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HELLO THIRTY

Today… I am THIRTY!

Carly Heitlinger

Dress // Belt // Shoes

I know people (and mostly women) dread leaving their twenties behind, but not me. I read somewhere that people have an “inner age” that they feel like they are for their whole life. Maybe they always feel 16. Or 22. Or 28. I’ve always (and I mean, always) felt like a 33-year-old. Even as a kid, I always wanted to hang out with the moms at birthday parties more than the kids. (I’m sure you can imagine my popularity.)

With every passing year, it feels like I become closer to who I really am deep down, and it feels so good. I’ve been thinking about what I want to say about turning 30. Because despite feeling like I wasn’t cut out for typical twenties-escapades, I did live through my twenties and had the usual bumps and victories along the way.

First though, the craziest part to me is that an entire decade of my life has been documented online. To be completely honest, I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. Often I think I’m judged today for things I did seven, eight, nine years ago and people forget that I was only 23, 22, or 21 at the time. As anyone would, my twenties have been a time of extreme growth. And that growth has been, at times painstakingly, documented here. My thoughts on graduating from college. How I felt being 23. Moving out of NYC. Going through my biggest breakup. Introducing my new (amazing) boyfriend. Announcing that we bought a house together!

MENTAL HEALTH

I can’t mention the extreme growth I’ve had without talking about how I spent the better part of the last few years seriously working on my mental health. I feel like an entirely different person. To the core. Where (and who) I am today is completely different than where I started my twenties. I had been in a constant flight or fight mode for years (and years and years) and that takes its toll. It affected everything from my ability to make the right decisions to my physical health. You may remember that the turning point for me was having a seizure after a week of prolonged stress and unhealthy habits catching up with me (not enough water, food, or sleep). I went from having multiple panic attacks a week to a few a year. I had gone so long without one that when I had one out of the blue in gym a while after I started meditating, I was so taken aback by the severity of it. It eventually passed, but I was incredibly sad to be faced with the realization that I (and my body) had been going through THAT multiple times a week. I actually had a period of mourning following that where I realized how much life I had missed when my panic attacks and anxiety weren’t under control.

I do want to make clear that I’m not “cured” from anything. I have a laundry list of issues stemming from anxiety (intrusive thoughts, an inclination for self-harm, panic attacks, the cliché control issues) that I still face regularly. That is all written into the code of who I am– for better or for worse. I know what my personal challenges are intimately, as only one can, and because of that, I’ve been able to better manage that anxiety so I can live a fuller and healthier life. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and medication have helped during certain episodes. And then a larger responsibility has fallen into my own lap. I sleep a full eight hours every night. I work out regularly. I meditate. I make time for good people in my life and don’t feel bad about saying no to energy that doesn’t work for me. I eat a balanced diet and make exceptions in moderation. The mix of everything gives me a calm mind so that when the seas are a little rough or the roads become a little bumpier, I’m well-prepared to handle them.

WORK/LIFE

I am nowhere near where my 20-year-old self thought I would be. And it’s for the best. I had these visions (both my own and those compounded by the Georgetown mentality) that I would be “climbing the corporate ladder.” Maybe I could have, but I’m so glad I didn’t. That 20-year-old had no idea that what she was doing in her dorm room would turn into her career. And at 25, she would have no idea that her career which felt so important to her at the time might not be that important by 30.

It sounds pessimistic to say, though I don’t mean it in a negative way at all, but pulling my foot off the gas has given me more space in my life to breathe. I’m in a tricky industry where your life becomes (quite literally) your work. I personally find it a dangerous line to cross and I have done as much as I can to put up some healthy boundaries. I do end up sharing a lot, but I’m constantly recalibrating on what makes the most sense for me. The hardest part of this realization, though, is that it ultimately hurts the bottom line of my business. The catch-22. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to make better choices of what I’m willing to do and what I’m simply not. And if it means not being as “successful” as I could be, than so be it. (With that said though, I’ve reconsidered what “success” even means to me– and by protecting parts of my life, I am successful. And happy.)

MY BODY

I’m hesitant to include this at all for fear of it being misinterpreted. But it’s important to me and something that I have really worked on through my twenties. I am proud of and comfortable in my body. At 20, 23, 25, I couldn’t say the same thing. I often felt awkward. Like my body was rented instead of owned. It sort of fit but didn’t feel quite right. That awkwardness didn’t lend itself to confidence and I struggled to feel “at home” with myself.

