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My Reflection on 2019...

The only time you should ever look back, is to see how far you’ve come.

When I say it out loud it’s almost hard to believe that 2019 is coming to an end and we are entering another new year. How in the world did I just survive these last 365 days? All of the ups and downs, the overwhelming changes I endured, lots of firsts, and lots of “never again” … 2019 was a splitting image of a Cedar Point rollercoaster ride for me.

Before I have my episode of word vomiting, meaning, I’m going to ramble on for a while here… I want you to know this isn’t an easy blog for me to post. Matter of fact, I’m mortified of the feedback that will come with this. Also, grammar is NOT my forte, don’t judge it too much.

I entered 2019 single, which was a new role for me. I moved back home after living away in different cities for 10 years and I got my very first own place. Unfortunately, I didn’t move back with a ton of stuff, I slept on a futon in my living room for the first few weeks I moved back. Which, I must add, was prolonged due to the simple fact I was reluctant to change. For the first time in 9 years I spent the entire Holiday Season single. As much as I felt alone, I really wasn’t because I had my family right by my side, thankfully.

I repeat, I entered 2019 thirty and single, not my ideal situation, or so I thought. After some time spent settling in my friends and counselor suggested I create a profile on Bumble, put myself out there in order to meet people. Trust me, I know what you are thinking because I thought it too. As much as I hated the idea of being thirty and looking for dates on an app, I did it anyways to help get out more. I went on two first/blind dates and the above statement of “never again” can be plugged in here. Did you guys know that ghosting is an actual thing? I never heard of the term until it happened to me. I met a guy for a drink, had good conversation, a handful of similarities, and got asked to meet up again. How exciting!!! I was thrilled that someone was remotely interested in me, naturally I agreed to meet up again. A few days go by and my “high” is starting to dwindle away, I thought to myself, “why hasn’t he text me back, we had such a good time”. Another day goes by, “what could I have said to make him not text me back”. Finally, another day goes by and I ask my girlfriends what could possibly have happened, and that’s when I discovered the term “ghosted”. Such a stupid term and I can’t believe it’s an actual thing. I think I stayed on Bumble for a couple weeks after and deleted it after receiving the most outrageous messages from complete strangers. For anyone reading this that is contemplating the idea of an online dating app, please be careful and understand that if you get “ghosted” it is NEVER your fault. It’s actually a blessing in disguise. That’s all I can say.

Let’s continue on…. In all honesty, I know I can say that I spent 90% of 2019 wondering why I was single, researching simple ways to “fix” the imperfections I see when looking at my reflection in the mirror, and chasing after the simple feeling of being wanted. When I turned 31 at the end of August all I could think about was how far behind I am in life. Single. Not married. No children. Not even close… I see so many of my family and friends enjoying time with their spouses and making memories with their children, meanwhile I do everything with my 4-year-old Pitbull, Mani. On a daily basis I would question what was undesirable about me? I don’t know how many conversations I have had with my Mother, Suzie, or my best friend, Jessica, about this. And, like any mother and best friend, I would receive the same speech “your time will come”, blah blah blah. I hated hearing it. I thoroughly thought in order to be happy with myself and in life I needed to have the following: A spouse, get engaged, have a wedding, get pregnant, have a baby, and live the cookie cutter life that, from my perspective, everyone else was currently living.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that being single at my age isn’t all that bad. Let me explain why. During this past year I also teamed up with someone to open our own CrossFit Affiliate in Norwalk, Ohio. Not only do I have an online nutritional business, ATP Nutrition, I now own my own gym, Little City CrossFit. Two things that are very time consuming and most certainly keep me on my toes. When reflecting back on those two adventures, I would not have been able to dedicate my entire heart and soul to them if I had a family. I wouldn’t have been able to spend 99% of my time sitting on my computer touching base with clients, designing workout programs for clients and our gym, or attending majority of our classes currently being offered at Little City. Don’t get me wrong, opening a gym and maintaining my thriving online nutritional business still would have been obtainable goals if I did have a family, I’m saying due to the fact that I am single and without others to take care of made it a heck of a lot easier to dive in to. Being single in my thirty’s has allowed me to focus more time on my career endeavors, and they are not slowing down whatsoever. I have found that now is the perfect time for me to build my empire without having to worry about time commitments that come with a relationship and/or family.

