My name is April, and this is my story… I’m 29 years old, with 30 fast approaching. I keep thinking back to my 16 year old self, who naively thought that by the time she reached 21 she would actually feel like… oh I don’t know, an actual grown up? It’s so strange to know that here I am, now 37 days away from 30 and I still feel nothing like what I thought an adult should feel like. I drive, I work, I cook and clean my own house, shoot, I’m even married! But, I still feel like that same 16 year old kid… now I’m just a kid who has grown up responsibilities. The years between then and now seem like such a blur, with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns and quite a few detours along the way.
Throughout these past years, I have jumped head first into about a million different ideas/projects/hobbies/diets/and goals, only to abandon them about 3 weeks later. I guess that is what your twenties are for though… it’s definitely been a decade of experimentation, personal growth, and lessons learned the hard way. When I was 20, at the height of my “I want to do everything, everywhere, all at the same time” phase, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders can take on many different names and cause a host of symptoms in a persons body. It’s a disease that causes the body to attack itself, in my case, my body attacks my colon, known as Ulcerative Colitis. I know, it sounds like an old persons disease. It was something that I had never even heard of until I was diagnosed.
Within 3 months of being diagnosed, I was in the hospital for the second time, near death, and desperately in need of an emergency colectomy. This meant that I would *gasp* have to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. Can you imagine the dread of a 20 year old hearing those words come out of her doctors mouth? As a last resort before surgery, my doctors recommended that we try something called Remicade to get my UC under control. If the Remicade didn’t work, then my only other option would be surgery. Well, I’m happy to say, here I am 9 years later still receiving Remicade infusions every 8 weeks at my doctors office. It has been a lifesaver for me, it gave me back my life, it gave me back my youth.
I have been so thankful that Remicade has worked, allowing me to live the life of a “normal” twenty-something year old girl. However, after so many years of being on this medicine without a care in the world about my diet, as I’ve gotten older, my priorities have started to change. Nine years ago if a doctor would have told me that in order to be healthy, all I had to do was give up bread, rice, dairy, chocolate, sugar and alcohol OR be on medication for the rest of my life… I would have chosen the medication.
Back in 2015, I found Whole30. This program literally set me on a path that I will always be grateful for. Whole30 helped me to change my relationship with food. It helped me to see that the food we eat DOES affect our health, not just our waistlines. Now, at almost 30, I’ve realized, it isn’t the end of the world to go out with friends to a Mexican restaurant and not order a margarita or to have a really cruddy day and relax with hot tea rather than a pint of Ben&Jerrys Chunky Monkey IceCream. These past few years have helped me come to understand that life is still worth living without sugar. Who would’ve known!?
This is my personal blog to share with others what I’ve learned throughout my twenties, so that I am able to live my best life ever in my thirties. For me, it certainly hasn’t been a completely smooth ride, and sometimes it’s just been down right ugly… but here’s to the journey, the “dirty30journey”. So welcome! Have you learned lessons the hard way? Did you get it all figured out by the time you turned 30? Or did it take you longer? Share below in the comments any words of wisdom you’d like to share with the rest of us who are still trying to figure it out!
Till next time,