A New Chapter

Go ahead and roll your eyes, but tonight’s post title comes from my favorite vitamins. (How they changed my life.)

I was walking home from the subway and thinking about if I wanted to blog tonight. Did I have anything to blog about?

I walked past a billboard for New Chapter Organics, which makes the best probiotic known to human.

I’m turning 30 next month.

I’m going through some stuff.

Truthfully, those last two statements are unrelated. I had a bit of a quarter-life crisis when I turned 25, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to stare one down turning 30. But I think I”m in a better place. I read Ali’s post from this morning and chatted with Dori about it. My 10-year plan when I was 19 saw me as editor-in-chief of a magazine and married by now. Nineteen-year old Theodora was wrong.

But nineteen-year-old Theodora was wrong about a lot of things (please see: calories consumed while drinking beer do not contain calories), and she didn’t have a magic ball.

I’m not one to regret things, but if I could change one thing in life, I would have moved to NYC immediately following college. I was unhappy in D.C. for a long time and staying there an extra three years after college didn’t do me any favors.

I put high expectations on myself; sometimes I meet them, sometimes I don’t.

I haven’t checked off all the boxes in life I thought I would by the time I turned 30…and I’m okay with that.

There’s some stuff I’m working through, but I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far. Stuff that was never in my life plan. Stuff that came up out of nowhere, blindsided me, and ended up being awesome. (Um, starting this blog?!)

I don’t know yet if I believe those people that say YOUR 30S ARE THE BEST EVER! but I’m ready.

I let go of some stuff this morning and made room to truly enjoy my Cosmo article being tweeted out.

Screen shot 2013-01-09 at 11.47.54 PM.png

Cosmoplitan Freaking Magazine tweeted me. With a story I wrote. With my before and after picture.

There were a few small things I missed in the last round of edits that I wish now I could change, and I’m still not crazy about the headline…but I wrote an article for Cosmo. That’s awesome. It’s time to drop the worries about those things and bask in this moment.

As the article documented, when I started this blog, I wasn’t the happiest. I lost weight and changed my life, and now I’m still working through some stuff, but I’m still happier than I was before I started all this. Happier, but not as carefree. (But still silly sometimes!!)



But that comes with age, right? (The less carefree, not the silliness. I’ll never lose the silliness. Promise.)

The problems my friends and I have now are more serious as we get older–but our successes are that much sweeter, too. I find my friendships becoming more intense as we go through these highs and lows together.

My parents aren’t getting younger. My dad is having surgery tomorrow. (Please say prayers or send good thoughts for him!)

This is what’s important to me now. Those deep friendships. Those deep relationships with my family. That relationship with myself. My blog has become a ton more introspective in the past year, somewhat unconsciously. That’s fine. That’s where I am right now. I’m training for a half-marathon, too. The running posts will be back, I promise.

In that awkward moment where I tie it all back to the title: it’s my new chapter in life.

When did you find a new chapter in life? Do you get really introspective approaching big birthdays, too? No? Just me?

33 comments on “A New Chapter

  1. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    Your introspective posts are my favorite. I get the same way around my birthday, and I often have a hard time not letting if I’m “where I should be at this point in my life” determine my level of birthday excitement, but it’s definitely challenging. You may not be where you expected, but did you ever expect to be able to inspire so many people with your story? I’m just an outsider looking in, but I’d say where you are is pretty fantastic!

  2. Nicole

    Saying prayers for your dad.
    I’d have to say that life gets better in the 30s…there are challenges, and I don’t think you ever stop thinking ‘I thought I’d be X by now.’ But you have more life experience to call upon.

  3. Kristen

    I turned 30 back in October, and I struggled with it at first. Then I got a letter from a “reader” asking if it bothered me that I was single and 30. When I responded and the email bounced back it made me realize that I being single and 30 does not bother me. I would have missed out on so many of the experiences that have made me who I am. The past two months have been a few of my happiest in recent memory.


  4. Beth @ 990 Square

    These posts make me wish I knew you in real life, because I went through THE EXACT SAME THING before my 30th. Topped off with a huge panic attack in the car on the way to my 30th birthday dinner. It’s normal, no matter where you are in life, because I think I have everything I thought I would have at this point (husband, awesome job, great friends) but I still worry about the other things (kids, where will my career go from here, etc). You’ll get through it!

