Hello there April 2013, how on earth did you get here so quick?
You're sudden arrival marks the month I will say so-long to my twenties and turn the big three-o.
I told my body to stop at 25 but it seems to have stubbornly marched on with the aging process anyhow.
It's with a certain ambivalence that I approach this milestone in my life.
My twenties has been a reckless decade, filled with abandon and reverie, travel and experience, passion and love and friendships and heartaches.
It's been wild, it's been beautiful, and I regret nothing.
At this tipping point between my final few weeks as a twenty-something and becoming a thirty-something, I'm less preoccupied with getting older than with refocusing my life goals.
I'll take that first wrinkle, the extra cellulite and the random hairs that start to spring up in unexpected places.
That's the unending march of time and there's not one of us that can do anything to change that.
What I can do is look back on the last ten years and learn from them.
While my twenties were wonderful, they certainly weren't without faults.
There were mistakes and bad judgments, naive decisions and just plain wrong choices. There were times were I presented myself in a way that I have since been ashamed of.
However none of those were a waste as long as I learned a little something from them and use them as a marker in my future choices and decision making.
This is my first promise to thirty year old Louise...be accountable and learn from your past mistakes.
I feel like I dealt with my twenties the way I'd deal with a large bowl of salty caramel ice cream with hot fudge sauce. Savoring every spoonful, enjoying the flavor and the smell and the coolness of it and licking the bowl out at the bottom.
I've reached the bottom of the bowl.
So that flavor was amazing, but what do I want to try next? I'd like to use this new phase of my life to take care of myself, my mind and my body could do with a little less recklessness and a little more TLC.
I want to be kind and to love and to show appreciation.
To practice acceptance with the past and to always remember that all of my experiences to date, the bad and the good, have shaped the woman I am today.
I want to focus on the things I am good at and shape them into a career that I will love and be passionate about. I want to marry my love and be a mama and fulfill that ache I've been feeling for the past few years whenever I see a beautiful baby.
I want to write and create, to surround myself with beautiful people and things and above all to make myself proud.
If my twenties were caramel and hot fudge I'll take my thirties without the hot fudge.
Still delicious, still to be savored and enjoyed, but a tad less unhealthy.
And that, friends, is something I'm ready to celebrate