Change can happen over time without even realizing it’s happening. It’s like when your hair and nails grow. All of a sudden you just notice them and can’t believe how long they’ve gotten.

When I stop and think about how I’ve changed in the last ten years, I feel like I’m a completely different person. I think it’s exciting to be a different person. What I feel is a better person. Still the same Lauren, just a new version. Over the last ten years or so, it’s as if I had a slow software update and some of the bugs got fixed.

I used to talk a lot and listen a little. Now I am often one of the quiet people in the group. I prefer to just hang back and listen to what others say.

I used to be a taker. A “what’s in it for me?” and “who’s going to buy it for me?” kind of a thing. Now, I try to be a giver. What can I do for you? What will brighten your day?

I used to avoid wearing shorts. I know it sounds silly, but for years I felt like they just wouldn’t look good on me. One day I tried them on and couldn’t believe how great they were. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t wear shorts in Arizona should have an intervention.  Now, the thought of having to wear pants makes me cringe.

I used to be a night owl who absolutely loved to drive around when the moon was out and everyone else was in bed. The thought of an open road late at night was a beautiful thing. Now, I’m too tired and honestly, my eyes just don’t see as well when I drive at night. Yes, I’m only thirty, even though this sentence make me sound like I’m eligible for the senior discount.

I never thought I would ever want to be a stay at home mom. Teaching was my profession, my calling,  and the only thing I had ever wanted to do since before I could remember. If I had babies, I would return to work. That’s just how I always assumed it would go. Until I held my first little boy in my arms and I suddenly knew there was no where I wanted to be but with him. Then, double that feeling when little mister number two came along.

One of the most important ways that I’ve changed is that I realized I needed to change. I realized that I could be a better person. I realized that when I made changes to the person I was, it made me a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.

Turning thirty is hard for some people. For me, it was as if the lens on my life clicked into focus. I feel more confident, more free, and simply more ME.

Embrace every day. Try to make the changes you want to see in yourself. Remember that it’s OK to cry for both the happy times and the sad ones, in front of people and alone. Life can be so short, let’s hug more and criticize less. Be proud of yourself and happy for others. Everyone makes mistakes. Never sell yourself short. And in the words of Nike…just do it.

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”      -Unknown


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