  5. Ashley @ Running Bun

    Thinking of your dad! xo

    I think I am going through a new chapter in my life right now. I am buying a house and it is scary as shit and exciting at the same time. A few years ago I thought I would be in NYC for a very long time. Things change very quickly though and generally always for the better!

    By the way, I love these posts of yours! and another congratulations for the cosmo article! so amazing!!

  6. Beckett @ The Birchwood Pie Project

    Sending good wishes to your dad! The 30’s are way better than the 20’s. And your accomplishments in your 20’s are pretty stellar!

    19 and 34 were the tough birthdays for me. I don’t really remember a big crisis at 30, but I know a few people who said it was their hardest birthday. I’ve also heard good things about the 40’s – as soon as I get there I’ll send an update!

  7. Emily

    Thank you for posting this. I think it is so common with our age group of women – successful, accomplishing so much and having so much to be grateful for – yet bombarded with what we “thought” we would be or what others think we should have been. And yet, when you really think about it, I don’t want to be the person I thought I was going to be when I was 20. My understanding has evolved and so has the idea of what I should be. And the “others”? They aren’t sitting around thinking about what we aren’t, frankly, most are amazed at what we are and what we are doing- today. Enjoy this new chapter!

    Sending prayers to your family.

  8. Jenny

    This post really resonated with me.
    It all feels awkward sometimes but the ups, the downs and the flat middle pieces are all part of the journey.

    All the best to your family.

  9. Fiona

    Best wishes for your dad.

    I turned 30 and survived. If I had any regrets at all, it would be not becoming more introspective and in tune with what I want and how to get it earlier, so your introspective posts are more than welcome. I’ve definitely noticed how much more I value my time and make myself do the things I want to do, rather than have life wash over me as it used to. Is that wisdom with age? Or just more hustle? I don’t know, but there’s still plenty of space for the silly too!

  10. Gianna

    You have accomplished so much you should be very proud of your 20’s!
    A few months prior to my 30th was what prompted me to put my health first. Stop the partying, and get serious. Best decision of my life.
    I am a couple weeks shy of 32 and the only thing that I sometimes find myself wishing is that I wish I knew then what I know now. and oh so much I would have done differently!
    But as I approach my birthday I am SO proud of myself on all fronts. So I have to say if this is the way my 30’s are going to continue – best decade yet! there is a lot to look forward to!

    and prayers for your dad, I know parents having surgery is a scary thing.

  11. Maureen

    Best wishes to your family for your Dad’s surgery. I hope everything goes well.

    I turned 30 at the end of November, and it’s been…interesting. There are moments I’m completely satisfied where I am versus where I though I’d be, and then there are moments when I’m completely discouraged. A few days before my birthday so I started crying because I was just so overwhelmed with everything. I’ve definitely become more introspective in the past year, and as a result some of my relationships have changed. And that’s a good thing, but it’s an adjustment (long overdue in some cases).

  12. Anne P

    I really love all the introspective posts you’ve been doing lately. Helps me to be a little more introspective, too. Thanks for sharing!

    And good luck to your Dad… hugs.

  13. Jess

    As always, I dig your honest real thoughts here my friend. And I’m praying for your dad, I hope everything is ok. AND as for the ‘stuff’ you’re going through? Keep feeling those emotions, face them, and then move forward — that’s my best advice for you, vs. bottling them up. And finally? EMBRACE that birthday. I actually LOVED turning 30 believe it or not, it signified the decade where I’d finally start to get comfortable in my own skin.

  14. Liz

    It’s funny, I was just thinking on my run yesterday how much I am enjoying my 30’s more than my 20’s (I’m 35). I thought I had to do all of these things by the time I was 30, and “get married” was definitely on the list. Then I turned 30. I can’t say that I totally gave myself a break when I turned 30 either, but quite a bit has happened over the past five years. I’ve grown more comfortable with the fact that life doesn’t always go as you’ve planned and I think I’m a lot more confident and comfortable in my own skin. I also have actually dated just as much in my 30s as I did in my 20s — if you put yourself out there and enjoy life, good things will come. It sounds cliche but the quote that always resonates with me is “forgive yourself, breathe and enjoy the ride.”

    Well, there’s my novel, but you seem to have a ton of things going for you, I think you’ll handle turning 30 just fine!