Over the course of these last 12 months I have also done a lot of growing up, to say the least. My priorities have drastically changed. I now value “time” more than ever. I truly believe the best gift you can give anyone that you love is your time. People get into relationships and more often than not start to neglect other people who play important roles in their lives, I have fallen victim to this on multiple occasions. Since moving back home I now value spending time with my family more than ever, and if this hits home to you, please know this: Your family will always love you and no matter how long you have been “gone” they will always welcome you back with open and loving arms.

My house that I moved into…. It is mine. For the first time ever I have full command over my own space. There’s definitely something to be said for not having to compromise on what your home looks like. I get to keep my living space however I want. It is all mine and I don’t have to think about the needs of anyone else in my safe place because my home is a completely judgement-free zone. Mani doesn’t care if I want to walk around with zero makeup on, toothpaste on a blemish, and baggy sweats. It’s a freeing feeling that I have slowly learned to enjoy and be proud of creating.

When I first moved home alone time was terrifying. I have always lived with someone. At home with parents, in college with roommates, with my ex fiancé; no matter what I had “someone” to consume my time. I like to think the motivation behind my Bumble adventures was to fill this huge void. But this is a positive and uplifting blog, and I would like to share that I am no longer scared of the time I get to be alone. Matter of fact, I LOVE IT! Up until now I didn’t appreciate the lessons that alone time can teach us. I find myself thriving on self-care and FOMO (fear of missing out) is now a thing of the past, we have all had our fair share of FOMO experiences. I have discovered a new passion that consumes majority of my alone time; reading. This year I can proudly say that I have read a total of 13 books, and I think I’m missing a few, but that’s what I have here in my house that I can physically count. A handful of my books are being read by family members. This is new to me because I thought I hated to read… This new found passion of mine allows me to sit at home with a book on a Friday night and be 100 percent comfortable with that decision.

I spend time getting to know myself and I love it. If you don’t learn to really love yourself (first, and above anyone else), you will never truly be able to unconditionally love another, needing from them and receiving absolutely nothing in return. I believe in my 30’s it’s a beautiful time to practice more self-love. I’m finding that as my career and social circles expand, my sense of my own self and my chance to really explore a potential significant relationship: the one that I have with ME, has had a profound impact on my overall state of happiness. It wasn’t easy to feel this way. I have had lots of coaching, I have read plenty of books, and I have spent hours of time cultivating myself. Plus, if and when the right person for me comes along, I will know exactly how to spot them out, just another reason why I’m comfortable being single in my 30s. Truth be told not only am I older, but I am one hell of a lot wiser in the potential relationship department.

Did you know that you make the most amazing friendships in your 30s? Ok, while that might not be an actual fact, it has been the case for me. Since moving back home to my little town of Norwalk, I not only have found those that get me and/or can relate to me, outside the context of a romantic relationship, but I have found my tribe, my people. With more “me time” I have been able to focus on rebuilding relationships that I neglected while living away. I invest more time in the people who love me for exactly who I am. If you are one of those people reading this, thank you for the love that you show me on a continuous basis. Thank you for giving me the most precious gift of all, your time. If it wasn’t for you these last 12 months could have been a lot hard to manage, but because of your never-ending love for me I have gained a confidence in life I have never imagined existed.

Although that above statement isn’t an actual fact, research does show that for most people, real happiness begins around age 33. If you’re like me, and you are in your 30s and are single, we can have anything we want, including finding someone to share it with, or not.

You are smart. You are beautiful. You are important. Repeat.