2018 RECAP + WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2019

 
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Happy New Year, y’all! After taking a few weeks off from the blog to travel and enjoy the holidays, it feels good to be writing again. 2019 is off to a great start already and I’m excited to share all the NEW content that I’ve been working on. Anyone else just love the fresh start of a NEW YEAR?! It’s like we get 365 chances to get it right this time if last year didn’t go as planned.


So let’s recap 2018, shall we?!


2018…..was a year of growth and complacency. Which I know is odd to have both of those terms together. So let me explain. After living in New York City for 4 years, I found myself settled in and definitely started to become complacent with things in my life. The first few years here were filled with so many changes personally and professionally, constant friends and family visiting, constant travel and experiences. And then 2018 arrived and it was complete opposite. Less hecticness, less friends & family visiting, less travel and less going on in general. I spent the first 6 months of 2018 battling unresolved issues from the year prior including depression. And it was definitely showing up in my daily life. I was feeling complacent, unmotivated and lost as to what to do next?! So in late May, I made the decision to seek out professional help and see a therapist. Looking back, I should have started the process sooner, but I kept pushing it off due to fear of cost since I’m uninsured.  Luckily, I had seen an ad for My Wellbeing, an online resource to help aid in finding a therapist in the New York area. And they offered self pay rates for services.  So after filling out an online survey, I received an email from My Wellbeing, which included two names of therapists in my area, along with their contact info and bios. I was surprised how easy the process was and I immediately felt eager to reach out to the first contact given. After two phone interviews with potential therapists, I selected the one I felt was best for me and scheduled my first appointment for June 6th. And from there I went every Monday for the first few months and then went a few times a month after that. It was hard to walk in that therapist office each Monday and unpack all the things I had placed deep down. To air out my dirty laundry, my fears, my weaknesses, my struggles, my personal relationships and everything in between. But I did it, one session at a time. Some days I would leave there feeling great and other days I left feeling wrecked while wiping away the mascara running down my face. But that’s the thing about therapy, YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK. You have to show up every time willing to unpack all the mess, pain and the past in order to work towards a better version of your self and future. And I can tell you this,  I’m so glad I did the work. I even took a break for most of November and all of December because I found myself stronger after receiving the tools I needed. And it was a good test for me to continue to do the work on my own and push through no matter what life brought my way. So that’s where the growth came from in 2018. I pushed through and faced the things I neglected for so long. And even though there were plenty of lows in 2018, there were also lots of highs.  I got to stand by my best friend while he married his best friend. I found strength in friendships. I had some incredible experiences in the city with new and old friends.  I celebrated my 36th Birthday and my 4th year of living in NYC. And I fell even more in love with the city itself.

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2019 is no doubt going to be a year filled with new beginnings + big decisions.  And I’m excited to take it all on and make it a year to remember.



A few resolutions I have:

-Cook more often. A passion I have developed.

-Be more intentional with time.

-Be more consistent with daily habits (working out/ skincare routine /reading books)

-Find my voice more with my Blog and Social Media. (More action & Less comparison)

-Step out of my comfort zone more.

-Grow the Blog & make changes for longterm goals.

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A few things I’m looking forward to:

-Enjoying the last year living with two of my best friends.

-My friend Brooke’s wedding and traveling to Montana for the first time. Send any recs my way!

-Starting new passion projects.

-Traveling more

-Continuing my journey of self love, acceptance and self improvement.



Wishing you all an AMAZING year filled with new possibilities! And excited for what’s to come in 2019!



Thank you all for being here and allowing me to share my life lessons and journey with you! It means more than you can imagine.



XO, Rae

 

HOW TO LET GO FOR GOOD

 
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Even when it's hard to walk away from something, doing so allows you to be reminded that life goes on regardless. You should NEVER stay stuck in something. And yet we often feel compelled or obligated to stay in our complicated relationships, dead end jobs or unfulfilled friendships. Which begs the question: WHY?! Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with FEAR. Fear of letting go. Fear of moving on. Fear of what we may leave behind. Fear of the unknown. So, how do you let go even when you know it's the best thing to do? 

