Turning 30 Q&A: Personal Growth, Business, & Baby

I'm 30! Q&A for my 30th birthday on personal growth, business, new mom and baby life, 30th birthday photo shoot ideas for women, gift ideas for women turning thirty, almost 30 years old podcast, truths for people in life coming up on their 30th birthday, thoughts and advice on turning 30, thirty years old life lessons, #almost30, #almostthirty, #thirty, #personalgrowth, #personaldevelopment

OMGOMGOMG I'M THIRTY! Well, I'm turning 30. I won't officially cross the finish line into thirty until this evening… but still. Almost every day since June 1st rolled around, I've been saying to my husband, some variation of “I'm turning 30!” Whether it's been “these are my last donuts of my 20s,” or “this is one of the last times I'll be in the ocean as a 20 something!”I honestly can't believe it.

When I turned 20, I remember crying. I honestly didn't think I'd live to see my twenties. That may sound dramatic, but my teens were hellish and I had my fair share of near death experiences (both accidental and from the rampant suicidal thoughts). Turning twenty was something I really didn't know if I'd experience. It was also particularly bittersweet since 20 days before turning 20, my dad passed away… oh and Father's day fell on my birthday that year. My twenties were pretty interesting. While not nearly as hellish as my teen years, I still felt the after shocks and pains of my choices from my twenties as I was still living in the consequences of my teen years during my early twenties.

But then miracles started happening. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I kept showing up when times were tough (albeit with the grace of a sledge hammer at times). I kept making the next right decision even when it was challenging. Before I knew it, a life beyond my wildest dreams had evolved. I met my now husband when I was 22. Got my first 9-5 at 24 (and this wasn't any 9-5, it was my dream job at the time). Was fired twice in a month at 25, which led me to starting my own company at 26 and then got married shortly after. I moved thirteen (yes, you read that right) times in this decade, only to finally become a home owner at 29 (planting roots now is SO weird). Oh and let's not forget one of my greatest joys of my 20s: becoming at mom at 29.  I made over 6 figures in my own business in less than three years. I re-connected with my estranged biological father and brothers. I lived ON the beach for four years (yeah, that means I moved several times a year at points in order to move 13 times this decade, #yolo). I began eating and working out in a balanced way. I celebrated over a decade of sobriety (that's right, I never touched a drink or drug in my 20s and don't miss it). And I got off medication, which I thought I'd be on forever (NOTE: there's nothing wrong with being on medication! It helped me for a long time, my goal wasn't to get off medication, it just happened naturally).

Don't get me wrong, my 20s weren't all rainbows and butterflies. Between the miracles I still dealt with my fair share of pain. But I started my twenties wanting to die. I started my twenties unsure of how I even gotten there. Convinced I'd be on medication the rest of my life. Convinced I was destined to be empty, alone, and broken forever. I thought I didn't even deserve to drink coffee – because treats like that were for better people than I was. I constantly found new and creative ways to create a mini-living hell for myself. Punishing myself for the things I'd done in my teens was my mission at twenty. Somewhere along the way, I would slowly stop punishing myself. I would make healthier choices. And one healthy choice, led to another, then another. The snowball effect was finally happening in reverse. Instead of slowly killing myself, I was slowly becoming alive again. I was finally breaking free of the cycle I'd been living in for as long as I could remember.

I realize that I've been having some anxiety about turning 30. Not because 30 is “so old” or any of those cliches (which I 100% do NOT subscribe to). But because my 20s were so transformative. My twenties taught me so many of the lessons people talk about realizing in your 30s. I'm sad to leave them because they were such an eye opening decade full of tears and joy. I'm so proud of the person I've become as I close out this decade, that I want to celebrate it. Also, if I'm being totally honest: from a vanity stand point, it's a little sad to not feel like the “baby” anymore, as most people in my life are in their thirties and forties. Plus, it doesn't help, that my blog is called the confused millennial and most of America thinks a millennials i just a 20 something so I constantly get emails or questions targeting college students or asking how I'm a millennial when I'm a mom – which does make me feel old lol.

