, I have learned a thing or two in my 37 years of life, and I would venture to say that I’ve learned the most during my 30’s. There were lessons to be learned in my childhood and teen years. My 20’s were a jumbled mess of mistakes, working my way through the alphabet for all the plans that didn’t come to fruition,  and figuring out who I was, and what kind of person I wanted to be. Of course all the messiness aside, I had to re-evaluate who I was in my 30’s, but this time it was real.

Tough stuff happened in my 30’s. On my 30th birthday I found myself an unemployed, single mother living with my parents! YIKES! Not exactly how I imagined I’d be living “my best life”! Eventually I was able to venture back out on my own. Went through some terrible relationships (if you could even call them that). Lost a few people that I loved more than anything. Went to therapy. On the flip side, some pretty amazing things happened in my 30’s as well! When I lost that job, I learned a few lessons about work ethic that will stick with me forever.  When I went through those terrible relationships, it led me to being open to meeting and appreciating a wonderful man who would become my husband. When I found myself in therapy, I learned who I was, how to love myself where I stand, how to forgive both myself and those who have hurt me, and what it meant to truly love someone else for free!

Reflecting on the changes and lessons of the last year is almost overwhelming.  My marriage has grown in so many ways. Like any newly married couple, we’ve had our share of bumps in our relationship, but because of our love and commitment, the fact that we had both learned what it means to love for free, we were able to recognize that those little bumps are an opportunity to fertilize and nurture our relationship. A chance to really love unconditionally.  We are coming up on our third anniversary now, and honestly, our marriage is stronger today because of those little bumps. Sure, we still argue. I’m sure I get on his nerves from time to time. (I’m not always the easiest person to live with! Gasp!!) But we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and our relationship over the last year, and I’m grateful for every lesson…easy or messy!

A year ago, we were living in SouthWest Missouri. Making plans to stay in Missouri for the remainder of our lives. But don’t they say “Life’s what happens when you’re busy making plans”? (I’m not really sure who they are, but they aren’t wrong!) Sure enough life had different plans for our future than we did, because now here I sit looking out the window of The Red Door Cottage in SouthWest Michigan, nearly SIX hundred miles from where we thought we would be! We might not have a “plan” for the future right now, but we sure are learning to embrace the idea of being open to new opportunities and new ideas!

I had a thought the other day, and I’d like to share it with y’all. I believe that everyone has a dream, or a hundred dreams. Some of those dreams are easily attainable. So we do a little research and make a plan.  Often times, those dreams become a reality. Then we have dreams that seem too far fetched, too unattainable, too lofty. But I think that when you meet the right person, maybe it’s a spouse or maybe it’s just an amazing friend but either way, I believe the right person unlocks our full potential. A potential maybe we didn’t even realize we had within us. Having that person in our corner opens our eyes to the things we can accomplish. That person is special. If you have found that person in your life, don’t take them for-granted. Thank them! (Thank you Samuel!) Love them. Encourage them to make their dreams a reality.

In hindsight, I think it’s safe to say my 37th year on Earth was full of growth, love and  lots of adventures. Adventures from Galveston, TX to Boston, MA and all sorts of places in between! I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store for this gal in the years to come, and I’d “bet” that it will be filled with peace, love and a few adventures along the way!

Until Next Time: Peace, Love & Adventure

Jess xox

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