This is an area in my life that to be honest, I still struggle with. I'm good at holding on to things even when I know they aren't good for me. And I'm even better at letting things stay the same for fear of the "what if's". But as I've gotten older, I have learned that letting go doesn't have to be a bad thing. It often means freeing yourself from the things that are no longer serving you. And it can also be exactly what you need to move forward in your life. So I'm sharing three steps that have helped me deal with letting go in life, and maybe can help you as well. 

 

ACCEPT THE FACT THAT CHANGE IS NEEDED 

The first step, is to admit that something needs to change. Maybe you feel like you don't have many options right now, but there is always a choice that can be made. Easier said than done, I know. But ask yourself, am I happy? And then ask yourself, what can I do about it? Also, remind yourself that you can't do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Change is hard, but once you make the commitment to do it, you've already taken the first big step in letting go.  

 

BE OPEN TO WHAT COMES NEXT 

Second, I think you have to be willing to be open to what comes after you let go. Which is often scary to embrace the unknown. But it can also be liberating if you allow yourself the opportunity. Commit to your decision made and let life happen. Don't let the fear of what could happen stop you from pursuing a new outcome. This is where the real work begins, because it's much easier to allow ourselves to stay in a comfortable place rather than be open to new possibilities. But if we do the work, things often start to fall in place over time. 

 

LEARN TO NOT LOOK BACK 

Lastly, I think that you have to be confident in your decision moving forward. Remind yourself everyday if you have to, why you made the decision to let go in the first place. And then place your trust in the process. Don't beat yourself up over the what if's, or bumps along the way. Sometimes the things that lie ahead of us test us the most. And as you move forward, don't look back unless you plan on using that glimpse as motivation to keep going. Otherwise, stay the course and know that life is what you make of it. 

 

I would love to hear from you all, and what has helped you in situations of letting go? Comment below.  

 

XO, Rae

LESSONS LEARNED IN MY THIRTIES: PART TWO

 
Lessons Learned in my Thirties: Part Two

I've said this before and I'll say it again, your THIRTIES will be some of the best years of your life. They will also be the years that you really start to get to know who YOU are as an individual. And with that being said, there will be many lessons learned along the way. Two years ago at the age of 33, I wrote all about some of those life lessons and you can read it here. Now that I'm 35, I feel like there is even more that I've learned about life and myself. So, I thought I would share some of that knowledge with y'all in a Part 2 of this very topic. 

 

1. Friends are everything. Make time for them even when you feel like you don't have the time to give. 

2. Live somewhere that you miss every time you leave.  

3. Make plans, but be open to breaking them every once in awhile. 

4. You can have it all and still feel lonely. 

5. Find something that makes you genuinely happy. And do it often.

6. People will disappoint you at some point in your life. But don't let it ruin the relationship. We're all human. 

7. Change is inevitable. But it's how you react to it that will make the difference in the end. 

8. Speak Up. Don't be afraid to express yourself and have honest conversations. 

9. Surround yourself with strong & supportive women. 

10. Eat healthier and make time for working out. Metabolism is a thing of the past. 

11. You will remember experiences above anything else in life. 

12. Not everyone is meant to play a role in your life. And that’s okay. 

13. Do more things that are out of your comfort zone.

14. Reconnect with an old friend. Sometimes we get it right the second time around. 

15. Don't let people who don't see your vision detour you from your goals. 

16. The relationship you have with yourself will either be beneficial or detrimental to the relationships you have with others. 

17. Get in the habit of practicing Self Care

18. There is no statue of limitations on starting over. 

19. Confidence within yourself will be your best weapon when it comes to career, dating and life in general. 

20. Your THIRTIES will be the years that you will reinvent yourself over and over again. Be open to the journey. 

 

What is the best life lesson you've learned in your thirties?!  Comment below. 

 

XO, Rae

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

 
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At some point in our lives, we all have fallen victim to the comparison trap. Myself included. Whether it be in our careers, personal life or even with friends. And now days with social media, comparing ourselves to others has become easier now more than ever. It's easy to scroll through Instagram and feel like our lives don't look as glamorous. as others and even feel like we don't have it all together. But it's important to know that social media is often a highlight reel and that we all have REAL lives outside of those pretty feeds. Here are a few things to remember the next time you find yourself comparing your life to those around you. 