ANYWAY… that's my rant on turning 30. If you want to hear more if it, I went into loads of detail on my Youtube channel this week and E joined me in this week's podcast episode on turning 30 where we reflect on our 20s and work through my feels of closing out this decade, listen here.

I also feel like I already have said everything I wanted to say on the lessons from my 30s in this post. So instead, I'm doing a little Q&A and answering YOUR Q's! These are all over the place, which I love, so I'm going to break them down into categories:

Party Hats | Palm Banner | Cactus | Marble & Gold table (similar)

Turning 30 Q&A: Personal [Growth]

How do you think you've changed from your early 20s to now?

SO MUCH! I tackled this mostly in the opening of this post. But I'd say I went from feeling totally broken, unsure about everything in my life, shameful and afraid, too healed. If you would've told my 20 year old self that this is the life I'd have today I probably would've thought you were insane. I think the biggest change for me has been letting go of the conditioning that I picked up that was really killing me in my teen years so that I could truly have a return to self and embrace more of who I am through this whole adulting thing (not to plug TCM's tagline, but it really is part of me!).

What is your Saturn return placement and how do you think it has manifested??

3rd house, 11 degrees of Capricorn conjunct Neptune

Sooo if you listen to this episode of the podcast with Danielle Paige, we talk all about my Saturn Return. She knew I was pregnant at the time, but we hadn't announced yet, so she was being a little cryptic. But off air she had told me that Reagan was my “freedom baby” and a massive part of my Saturn Return. Which made total sense to me. My Saturn Return is about intimate family stuff, community, sharing ideas, and communication. So basically everything I'd been working on in my twenties.

I LOVE kids. I started babysitting at 13 and literally was the baby sitter that during the Super Bowl all the parents in the neighborhood would drop their kids off and I had like 8-13 kids to take care of while the parents all partied. I got REALLY afraid of having kids – especially a daughter (more on that here) because of how bad things got with my mom in my 20s, and how rough her relationship with her mom was. I did a lot of healings around the maternal lineage in my family in my work with Shaman Durek. I also did a lot of Psych-K around it too.

[RELATED] Why I’m Scared To Have Kids [+ How I’m Working Through It]

So when Danielle said that Reagan was my freedom baby, it made sense to me. It feels like this is my opportunity to do things differently. To actually communicate with my kid. Every day of my pregnancy I would pray that we would always have the desire to seek to understand one another and take action on that desire. Meaning, we don't have to see eye to eye, but we do work to see one another for who we are in that moment and love and support anyway. On Ellen's 60th birthday, she shared a quote her wife shared with her during their wedding ceremony, “It’s good to be loved, it’s profound to be understood,” which is what I look at my relationship with Reagan as. I want us to honor the fact that we are always evolving and approach our relationship with the same openness and curiosity for many years, as we did when she was a baby.

Danielle also said I had been a boss many times over, and that I was here for family in this life. So the community and communication aspect of my Saturn Return feels a lot like what I do with this brand. It's also why I've been so open with some of the more challenging parts of my family life over the years. I will say, my Saturn Return has felt quite easy compared to many you hear about and I believe it's because I've remained open to the tears and challenging emotions, I've allowed myself to sink into them, become a mess, and also because I've been very disciplined and organized and worked with that Capricorn energy.

What TV character, past or present, do you think you're most like?

UGH this is HARD! I literally transform into so many characters when I watch different shows. Since I just finished this last season of The Bold Type, I'm going to have to go with Jane. Aside from the fact we have similar careers, we also just handle work and sticky situations very similarly. We have this idealist mentality of what's right and fair that some would say is a bit naive, but we are passionate about sticking to our righteous morals. Our biggest lessons are definitely patience, timing, and tact. Also, I remember going for my BRCA test when I was younger, and can only imagine what her character goes through (I was negative fortunately).

How do you deal with rejections?

I used to deal with them much worse. They used to crush me. Like I would have a full body visceral response of heart palpitations, sweats, non stop thinking and venting about it. Then I started to realize that I was in this negative feedback loop with it. The more attention I gave it, the more my energy shifted down with it, the more my energy went into it, the more I thought about it. It was a vicious cycle. I decided to start catching and correcting my thoughts and actions. I also became vigilant at owning my role in every single situation, in doing so, I realize that I romanticized or held onto A LOT of things because of some sort of unspoken expectation/dream I had picked up from someone else.

