I’m 30… And here is where my life is right now

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Well, it’s officially been three months since I turned 30 years old, two months since I moved to Florida, and one month since I decided to *finally* take on the challenge of improving my life in the next decade… or so.

Mainly, my goal with the Map Your 30s blog is to prove that turning this momentous decade doesn’t have to be the end of your journey. It doesn’t have to mean that you’re now an “adult” because someone says so. In fact, only YOU can decide that. And it definitely doesn’t mean that you have to have ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING figured out. In fact, it’s totally okay if you have some (or a lot!) of growing to do. I encourage it!

So, as I begin this journey… I wanted to start with a full update about where my life actually is in relation to these six important fields that I am tackling as part of my growth in the next year or 10 or so.

Relationships: Up until this point in my life, I’ve been mostly single. But now, beyond all odds, I’ve met the most incredible person I could have ever hoped to meet–and one amazing partner-in-crime for life. Although we’ve been together for just under two months, I know that this is it and I am INCREDIBLY happy. And trust me, this big change in my life came as a HUGE shock to me!

Career: As of tomorrow, I’m back to being a freelance editor at Brit+Co. I’ll be working part-time to handle their food content, and I can’t wait to get back to it. And I’ve started writing regularly again for MamasLatinas, where I’m handling food, health, beauty, entertainment and more. Plus, I’ve got big plans for other freelance pieces… AND A BOOK.

Home: Well, the biggest change here since turning 30 and today is that I am now a resident of Southwest Florida. This isn’t really where I thought I would be at this point in my life. In fact, I am mildly conflicted about it because, when I left this area for college in New York, I told myself I’d never come back and NYC is where I belong. The only problem? I’m not really sure I feel that way anymore. For the first time in my life, I’m flexible with where I want to live. And that’s okay.

Finances: Well, this is probably one of the areas that I need the MOST work on, to be honest. I’ve never been that good at finances and I’m currently not taking in any income. That is to say, I haven’t had a paycheck in a couple of months–but as you read above, that should very soon change! Once it does, I am going to start saving for a car and… stuff.

Health: Right now, I am actually doing Whole30 with my boyfriend. Before that, my health was mostly okay but I definitely wasn’t fully happy with where I was. Although I lost 100 pounds a few years ago and have been able to keep MOST of it off, I wanted to be at a smaller size. Now I’m actually okay with my size, but I wanted to go back to eating healthier. I had fallen off the wagon of eating 80/20 (80% healthy, 20% whatever), so now I’m taking MAJOR strides towards that with this new challenge.

Confidence: I had a really great therapist back in NYC, but to be honest I haven’t been focusing on this area all that much. The most I’ve been able to do is find a pretty good support group in the area, which I am planning to go to on Friday nights. However, I’ve done a few other confidence-boosting and general “for me and my mental health” things lately, and I’m planning to continue that.

All in all, I am in a pretty decent spot with most of the areas of my life–but there’s definitely a LOT that I want to improve on, too. I want to continue to nurture my new relationship, make time for writing my book, decorate my new home, start saving money for that car I want, finally finish Whole30 and continue to build my self-confidence.

Just because I’m 30 now doesn’t mean I have it all figured out, but I’m happy that I will be doing more to improve myself. One step at a time.

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Map Your 30s Blog: Why life doesn’t end when you turn 30

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Exactly two months ago, I turned 30 years old.

One month later, I arrived to my new (old) home in Florida.

Today is May 22nd, 2016, and I have officially lived thirty years and two months on this planet. I don’t want to get annoyingly philosophical here but, in a nutshell, here is what I learned:

We never, ever stop growing as human beings.

Or at least we shouldn’t. Constantly growing and improving ourselves is something that I have always believed in, and it’s what has driven me to this point: being officially three decades old, feeling both like an adult and like I still have a LOT to figure out, and wanting to kinda sorta do something about it.

That’s where the idea behind the Map Your 30s blog came in.

As I was approaching turning 30, I noticed one big thing happening to me and my friends. We were all simultaneously freaking out about the Big Three-Oh while also realizing that–hey! it’s really NOT that big a deal, is it? And as I approached my own milestone birthday, I started to think about all of the things I cared about in all of the different areas of my life.

Namely, I cared about: nourishing the relationships I had with friends and family, taking my writing career to the next level, creating a wonderful home life, organizing my finances (aka saving money), making sure to keep up my health goals with clean eating and exercise, and working on my self-confidence through therapy.

