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A Timeline Of Becoming Exactly Who I’m Meant To Be

Sweet Sixteen.

I remember it. Learning how to drive. Deciding on whether or not I was ready to lose my virginity. Going to school every day. Working a couple of days a week and spending every bit of what I made on clothes, food, or gas to drive wherever my heart desired. I thought this was the time of my life. I was thin. I had huge boobs. I ate whatever I wanted and went to random-ass house parties almost every single weekend. I fell in love for the first time when I was 16.

I thought these were my best years.

Adulthood.

Turning 18 was thinking I had it all figured out. I finally lost that virginity. I was still in love with my first love and thought I would probably spend the rest of my life with him. I was applying for colleges and getting ready for the high school chapter to close. I was working more and still spending my money on whatever the hell I wanted to. I was young and free. I was at an age where I thought that because I was making all of these grown-up decisions about where I was going to spend the next four years, I had it all figured out.

Little did I know that I didn’t know shit.

Coming Of Age.

Twenty-one hit and it HIT HARD. I was one of the very firsts of my friends to turn 21, and that didn’t hold me back one bit. I got selfish and I got reckless. I broke my first love’s heart and thought that because I was hot and 21, going out to the bars every day was where it was at. I was mistaken.

I thought this was the absolute time of my life, and boy was I in for a rude awakening. I met my second love. I met this one and it was toxic from the very beginning. There was jealousy, lying, cheating, and absolutely no trust. But I couldn’t stop. We had our own apartment and the things that happened and the things we went through were traumatic, to say the least. Twenty-one was not the time of my life. Instead, it was where I learned some of my hardest life lessons. It was where I hit every rock bottom and still didn’t learn from all of it.

I was trying, though.

TWENTY-FIVE.

Twenty-five was a weird age. I was finishing my degree and working my ass off. I was still dating that toxic man mentioned previously. This was a hard year. This was the year that I felt as though I was getting old and needed to begin planning what my life was going to be, who it would be with, and what it would look like. So I stopped drinking as much. I stopped spending as much money. I started looking around at people I had known most of my life that were settling down, starting families, and getting married. I wanted that.

Or so I thought.

The BIG Two-Seven.

Twenty-seven was the hardest year yet. This was the year that I lost my father. This hit me like a ton of bricks, and it felt as though I would never get over it. I kept questioning life and what mine meant. I kept trying to find a way to exist in a world where my father no longer did. As if that wasn’t hard enough, my same toxic-ass relationship finally came to a halt. Finally, the thought of being cheated on time and time again didn’t sit well with me. I had finally had enough. After losing my father, I began to look at things differently. Why was I trying to plan a life with someone that made me so miserable? I couldn’t find a reasonable answer, so I left. I left and I didn’t look back. I then realized at 27, I needed to start completely over. I needed to find a new life goal. I needed to decide if I still wanted to settle down, get married, and start a family, or if I just wasn’t wired for that.

I began coming up with a new life bucket list.

Thirty, Flirty, And Thriving.

30 is slowly approaching in the next couple of months, and as terrified as I am to say that I’m going to be 30, I’m also excited. I’m right where I want to be. I know what I was meant to do with my life. I love my career and I genuinely believe I was made to do what I do. I have finally learned to love who I am and stop degrading myself on a regular basis. I am now focused on being the best version of myself and taking care of her on a daily basis. I found love and companionship in the least likely of places. I found that the strongest relationships are built first on friendship, and then that love becomes something so much more.

My thirties are where I’m going to peak, and they’re going to be my best years yet!

CHEERS TO THIRTY YEARS.

About the author
Indiana University. B.A. English. Follow Ashley on Instagram or read more articles from Ashley on Thought Catalog.

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