 

Everyone has a story.

We all have baggage. We all have ups & downs. We all have hopes & dreams. Which means we all have a past, present and future. And just because other people don't always put their baggage out there, it doesn't mean that it does not exist. Sometimes it's easy to only put the shiny pretty things in our life on display. But let's be for real, we all have days where life looks more like a hot mess than a pretty mess. Everyone's story is different. 

 

Others success isn't always what it seems. 

Maybe they worked really hard. Maybe they just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Or maybe they had a ton of help along the way to get where they are. The truth is, you don't always know how others go to be where they are now. And for that reason alone, you shouldn't compare your beginning to what could be their middle or end. 

 

Find your OWN voice. 

The more you compare yourself to others and admire their traits, the more you may actually start doing things they would do. And not necessarily what is true to you and your character. Be authentically YOU even if you feel like it's not the norm. People look to those who stay original. 

 

Everyone has been exactly where you are.

We all go through life's ups and downs. We've all been exhausted, overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out at some point in our lives. And we're basically just trying to figure it all out along the way. Nobody has all the answers, so don't put so much pressure on yourself to do the same. 

 

How do YOU deal with the comparison trap? Would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.

 

XO, Rae

WHY IT'S OKAY TO LOSE YOURSELF AT TIMES

 
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This blog post has been a long time coming. But even with that said, it's still difficult to write even as I am typing these words. Let me first say, that I am so thankful to have this platform to be able to be raw and open with y'all. And I've always said that no matter what, I will keep things real on here even when it's not pretty. After all, my goal of this blog is to write about REAL life and how we often find that we are 'REINVENTING' ourselves. 

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This year has not been my best. I had high hopes for what would be to come and what I would accomplish. If your new here, let me back up a little to the Summer of 2015. I had just left my comfy corporate job here in the city after deciding that I wanted to explore other options. At the time, I didn't know what those other options were. For the first time in my life, I left a job with no plan as to where I would be next. The month before I left, I started my blog Reinventing Rae NYC. Initially the blog was a way to connect with friends and family since I had just moved to New York six months prior. I knew nothing about blogging at the time, but I had a passion for writing. I had no clear vision of where the blog would eventually go, I just knew I wanted to write about life here in the city and real things happening in my day to day life.

In late 2015, I started to play around with the idea of starting my own business. Although I wasn't sure what exactly it would entail, I was excited for the possibilities. Fast forward over the next year, after talking to a friend, ideas started to come together for a product based business. Products that would include drinkware (coffee mugs, wine glasses, tumblers, etc., with a plan of eventually adding party accessories and stationary. I have a passion for putting together gifts for friends and loved ones as well as planning any type of event or social gathering. This was my brain telling me to put all of my passions to good use and make it profitable. In August of 2016, I started to put plans together and collaborate with a friend who had the talent I needed to make my ideas a reality.

But early on in 2016, my personal life was falling apart. (Well, at least that's how it felt anyways) I was struggling with myself in this new found free time on my hands and the lack of structure in my everyday life. Although it would be my busiest year yet, having friends and family visit me in the city almost every month. Not even kidding. This kept me distracted in a lot of ways although I welcomed it most of the time. Which also allowed me to be less accountable for myself, claiming that I was "too busy" to do anything else. And on top of everything, my parents decided to divorce after 26 years of marriage. And even though it wasn't a complete shock, the aftermath hit me hard. I am not one to adapt to change very well, especially when it involves those closest to me. And this would prove to bring a lot of change that I was in no way prepared for.