  15. Jen @ Jens Best Life

    I love your introspective posts, just as much (if not more) than the running ones! I hope your father comes through his surgery strongly. My mom had surgery a few years ago and even though it was relatively minor, I was pretty worried by it. I hope you’re able to spend some time with him!

    It might be weird, but as a 24 year old, I’m looking forward to 30. I think I’ll have a better idea what I want to do long-term with my legal career (I’m starting at a law firm this fall but unsure what post-firm steps will be, and since 95% of people leave the firm, I’ll most likely be making that decision in 5-6 years). Plus, since my parents are very active and pursuing all sorts of activities in their mid-60s, I don’t see any reason for my age to ever limit me, so I only see the perks of age at this point 🙂

  16. Cindy

    Prayers and best wishes for your dad!

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I’m rapidly reaching 40 and I am terrified since I feel like I haven’t achieved any of the things I wanted by now. I’m single and have been for a long time, I haven’t started a family, and have a ridiculous amount of student debt. Granted, life has taken me on a road I hadn’t expected, but it’s still hard to reconcile it with my dream life I had hoped for when I was 20 and 30.

    Congrats on Cosmo! 🙂

  17. Dori

    Wishing your dad luck! It’s funny how we are the same age but I never had that plan (this job at this age, married at that age)… I never thought that way because I don’t see these ages as being grown-up, if that makes sense. Editor-in-chief of a magazine sounds like a grow-up job, marriage sounds like a grown-up thing (even though I am getting married soon). These things always feel so far off that I never thought to plan them really. Anyway, you are doing great and should be proud of how much you’ve accomplished by 30!

  18. Mads@ Mum's on the run

    30s is a good decade, time to feel comfortable in your own skin. I speak from a bit further the other side of 30 and it’s even better here. Don’t give yourself a hard time not being where you thought you’d be; life seldom worlds out how we plan it! And the grass is always greener…..

  19. Jessica R @ fromthekitchentotheroad

    Birthdays and the beginning of the year are times when I think about what I have done over the past 12 months and what I want to change. It is not always pretty but I think it is what helps us to grow. It can be a fresh start. I think that your Cosmo article is great! Congrats!

  20. Meghan

    Seriously love this post! I get introspective at New Years more than anything, but I get the birthday thing in a big way. You have such an amazing gift of writing so clearly and in such a relatable way. Good luck to your dad!

  21. Cathryn

    Your 30s will be wonderful – I’ve loved mine. I got engaged and married at 30 and I do wonder if being happy in that respect has biased me towards my 30s. But I can tell you that you find out who you are in your 30s…I realised I was never going to be Kate Moss thin, I was never going to be one of the cool kids. But suddenly I had the confidence not to want to be a cool kid, I had confidence in who I was. And that’s only got better. I’ve found my 30s liberating in that respect. People take you seriously in your 30s…it’s just fab.

  22. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Congrats on the Cosmo article and this new chapter. I’m right there with you, but I’m in that 25-year old crisis thing. I’ve been battling it for a few years but it’s okay because I’ve come to terms with where I am and how 18 year-old Katie was wrong. I think this is what they call “growing up.”

  23. Vicky

    First, tons of good thoughts heading your dad’s way. Nothing more powerful that all this love and care going on for him!
    You are in the exact right spot. Exactly where you need to be today. You’ll keep moving, and keep learning and growing, and hitting those exact right spots. It seems that only when you look back does it become apparent, though. So it’s important to get introspective and take those looks back every now and then. Then you see how things that happened caused you to hit those sweet spots. And then reassure yourself that the exact same thing is happening now, and will happen in the future. When I look back, I’m always amazed that although what I planned didn’t happen, what did happen was so much better than I could’ve ever planned.

  24. Meghan

    My 30’s have been far, far better than my 20’s! I feel like I finally grew into myself, feel more fit and confident than ever. I love the collection of experiences that have made me who I am so far. I will be 33 in March and while it’s not a big birthday, I love that fresh, exciting start each year brings.
    Good vibes for your dad!

  25. Elizabeth

    Praying for your dad. Happy “almost” birthday! Like you, I lived in DC for 3 or 4 years after school and if I could do one thing over it would have been to moved to NYC earlier– but at least now we are here and we can appreciate it! I’ve read some of your blogs and share a lot in common1 I’m turning 31 next month – welcome to the club! We are all rooting for your happiness and sucess in all areas and at every age!


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