Age and maturity in general definitely helped. (I went through a very late puberty in college, which certainly contributed to some of the awkwardness.) But so did my attitude towards my body. Once I started working out and realized what it could do, what it was capable of, I felt so much more in control of it. This isn’t from a weight perspective or even a “how it looked.” It was how I felt in my body. As that clicked into place, I knew I was carrying myself differently into rooms. It– positively– affected my mental health. I have a sense of confidence that I never had before.

I also accepted my body for what it is. It’s not perfect, no one’s is. But it is the vessel I get to go through life in and for that I’m grateful. Especially in today’s day in age of Snapchat-filter-inspired-plastic-surgery, I am making a conscious effort to embrace myself for what it is. My wrinkles, my grey hair, my pale skin.

SEXUALITY

I wanted to make sure this section came after the one about feeling home with my body. Because I think the two are correlated. I love my parents and they were definitely doing what they what was best, but my sex education was very fear-based. Granted, looking back, I’m glad I wasn’t having sex in high school because there was no way I was mature enough for it. But that fear really carried through longer than it was healthy.

I carried this fear with me. Instead of feeling empowered or in control, I just felt a lot of shame. In a porn obsessed world, this is a terrible combination, especially for women. Dating was such a huge part of my twenties– from flirting with guys in college, to going out in NYC, to my first few real adult relationships– and sex, naturally, is a part of that. Instead of feeling a positive sense of exploration, it felt like something I was battling against. Which, as you can imagine, led to poor decisions and bad relationships and even worse self-worth.

When I look back to my early twenties in this department, I quite literally shudder. I wish I had had even the tiniest sliver of the empowerment I feel now. To not be afraid or ashamed. To dump the bad guys earlier. To realize I had control.

TO KNOW THYSELF

More than ever before, I am done apologizing for who I am. I really feel like I know who I am and it’s okay that it doesn’t fit some particular mold. I think my early twenties were mostly spent trying to squish myself into these molds (hard-working New Yorker! fun 20-something in the city! etc.) and just ended up not being myself in the end. Which contributed to me feeling lousy about myself. I always felt like I wasn’t measuring up because how I was measuring myself wasn’t… me!

There is a certain sense of self that one acquires through their twenties. I’ve tried things. I’ve put myself out there. I’ve given myself the chance to see if I like it. But now I’m also giving myself the permission to not like something, to not feel comfortable with something, to prefer something else. I was talking with a new friend this summer about this. Where in years past I might force myself to be the kind of girl who stays out until 3 am with everybody (and feel like a loser for hating what “should” be fun to a “normal” person), I’m totally fine having a blast until midnight and then going to bed. (The real kicker is that absolutely no one cares as much as you think they care, lol.) I do me. The people in my life, love me for me– and I love them for being them.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO

So, I feel like I’m in a much different and much healthier place than I was ten years ago. I totally believe that your twenties should be spent exploring, failing, and learning. I’m glad I did that and I know I will continue to explore, fail, and certainly learn. But there is something quite transient about that decade. I graduated college, moved home for a month before starting my first job, moved to NYC, moved to Connecticut, met my boyfriend and moved to NJ where we ultimately bought a house. Maybe this many moves isn’t the norm, but I’d say my friends have done at least two big moves (between cities and/or jobs) in the decade. There’s a sense of wanting to try on all the hats to see what fits best. I always bloomed where I planted to get an immediate sense of normalcy… but deep down I really just wanted to already be where I was going to be. Being with Mike in our house (and I want to be clear that neither a partner nor a house is necessary for this feeling– just so happens to be my reality), I feel so at peace. My twenties felt like preparation. Training, if you will. Figuring out the strategies that worked. Ditching the bad habits that didn’t. Learning how I worked best. Letting go of what was holding me back. Finding success and learning through failure.

Yes, that will continue to be the case for the rest of my life, but I feel like I’m starting this decade of my life in such a good place with such a good sense of who I am.

(But also… who knows maybe I’ll look back at this when I’m 40 and think, “She had no idea what the hell she was doing then either.”)

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82 Comments

Sarah

Beautiful post. Happy birthday, Carly! As someone who has followed you since your graduation from Georgetown, seeing you become more confident in yourself and happy with who YOU are is such a joy to witness. I think authentically being who we really are, deep down, is an amazing gift that we can give to ourselves and to those around us. Wishing many happy years ahead to you ☺️

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Linda

Happy happy birthday Carly! Thirty never looked better. I‘ve been following you since my second year of middle school (!) and you are still a source of inspiration to me as I am entering my second year of university. Thank you for what you do. Have the best day!!

