My life was my job for a few years. For a variety of reasons, the latter part of my 20s brought on a really unhealthy obsession with my career. Climbing the corporate ladder took more of a toll on me than I wanted to admit. Essentially, I forgot/suppressed/abandoned the "real" me, and in attempt to have the career I had always hoped for, I became what I thought was expected of me. Enter my sudden adherence to Brooks Brothers french-cuffed shirts, Ralph Lauren basic pumps in 3 different staple colors, and an array of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor
Then a couple of very significant things happened in my life. For starters - I got burned out on my job. (Saw that one coming, did you?). I was not being fulfilled by it anymore, and knew that I needed a balance in my life. Getting a different job wasn't the answer - I have a good job, and I would get burned out anywhere at this pace. In addition to this, when January of 2011 came around - I had to force myself to face a thought that I hadn't been able to come to terms with yet. 2011 is the year I turn 30. THIRTY. 30? Seriously? I haven't done enough stuff to be 30. People who are 30 are married and have kids already and are successful and well traveled and...... well I don't know, they've just done more than I feel like I have and I'm not taking this lying down! (sorry - I got away from myself a bit there). So I'm turning 30, have nothing but a good job, and live vicariously through people I don't know on the internet through fashion blogs. What a life.
Boo. Freakin. Hoo.
I don't really know at what point exactly things started coming together. For one - I realized what a huge blessing it is to have some people in my life who love me VERY, VERY much. My family is amazing, I have such caring and supportive friends, and even an ex who I still adore as a person and consider one of my closest and most special people to me in my life (grown up stuff, right?). I also have a best friend, my very best friend - who is the most selfless, supportive, caring, inspirational, strong, compassionate, loving person I have ever known. In the beginning of this year, he was trying to do something to change his life for the better - and I was supporting him (not my strong suit, but I was doing it!). So we started eating food that was better for us (I literally JUST ate a donut before I typed this - so I'm giggling a little bit - can't be good all the time, right?), working out 2-3x per week, hiking on the weekends, and just going out to do more fun things. His commitment to weight loss and to live a healthier lifestyle turned into MY weight loss and healthier lifestyle... which then turned into me buying smaller clothes.... which turned into feeling great and more energy to do fun things..... which turned into 'hey, why don't I decide that 30 is going to be my HEALTHIEST, HAPPIEST year and I'm going to have a huge party and wear a little cocktail dress and have sparklers on my cake and.........!?!?!?' Yeah. It got exciting.
So here I was...roughly 30 lbs lighter, about to turn 30, with a successful career complete with hard-earned respect from the aforementioned boys club, a wardrobe full of cute clothes (I had even branched out to more fun clothes at this point), great family and friends, supportive best friend who loves to take pictures of things, and an unrequited