Over the course of the year, I quickly lost focus of my business planning and started to loose sight of what my goals actually were. I was struggling to be happy and stay in a positive place when I felt like so many things were falling apart. This continued into 2017, even though I set out to finally conquer my fears and get serious about starting my business. This year has been full of ups and downs. I would take several steps forward and then I would take even more steps back. I even sought out a business mentor and completed my business plan. And with the push of friends and family, I made the bold move of ordering physical products in hopes to launch and start selling in the Fall of this year. But when those products finally arrived, they were less than desirable. There were more mugs with imprint errors, than there were ones that I could actually sell. It was a huge disappointment. Luckily, I was able to return the product (all 446 mugs) and received a full refund. Everyone was busy reassuring me that things like this happen and I could easily begin again. But I felt like something was missing all along and that maybe this was a sign. Even with all the progress I was able to make throughout this year, I was still holding myself back from moving forward with everything.

For the past 6+ months I have admittedly been depressed. Which is something I have battled with before. However, it is never easy to openly talk about. And I think that several factors have contributed to my depression this time around. As time has gone on, it has proven to be difficult to stay motivated and be productive while at home full time. Structure is something I never realized I relied on so much until I had to create it for myself. And with lack of a consistent schedule, my sleep habits were a mess. I have gone through periods of staying up all hours of the night with little to no sleep to days where I barely function before noon. I've questioned what I really want my career to look like and IF I have the ability to make it happen. I've allowed fear and insecurities to take over even when I had all the resources. And my family and I continue to try and adjust to a new "normal". 

It wasn't until a few weeks ago, that I finally opened up to a few close friends with all my recent struggles and everything I had been going through. It was hard to put into words at first, but I felt relieved to talk about it openly. And it was in those conversations when I started to realize that it's okay to lose yourself at times. Nobody is perfect. We are all human. We all have shitty things that happen to us in life. And we all certainly go through difficult times. We can't expect ourselves to always keep going when we feel like breaking down. And sometimes you just need to listen to your gut and take a step back. 

I somehow started to build up walls in order to protect myself, but in reality those same walls have made me closed off from the people and things I love most. And I know now that often times you have to break down to get back up. And most importantly, give yourself the chance to cope with things. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. And maybe you have to go through the real tough shit in order to come out better than you were before. 

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Now, I am more determined than ever to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. I still have a lot of things to consider and work through. But one thing I know for certain, is that I really want to focus on my blog over the next year. I put so much hard work into building a new website this past April. And I feel like I ended up neglecting the blog over these past few months. Writing has always been such a great outlet and I want to continue to share things that I'm passionate about with y'all. I've already started working on lots of new content for the coming months. 

We are never as broken as we think we are. So, if you're going through a season of change or feel like your life is in chaos. Remember this. EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY. 

 

XO, Rae 

BLANK PAGE: A LIFE UPDATE

 
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We're adults, when did that happen? And how do we make it stop? These words immediately resonated with me as I heard them out loud during an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I was having a rough day and was in my feelings. So, I ordered Chinese food, dug deep into the blankets on my bed and binged watched a season of Grey's on Netflix. And at that very moment of hearing those words, I burst into tears. Life has recently reminded me that it owes you nothing and that change is inevitable. 

I know now more than EVER that life happens regardless if you're ready for it or not. This year has been full of change both personally and professionally. My family dynamic has changed with the divorce of my parents. Although probably best for both parties involved, it still comes with a sense of pain and loss. And one thing I was not prepared for, is how it has changed the relationship I have with my mother. She is someone I have always been extremely close with. But I'm learning that parents have their life to live just as we have our own. And even though I wish things could go back to the way they were, this is now our new normal.

I also, recently parted ways with my half-sister. This is something that has built up for years but still hurts nonetheless. I understand now that with loss comes growth. I have always been a "fixer" in my relationships with others. And this year has taught me that there are some things that can't be fixed. I've learned to accept things for what they are. And in the process, I am also learning to stop carrying the guilt. Being an adult comes with responsibility, but it also comes with the freedom of doing what is best for YOU.

My professional life has taken on a whole new meaning. As I once used to pride myself on a title I held in the corporate world, I'm now learning the meaning of being an entrepreneur. I never realized how much I depended on a job status until I stripped it away. But in the past year of reinventing myself, I realized that I didn't need to have a "title" or "status" in order to be happy. My only regret is that I wish I had realized this sooner. But life is funny that way, in that it gives you exactly what you need when you least expect it.