These six key areas of focus, I realized, are what is most important to me and where I want to grow in the next decade. So, following the spirit behind and the wholehearted belief that, HEY, just because I’m 30 now doesn’t mean that my life is made or figured out or that I don’t still have plenty of learning to do, I decided to create the Map Your 30s blog.

For the next year or five or twenty years, I am going to be doing big and little things to improve my life in these categories: relationships, career, home, finances, health and confidence. And, like the writer that I am (and because it might even help a bit with the “career” part of this project), I decided to occasionally blog about my adventures here.

While this site will remain a representation of my portfolio in general, I will also be cataloging and generally talking more about some of the other aspects of my life.

Like maybe dating (relationships), the book I’m working on (career), my new apartment (home), saving money for a trip (finances), cooking more Healthy Latin Food (health) and continuing adventures in therapy (confidence).

These are all topics that interest me, I hope to write about here and elsewhere, and I hope will maybe interest you a little bit too. And maybe, just maybe, I might even inspire someone to do their own growing, changing and otherwise improving life after 30.

Because let’s face it: whether you’re married or single, have a fantastic career or still looking for the right fit, bought a house or not even thinking about it yet, started your 401k or haven’t even figured out doing your taxes on time, regularly make it to the gym on time or get winded climbing the stairs, go to the beach without a shirt on or can’t even step foot in the bathing suit section of the store, turning 30 is just another milestone.

It’s never too late to be a more awesome person. And, as a good friend of mine put it: this is the Decade of Awesome. Welcome to it!

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So I started going to therapy… and it’s difficult because I’m Latina

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This is a little difficult to admit… but I’ve started going to therapy. To be honest, I’ve been thinking a bout it for years but somehow never got up the courage to do it until I had a particularly challenging summer this past year.

After spending much of it dealing with some stuff in Florida (where my parents live), I came back to my home in NYC ready to tackle the world – but not without seeking some help first.

And so here I am, going to therapy and realizing that one of the main reasons why it was soooooo difficult for me to do earlier is because my Latina shame kept me from it. Rough, but TRUE!

Check out my essay on how my Latina shame kept me from going to therapy for years on Flama!

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I’m about to turn 30…

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In the past few months, and I couldn’t tell you if this is coincidence or some weird algorithm or simply because I am more aware of it, my Facebook feed has been full of “hey you’re turning 30!” articles.

And it’s true. I am turning 30. In exactly a month, to be precise.

To be honest, I am not yet sure how I feel about the whole thing. At times I feel like the it is kind of silly. All of the pressure that we face, as women and as human beings in general, to have checked off certain life milestones by this age. A great career, a nice home, a semblance of independence and some vague definition of being a real adult now that our twenties are behind us.

Oh yeah, and can’t forget the whole life partner thing.

Whether married, engaged or simply paired off with the person that you’re thinking you probably *will* marry, the pressure to “Have It All” seems to really start at this age when we have graduated from those years of growing and finding ourselves to these years of settling into our lives.

But what if you’re not actually quite settled or ready to be settled yet? Is the pressure to have it all figured out by 30 real, or is it something that’s just in our heads?

Irina25thBdayAs I read through what seems like the 27th list of things I should have done/read/watched/experienced/learned by the time I hit the big 3-0 next month, I’m left wondering: isn’t there more to figure out after this? After all, life doesn’t begin at 30 and it definitely doesn’t end there either.

So that’s where I find myself now, thinking that turning 30 is both a really big deal and absolutely no big deal at all.

Sure, I have some things figured out, like that really awesome career that I love. But some things are still in the To Be Determined folder, like that life partner-type figure that’s looming somewhere on the horizon. Maybe.

In the end, though, I know I still have some work to do on myself. I don’t really think that work will ever end, because what’s the point of life if you just stop improving yourself? But since I’m turning 30 and all the hoopla that supposedly comes with it, I am taking this year to especially focus on some of the things that are important to me.

I’m calling it the Map Your 30s blog. It’s basically a vehicle for me to focus on the things that are important to me and the parts of my life that I want to work on, strengthen or improve in some way. That means my career, relationships, finances, home environment, health and confidence/spirituality.

I doubt it’ll only last a year. That’s quite a big undertaking that I am planning to tackle. But the truth is that it’s really not about a year-long project or because I’m turning 30 and all of a sudden some sort of alarm is going off in my head (it’s not), but simply because I want to do it. And I want to do it now.

Being 30 (and maybe having learned a thing or two in the last decade) is just a perk.

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