Once I got clearer on my own values, my role in situations, and getting out of my own head rejection became a lot easier to deal with. Today I'll vent about it (sometimes), and then just focus on what feeling/reality I want to create going forward and direct my attention there instead. I get rejected a lot today in my line of work, but I really don't even notice it. Whereas in the past one simple rejection would take up hours, if not days or weeks of my thoughts and energy.

What's your absolute favorite teen TV show?

YA TV and books are legit my fave genre I think. One Tree Hill is probably one I can watch over and over and always feel things. Brooke's character development feels SO similar to my own life (probably another TV character I'm most like) – although I had a lot of Peyton in me in high school. Honorable mentions: Gossip Girl (although I was always more partial to the books since I read those before the show came out), The OC, Boy Meets World (is that teen?), The 100, Riverdale

What is the #1 piece of advice you would give your younger self?

I'm a bit long winded so choosing only one is tough! I wrote an entire post on the advice I'd give my 18 year old self – read here. But if I had too narrow it down to one it would be to forget everything you think you know about yourself and what's been taught to you and take the time to get to know who you really are at your deepest core. Growing up, my biological father would always tell me, “you know nothing,” in the sense of the smartest people realize they know nothing. Taking that curiosity and humility for life I think is one of the best things we can do – especially in our dealings with other people and ourselves. We are constantly reinventing and evolving (hopefully) and I think it's important to not label or put anyone into a box since that's limiting and ultimately robs everyone of truly experiencing the present moment and each of our returns to self as we are all working on deconditioning from the BS.

[RELATED] Advice To My 18 Year Old Self

What is your masters in?

It's an M. Ed (education) focusing on Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling. It's what people get on their way to becoming a LMHC (licensed mental health counselor – comparable to an MSW – master's in social work). I usually just say it's in counseling since it's easier to understand for people, but there's no “college of counseling” so the “college of education” houses the degree.

What are you currently reading and bingeing?

Reading: Shaman Durek's new book: Spirit Hacking!! It's an advanced copy and will officially be out in October and I highly recommend pre-ordering! I just finished One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep A Secret (same author) if you're looking for some great light YA summer reads (think PLL vibes).

Watching: PLL: The Perfectionists! (are we sensing a theme here?) We just finished the last season of the Bold Type and Shameless. Obvi watching the Bachelorette and counting down until BIP. Am going to start catching up on Big Little Lies next! But one of my all time favorite shows that I really recommend EVERYONE watches is The OA on Netflix! They presented Netflix with a 6 season plan and I'm praying we get all six so tell everyone about it! Drop me other recs!!

[RELATED] 20 Inspirational Self-Help Books To Read This Year

Party Hats | Palm Banner | Cactus | Marble & Gold table (similar)

Turning 30 Q&A: Business / Content Creation

How do you create interesting content on Instagram?

I used to go really far out of my way to create content for Instagram. It was honestly exhausting. With a baby I realize I can't keep up with that so I just try to document my daily life now in an engaging way. I involved my husband in the process so I could have an outsiders help/perspective/reminder on what conversations we're having at home that we want to invite people into because they are fun, entertaining, or informative.

[RELATED] Frustrated with Instagram? Here’s the blog post you ACTUALLY need to read about it

I'm starting my own practice this August/September. Any new business advice? #clueless

Ahh congrats!! So exciting and I'm so proud of you!! I'd say don't underestimate the power of your existing network. I think too often people are jumping to digital promotion today which I wouldn't recommend. I think part of the reason it looks like I had so much success so quickly is that people didn't see the time I spent before launching TCM (I know the person who wrote this question did, because we worked together!). Butttt I really got my start by telling my existing network what I was doing and asking them to spread the word. Word of mouth referrals were key. Also, this is super simple but a lot of people mess it up: be organized and reliable. I think as a new business owner it can be easy to get caught up in all the things (or on the flip side, not knowing what to do), just remember to put your clients (and customer service, but yes, they are client, but they are also customers in a way) experience first. Oh and figure out a good bookkeeping/contract/invoicing system!

