Last fall, I had a baby, got my tubes tied, and subsequently turned 30, all in a three month period. That is a lot of major life events in a short amount of time, and I’ve been doing my best to manage it. But, as with anything in life, it has been a struggle. Turning 30 has been a mental hurdle I’ve found difficult to overcome.
I always thought that when I turned 30 I would have my life together. To me, having my life together used to consist of daily homemade family dinners, a clean and organized home, and a love for playing with my children. I thought this was what I wanted. And to some extent, it still is. However, I’ve decided that turning 30 is exactly the catalyst I need to begin a new chapter of my life, and it does not have to be centered on mothering.
Taking time for myself has always been something that has helped me cope and thrive. Making sure I have a daily meditation session to stop and think about my accomplishments, strengths, and goals is key to maintaining my sanity. One day, while reviewing my daily decisions, I thought, “What do I really want to do with my life?” Being a mother is a wonderful calling, but I decided I didn’t want that to be the only way I was defined as a person.
A life-long passion of mine has always been helping people, especially in the areas of life I’ve struggled through, like losing a child or mental health issues. As a brand new 30-year-old, I decided I had the experience I needed to start reaching out to people by speaking out about my personal difficulties. I’ve always been open about what I’ve dealt with, and I wanted to find a way to reach a broader audience. I decided if I could help just one person by sharing my experience, it would be worth it to me.
I began by writing about what I deal with the most: anxiety. Then, how I manage my depression, how I’ve coped with losing a child, and eventually on to cutting. Reliving the painful emotions from times in my life I would rather forget was extremely difficult, but ultimately, rewarding. I never thought anyone would publish my writing. Nor did I think I’d get such a great response from those who could relate.
Since I’ve been published, the stories that have been shared with me are heartbreaking. But, with each email I was validated by being able to commiserate with these wonderful people. The experiences I’ve had since exposing my soul to the world have been positive and inspiring, and I’ve been told I’ve actually helped people. It’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
That’s when I knew I needed to continue to pursue writing, a dream of mine since I was eight. I’ve started a completely new chapter in my life, and I’m ready to attack it with full gusto. Deciding which direction to take is the tricky part, but I’m out there doing something I never thought I would do before. And while turning 30 has been incredibly scary, it’s also been very rewarding to turn over a new leaf and take a new path in life.
Melanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle.