If you’re reading this – I AM THIRTY! I don’t know what it is about decade birthdays that make birthdays feel BIG! I mean, they make you more reflective than usual. At times, they can even bring you down a wee bit because they can be a reminder of what you always THOUGHT you’d accomplish by said decade year – you know what I mean? Needless to say, saying “goodbye” to my 20’s is surely bittersweet.
Instead of feeling down about hitting 30, I am sitting on the beach laughing with my husband and reflecting on how flipping awesome my 20’s were. I mean, I graduated from college twice, started a photography business that’s still trucking along, met my husband (age 22), cheered my mom on as she graduated from college, welcomed 2 of my God babies into the world, maintained friendships, finally started viewing my “baby brother bear” as a young man, met and became close friends with some amazing ppl, showed 100+ students unconditional love, did a little bit of traveling (Mexico, Charleston, Chicago, Los Angeles + surrounding cities, Miami, Blue Ridge Mtns, Houston, Jamaica, 30A), took premarital counseling, and married my Artyyy in front of about 200 people that we love so much! Whew!
With 30, I want to boldly walk in my truth. I want to be transparent about my journey – my 20’s came with some tough times, too. I welcomed my 20’s with a DUI – yes, ME. I did my community service and spent a lot of my own little savings to get it reduced. I suffered two major depressions out of no where. They left me in uncontrollable puddles of tears 24/7 for what felt like the longest weeks of my life. I’ll never forget being afraid of my own thoughts and calling several random ministers hoping they’d help. I went through this dark time questioning EVERYTHING (including God). More recently, my 20’s brought an appointment where my doctor looked at me and for the first time I heard a doctor tell me “Farrahn, you’re pregnant!” Before we even had the chance to celebrate and take everything in – I had a miscarriage. I went through the motions of feeling less than. I asked myself “What if it never happens for us because of MY body?!” I eventually checked myself because I know THAT’s the kind of crazy talk + thoughts that the devil would looove for me to harp on. NOPE! Talk about needing FAITH!!!
Today, I asked Art “If you could sit here today with 24 year old Farrahn – would you want to?!” Of course, he said “No, I love 30 year old Farrahn!” Just as I was about to give him an A+ for passing my pop quiz, we talked about WHY. THAT Farrahn was a total sweetheart, but she was full of fear. She was a “runner”, and she played it safe. Heck, she wouldn’t have ever disclosed some of the stuff above!!! A private person that was concerned with only herself. She’d protect herself at any cost. She lived a privileged life & really didn’t have a testimony. Truth be told, she was pretty “judgey”. Faith and God didn’t really drive her. I’m not THAT young girl anymore, and I’m happy about that. Some of those qualities that I used to be… actually make me uncomfortable when I see them in other people now. I am a work in progress, but I have truly grown. I am walking into my 30’s knowing that God is the captain of my ship, BUT sometimes he’ll sit back and let me (the co-captain) maneuver that thang! I’ve gotta have faith, be prayerful, and I’ve absolutely gotta put in the work for the things that I am hopeful for! That’s the way this journey works. When I achieve or receive the things that I asked and worked for – I have to help the next person. I owe it to God to continue helping wherever I can. I have learned to check my thoughts often & even other people’s, if they’re bringing US down…because I know that “God is always in the boat/ship” with me/us. I refuse to allow anyone to make me think otherwise. I want to share the good and the bad – only in hopes of helping people. I want to be a light in this dark world. When I read of people that took their lives, I don’t judge them. I am saddened because I wish someone had reassured them that God was right there in the boat with them all along. I wish they could have seen how I too had the same exact thoughts, but through faith and work – things got better. Even now, I have to remind myself on dark days that it’s temporary, and God will get me through each dark day. I am a survivor, and I walk by faith. I don’t know what’s ahead, but this life is a journey. Everything that I have and will go through is a part of MY journey. Above it all – I want to live a life that will make GOD proud. I’m unashamed to say that I don’t have it all figured out, but if I can do anything to help YOU be a light, I got cha baby!
Let’s do this 30’s!!! In honor of it being my “BIG 30th” – I came up with a Bucket List. I asked some friends + fam to join me in celebration by creating one of their own. It’d be a way to ensure that we’re all being INTENTIONAL about living and celebrating together. I asked them to add 2 things from my list to their own. If it’s on this list -& God keeps me as healthy as I am now, it’s happening within the next 3 years!!! I will cross things off as I do them. It was hard to not put things that were more like goals. I mean, in being transparent (again) – I don’t want to live above my financial means for the next 3 years so I couldn’t include 15 trips across the world. I will do a new bucket list in 3 years.
In no particular order:
1. Learn to swim (this has been put off for about 25 years)
2. Take my mom on a vacation
3. Update my brand (complete with a brand photo shoot)
4. Plan a couples’ trip
5. Host an Ugly Sweater Holiday Party (I won’t make our guests watch Home Alone although that’d be AH-MAZING)
6. Take a calligraphy class (preferably with Erica of yesmaampapergoods.com)
7. Do a weekly blog series ( current ideas: date nights, restaurant reviews, married life)
8. Watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon (helicopter tour)
9. Kiss in the rain (i can admit that i’ve watched too many romantic comedies)
10. Complete a scrapbook
11. Get real estate license (I can help Art out with his business)
12. Reach my ultimate goal of 110 lbs (don’t debate me on this)
13. Get a wrist tattoo (something about being a light…not another butterfly)
14. Attend a concert in a different state
15. Rent a Jeep Wrangler & go on a girls’ trip with friends
16. 1 on 1 makeup classes
17. Ride a horse on the beach (again) with Art
18. Take a cooking class with Art
19. Be completely debt free (other than a mortgage) and call Dave Ramsey to do the “Debt Free Scream)”
20. Travel to Greece with Kara (summer trip that we put off for a whole year)
21. Go to one or two wine tastings (or ten because….YES!)
22. Purchase first home with Art
23. Go to Vegas to see B. Spears or J Lo perform (I clearly started this list before the shooting…)
24. Travel to Lake Louise
25. Create a brand video for a creative and/or a family video that I’m proud of (take documentation to the next level)
26. Attend a photography workshop
27. Beautiful beach trip (a beach that would be new for us)
28. Half Tough Mudder (October 2o, 2018)
29. Try and Review 100 new restaurants
30. Have a lil baby that’s gon’ listen (prayerfully) – I realize this one isn’t really a bucket list type of thing, BUT whatyagonnado?!
I really regret not doing a better job of documenting my personal life and trips with my beloved Canon. My camera will be with me as I take on this Bucket List.
Let’s cheer each other on and hold each other accountable!!!I’m excited to see what my friends & family come up with! If you didn’t make one, but you’d like to do this – create one! Lemme see what’s on YOUR bucket list!
THANK YOU FOR READING & CELEBRATING LIFE WITH ME!
With Love & Light,