Whew, this list was hard! In the weeks before my birthday, I had so many thoughts for this list just floating around in my head and I was sure that I had at least 30. Not so. While I was half way through reasons 11-20, I realized I was pretty much dry and I had to conjure up the rest of the list on the spot. So, here's reasons 21 through 30 and I apologize if some of these reasons seem a little redundant. I felt that it was my personal responsibility to follow through with this and get to 30 reasons, no matter what.
21. My appreciation for nature has deepened. I suppose this is just something that with age, naturally happens to a nature lover. Any opportunity I get, I want to be outside and observe the world. It is so important to me. I feel that being in nature recharges me somehow. Like the only way I can function at maximum efficiency is if I spend time away from the city, and in nature, at least a few times a week.
22. I'm much happier with my body now, then when I was younger. Sure, while I was in my early 20's I was almost 10 pounds slimmer and I hardly had to put in any effort to maintain my naturally thin figure. Yet, I couldn't see past any of the small flaws that I perceived (imagined or real) and I never felt anything near the confidence I feel now. I'm perfectly content now, knowing that my body is healthy and my weight is right where it should be.
23. I've learned that the only person's opinion about me that truly matters, is mine. Too many times in my youth, I've let the opinions of others impact me. In the last few years or so, I've realized that I can't be true to myself if I care too much about someone else's opinion of me.
24. I refuse to accept, or invite, anything negative into my life. I've realized that I have a choice in what I allow in my life. Negative energy is something I am wise enough to know not to tolerate anymore. I feel that it is an obligation to myself to either remove negative energy from my life, or remove myself from it. Without remorse.
25. I can laugh at the ridiculous things from my youth that I still haven't gotten over. Like the simple fact that I'm still a little afraid of the dark and I make Josh turn out the lights before bed after I'm already in bed with the TV on for a nightlight. Or that I still love Barbie and can't pass by the Barbie isle at Target without taking a minute to look at all the new dolls and imagine which ones I would pick out if I were still a little girl. I don't think I'll ever really "grow up" entirely and I don't think anyone ever does... nor should.
26. I'm truly grateful that I've never been materialistic. While I do enjoy having nice things, I do not depend on them to define who I am. Living in southern California, materialism seems to be a lifestyle for many people. In these people, there's no art, no depth, just "I'm elevated because I wear this brand and drive this car." This attitude is prominent where I live and I feel immensely grateful that it has never penetrated through to me.
27. I know to trust my intuition. So many times I've ignored my intuition, only to discover later on that the deep feeling inside of my head and heart was right. I've learned that as ridiculous and illogical as it seems to make judgements on things based merely on a feeling, I usually end up making the right decisions this way and to ignore these feelings is to deny my very essence.
28. I am so happy that I never followed through with any of my desires to get a tattoo. Don't get me wrong, I love tattoos. A lot of my friends have beautiful and meaningful tattoos. I just don't think I'm a tattoo type of gal. I'm pretty sure that if I had followed through in getting any of the tattoos I wanted in my youth, I would have totally regretted it now.
29. I'm beyond grateful to have my two sweet doggies, Lily and Misha. Before Josh and I adopted these little girls, I didn't know I was capable of loving something so much. They are always there for me and always in tune with my moods. They are the closest things to angels I've ever encountered and I couldn't imagine that my life would be nearly as great without them.
30. I'm happy to be 30 because I'm happy with my life! Sure, I have bad days, sometimes I get a little melancholy for no reason and my marriage isn't always as perfect as I'd like it to be, but overall I am happy to have the life I do. I'm glad that I've lived to be 30 and I've been fortunate enough to live on such a beautiful planet and to have the many lovely people (and pets) in my life.
Happy Birthday to all of my fellow Cancers!