So, let this be a reminder that life comes with many unexpected changes. And even when life feels like too much, just know that you will get through it. Although, I never would have imagined all the change this year would bring, I am reminded that I have much to look forward to. And one being, embarking on year number three of living in New York City this October.

Everything in life is temporary. And you can always start new on a blank page.

 

XO, Rae

33 LESSONS I'VE LEARNED SO FAR IN MY THIRTIES

 
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Before I turned 30, I was a mess in my emotions.

But what I didn't realize at the time, was that my thirties would be some of the best years of my life and full of possibilities. As they say...the older you get, the wiser you become. So, here are some lessons learned so far

1. Stop living life based on a timeline. Just LIVE.

2. Travel often. Don't let money hold you back. 

3. Quit the job you hate. There are far better opportunities, if you go after them. 

4. Don't settle. Not for anyone or anything. 

5. Buy the more expensive bottle of wine. Your body will thank you the next day. 

6. While you’re frustrated at being Single. Your married friends will envy your freedom. 

7. Stop trying to please everyone. Seriously, it's impossible. 

8. Send 'Thank You' notes. Handwritten notes never go out of style. 

9. Love the body you have. Stop nagging yourself over those 10lbs. 

10. Start a daily skincare routine.   

11. Get more sleep. Pulling all nighters gives you dark circles & puffy eyes. 

12. Remove toxic people from your life.

13. Disconnect from everything every once in awhile. (phone included)

14. Learn how to cook & host a holiday dinner. 

15. Say 'I love you' more. Tomorrow is not promised. 

16. You don't have to have it all figured it out yet. 

17. Create goals for yourself. Even small ones sometimes make the biggest impact.

18. Surround yourself with people who truly get you, encourage you and support you. 

19. Things will fall apart at times. The key is for you not to fall apart. 

20. Don't let your past define who you are. We all have one. 

21. Invest in your future. Enroll in a 401K or savings plan. 

22. Never apologize for wanting the best for yourself. 

23. Life should be lived with no regrets.

24. You will experience loss and it may change you forever.

25. Don't carry the burden for others.

26. Money does NOT define happiness. 

27. Failures are not mistakes, only lessons learned.

28. Stop comparing yourself to others. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

29. You are capable of so much more than you think you are. 

30. Being successful is not defined by just your job.

31. Move to a NEW city if you're unhappy in the current one you live in.

32. Chase your dreams, even if they scare the hell out of you.

33. Do what makes YOU happy. 

 

XO, Rae

HOW TO EMBRACE A BIG LIFE CHANGE

 
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When you're about to embark on a big life change, it's important to consider a few things.

BE OPEN TO THE JOURNEY.

I'm a planner, naturally. I always have a 'To Do' list for everyday tasks, I plan my outfits ahead of time and when I travel it's even worse. I am always thinking about the next thing that I need to plan for whether personal or business related. However, when your facing a big life change, your plan may not go as perfectly as you hoped for. And that's OKAY. Sometimes the best moments in life are the unexpected ones. You have to be open to the ups and the downs that you may be up against. And just trust that in the end, it will all work out how it's supposed to.

NOT EVERYONE WILL SUPPORT YOUR DECISION.

When I decided to move to New York, I got lucky. All of my friends and family couldn't have been more supportive. But that isn't always the case for some. It's easier for people to tear you down than it is to build you up. Not everyone will see your vision and encourage you to chase your dreams. Be prepared to move forward with or without some of your friends and family's support. Don't let others influence you or make you feel less than excited about your decision. After all, it is YOUR life. 

CHANGE IS SCARY. BUT SO IS REGRET.

Easier said than done, I know. Change used to literally give me anxiety. I grew up with a lot of change in my childhood so as an adult it became harder for me to accept change. The key is embracing it, not hiding from it. And if all else fails, at least you can say you took the leap of faith and tried. In life, you have to take chances to see the reward. If you can one day look back on your life and say that you have no regrets, imagine how fulfilling that will be. Nothing worth having comes easy. 

DO IT FOR YOURSELF.

