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a brief history of my 20's

This past Tuesday I celebrated my 30th birthday. I always find myself very retrospective when September rolls in. This year I looked back at a whole decade of my life.   


photo by Trisha Robinson


20 – I got my first cellphone. I was allowed to take an honours writing class. In the community of this class of misfit writers, I found the thing I was looking for. I became a writer. I became a really good student. I was totally engaged.

21 – I graduated with my Bachelor degree. I applied and got into grad school. I fell in love – big time. I did my first season of tree planting. I moved to the East Coast to start my Master’s. I got my heart broken – big time.

22 – I found myself in a new place. I found a lump on my neck. It was a mystery that we tried to solve over and over again. In all my recollections up to that point, it was the first time I felt my own mortality. It was the first time I lost that child-like feeling of invincibility. I was vulnerable. 

23 – Unchartered territory, my Bermuda triangle. I cracked in half every single day. I was so scared of life. I didn’t know why everything felt so wrong and so right at the same time. I wouldn’t realize till later how far a young person can push their body. 

24 – I finished my book, defended my thesis, and received my Master of Arts. At the time all of these achievements were clouded by crippling insecurity and imposter syndrome. I kept digging deep to hear my inner voice. I left the East Coast and came home.

25 – In an effort to recover my spirit and give my body a reboot I went to Spain. I wrote more about it here. I still made a bunch of mistakes and failed but I start failing forward. Any mistakes or failures became clues.

26 – I took painting seriously again. I embraced my ambitions. I began understanding what it means to believe in oneself. I cut all my hair off. I got my first big girl job.

27 – I began cultivating a rigorous discipline. At the end of the year when I was really unable to make a decision or decipher what was right for me, I got hit by a car. Again, vulnerability. I had a week in bed that gave me infinite time and clarity. I got my first promotion. My body was falling apart. 

28 – Humility, collaboration, confidence, focus and decisiveness. I was working my dream job and wrestling with restlessness. I moved to the Beach. I saw my dreams manifesting before my eyes. I learned how to be proactive about my health. 

29 – the Grande Finale of my 20’s. I celebrated my 29th in Paris. I took the biggest free fall of my life by going full time with painting. I took so many chances. I showed my work. I launched LYS

I was doing the dishes on the eve of my 30th. In this relaxed, mundane moment a thought or I think of it more as a message came through my consciousness and it was ‘I am the woman I’ve always wanted to be.’ This feeling is the best birthday present I could ever get. 

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