With that said too, knowing you industry (this person is a mental health counselor, but this works for a lot of service based businesses), I'd say if word of mouth is slow, don't be afraid to reach out to some local colleges or organizations and do some speaking engagements. Ask if you can bring a sign in sheet where you ask for peoples emails and their consent to add them to a newsletter. This way you have some warm leads for potential new clients. Start by sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter sharing tips and encouraging engagement/interaction, that way if they ever do need your services they will still remember you.

Other business advice really depends on what you want. I knew I didn't want to stay as a counselor, which is why I did the life skills program (what this person saw me teaching in groups), which ultimately became a lot of the content that TCM started out as.

Also, there's loads more advice in the entrepreneurship section of the blog here!

In a saturated segment of biz, what influences you to stay authentic and different?

My internal barometer. I don't look at blogging/content creation as saturated. I know there is only one ME! (yes, I just dropped a T. Swift reference). Just like everyone at some point in life, I've gotten caught up in what other people are doing and my work has suffered. I realize I need to always keep my eyes on my own lane.

VERY early in starting out in the digital space (back when I was only offering coaching and didn't have a blog), I created a coaching program that was very similar to the coach who coached me, and the coach who coached hers programs. Long story short, I got called out for being too similar, and had a mini break down. That was the moment I was crying on my couch to my husband saying, “I'm just another confused millennial who has no idea what I'm doing with my life,” and 48 hours later this blog, The Confused Millennial, was born.

So recognizing that I was still building someone else's dream – and miserable – became a huge motivator. It's been 3 years of constantly unfollowing, unsubscribing and shifting who I spend my time with online in order to stay focused on what I'm doing and not accidentally trying to be someone else. I use burnout as an internal barometer to whether or not I'm being authentic. Because when I'm truly in alignment and excited about what I'm doing (because it's uniquely ME!) I can work 16 hours a day and not feel any burnout. If it's not in alignment with me, I can work 30 minutes and feel burnt out.

[RELATED] 9 Signs You’re On The Road To Burnout With No Work-Life Balance

Any advice for someone starting a blog about post-grad + dog mom life?

Be you and have fun! It's important to know you're “WHY” and if it's to make money, probably don't do it (read more here). Blogging requires more skills than most people realize, so if you aren't enjoying it there are other hobbies or ways to make money that are way easier. For more advice check out the blogging section on my blog and I offer 1-1 blog consulting you can find here!

Turning 30 Q&A: Baby

How do you balance work and a baby?

I'm really fortunate to have a husband who works at home too. We have a shared calendar and our daughter on a  (flexible) schedule which makes it pretty easy right now. We take turns being the “point parent” when the other has a call or needs uninterrupted work time. She naps about 5 hours throughout the day though which does make it fairly easy to get a good amount done (because LBH, if you work in an office and actually work 5 hours of your day that's impressive AF between co-worker chats, breaks, etc.)

[RELATED] 6 Tips To Work Smarter, Not Harder

How is sleep going for your sweet little one?

GREAT! We actually transitioned her out of the SNOO last week per our pediatricians request and that was a bit bumpier than expected. I'm probably going to do a Youtube video on it. She had already been on the SNOO's wean feature (no movement at baseline) for about a month, so she didn't need movement to fall asleep – so in that sense the crib wasn't too different), but she was still swaddled. So the biggest transition was really the fact that we left her totally unswaddled without any sort of sleep aide like the Merlin suit. She started sleeping 8 hrs a night at 8 weeks and 11-12 since 10 weeks. Other than her first night in her crib, that's continued. I really can't recommend the SNOO enough! It's pricey, but sleep is hella important to me and all my friends who also have SNOO babies have similar sleep patterns as R's.

Purchase the SNOO here!!

Favorite baby products so far?

The SNOO obvi. Our Lovevery Play Gym and play kits we use daily (they are basically her only toys). For more baby products we've used and loved read this post.

For more reflections on my 30th birthday, check out this Youtube video and this podcast episode!

For more posts like this: The Greatest Gifts You Can Give Yourself Before Turning 30