We often make decisions based on a mixture of emotions. Sometimes a combination of our own wants and needs as well as other's. It isn't always easy to make yourself a priority. However, when making a big change in your life, you have to do it for yourself above anything else. It's never selfish to want to follow your dreams or to take steps to having a more fulfilled life. Your happiness is the ultimate goal. 

So, no matter what big life change you may be considering or beginning to embark upon. Remember to be open to the possibilities, take the good with the bad, have no regrets and do what makes YOU happy. 

 

XO, Rae 

10 THINGS YOU LEARN IN YOUR 30's

 
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Since turning the BIG 3-0, I've learned to fully embrace my thirties. And so far, they have not disappointed. They say with age comes wisdom. So with the help of some friends, I have compiled a list of '10 Things You Learn In Your 30's.'

1. EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE

By 30 you start to really get to know who you are as a person and what you want out of life. You become an adult so to speak. Your getting your career on point, your paying bills like a boss and dating like a grown woman. Don't be fearful of who you may become. Be open to the possibilities.

2. YOUR MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT -Kristi E.

It's bound to happen. You will begin to hear yourself channeling your mother and saying to yourself "She was right!"  I even find that I often apologize to my Mom for thinking that she has no idea what I am going through....what I now realize is that she has already been there and done it. Hence why Mom's give the best advice.

3. YOU ARE NOT MISSING OUT ON ANYTHING -Billy B.

Remember when you got invited to go out with your friends and you were so afraid of missing out you would never say 'NO'. Well those days are over. You just worked a 40+ hour week, your tired, you have nothing to wear and all you really want to do is go home and watch 'The Real Housewives'. Plus you can live vicariously via Facebook and save yourself the hangover. You will thank yourself in the morning.

4. FAMILY IS NOT ALWAYS BLOOD RELATED -Marisa L.

I agree 100%. Family does not have to be true to definition. Being family means more than just sharing a last name or a bloodline of relatives. It's about being there for someone and making an effort to be a part of their life. You don't get to pick your family but you do get to pick your friends. If your lucky, some of those friends will become family. 

5. IT'S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES -Billy B.

Although you are well into adulthood now. You are still allowed to make mistakes. You don't have to have it all figured out in a perfect Pinterest board. Be open to the idea that things will fall apart at times. But more often than not you will find yourself able to pick the pieces quicker. 

6. SOMETIMES YOU WILL HAVE TO PARENT YOUR PARENTS -Jackie A.

At some point you will find yourself in a moment of being the parent to your parent(s). Whether it's in giving advice or in caring for them as they get older. Both are more of a reality at this age. You will begin to start to worry about them more often, be ultra protective and have to deal with the fact that they are getting older and will need you more than ever. 

7. A FEW GOOD FRIENDS ARE ALL YOU REALLY NEED

At this age, it really is about quality NOT quantity. Life is busy and when you do have down time, you want to invest in those who make it worth while. This isn't high school anymore and you don't need to be in a clique. You need real girlfriends that you can laugh with, confide in and drink bottles of wine with no judgment. 

8. DATE YOURSELF

Ladies, LISTEN UP! You can't expect for someone to love you if you don't love yourself. And sometimes the best way to do that is to date yourself. Meaning put yourself on "a break" and get to know who you are deep down. The only way you are going to know what you want out of a relationship is to know what you have to have offer as well. Try it. I promise you will be a better girlfriend and one day wife for it!

9. SEX IS BETTER IN YOUR THIRTIES- Jennifer S.

Okay, so now that you have dated your self and have sworn off men for awhile. Nothing will get you back in the saddle more than having some good sex. It's true, sex is better in your thirties. Maybe its because of all the bad sex you had in your twenties or because your more experienced now? Whatever it is, be thankful! 

10. YOUR LIFE IS NOT OVER AT 30

Contrary to what you may assume, turning thirty is not as awful as we make it out to be. Sure, it poses the question "What am I doing with my life?" But it doesn't have to be defining of who you are. Your not a failure because you don't have your dream job, not married yet or have kids. Life doesn't give you bonus points for having it all figured out by a certain age. Your thirties are the years that you will change and grow the most. It IS possible that your thirties will be some of the best years of your life.

 

XO, Rae