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Jasmine

Happy birthday Carly! I grew up reading your blog posts and now as a junior in college, I love reading posts like these the most. I love your approach and mindset to life and how real to yourself you have stayed while being in the digital blogger space. Cannot wait for the next part of your journey 💕

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Cristina - Memories of the Pacific

Happy birthday, Carly! And welcome to the 30s club, they are the best years 😉 As a 33 y-o, I feel very related to many of your experiences, I’ve always been an old soul as well -my mom says I was born old haha- always preferring to hang out with adults as a little girl!

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Emily

Happy Birthday Carly!!! Great reflections shared in this post. Wishing you all the luck and happiness in this next year and decade ahead!

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Joanna

Happy birthday, Carly! It’s been so fun following you for the last 7 years. Thank you for sharing your life with us and writing this fantastic reflection. I turned 25 last Monday (hello, fellow Virgo!), and feel that there is a lot out there for me to experience in the next 5 years. Your words today reassured me of that and energized me. Wishing you all the best as you approach your “inner age” — I can’t wait to read along. xx

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Emily

Happy Birthday and thank you for this wonderfully honest post! I turned 30 in February and I wish I had written something down at the time to reflect, but I felt like I spent the better part of 29 shedding bad habits, conquering the fear that was holding me back, and taking some giant leaps forward professionally. 29 was probably the most transformative year of my 20’s; I finally realized that the most important person in my life is me, and I am responsible for the care of myself and no one else’s options should be louder about how I live my life. It was such a freeing moment, and although the self-care and discovery is never done, I felt like I had laid a strong foundation for my 30’s. Sounds like you have one too!

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Denise Olsen

Happy Birthday Carly! I loved this post! Enjoy your thirties! I am past thirty and did enjoy them. I hope you will too!

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Kate

Happy birthday Carly!! I feel like I experienced your 20s with you. Thanks for always being a great role model. Enjoy Nantucket with your family!

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Kate B

Happy birthday Carly!! I feel like I experienced your 20s with you. Thanks for always being a great role model. Enjoy Nantucket with your family!

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Sydney Paulsen

It’s no secret that you’ve inspired me so incredibly much ever since I found your blog years ago. You’re amazing, Carly, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing as much as you have about yourself and your ability to be oh so vulnerable. I obviously only know the you that you choose to show online, but from that I think you’re a pretty spectacular human and I aspire to be as comfortable and confident in myself as you are as your own person. Happy happy birthday, Carly!

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Kelly

1. happy birthday Carly!
2. Thank you for this very well thought out post. As a follow from 2008 its been inspiring to watch you grow and to put it out there for your readers to grow with you. I’m so thankful for this little piece of the interweb.

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Abby

I loved this post, Carly! As someone documenting my 20s on my own blog, I can’t wait to reflect the way you have when I turn 30. I’ve been reading your blog since high school, so it’s fun feeling like we’re growing up together in a way. Have a wonderful birthday!

Abby
abbymeister.com

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Antoinette

I’m not gonna lie, this made me cry! What an awesome recap and such an honest self-reflection, as someone who’s only 20, there is so much insight to be gained here! Thanks for this post 🙂

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Kimberly

Happy belated birthday! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Your vulnerability, strength, humility, and determination to be true to yourself are such an inspiration and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have a peek into your personal growth over the last few years. You have mentioned the complicated feelings you sometimes have surrounding the blog, and that seems very healthy, but I hope you also know how much it has helpd so many people to have such a positive and honest role model!

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Jannna

I love this. Happy birthday, Carly! It’s powerful how you discuss real topics and make it specific without simply giving out the easy version, but also while keeping firm boundaries and not making it seem intrusive for others to read. I can relate to this a lot, I feel like many of us are on very similar journeys. I especially hope to tackle the body-related topics in the near future. It’s great to have a source of inspiration and orientation that I have internet-known for so long.

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Elspeth

I love this post! Happy birthday Carly!!!! Here’s to a new year and decade of growth, love, happiness, and laughter! I have followed you all through college and I have learned so much from you. You are an inspiration to so many! Have the best birthday!
http://www.elspethsdaybyday.com

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Dakota

Happy Birthday!!
As someone who has followed you since college and I also approaching 30, BRAVO! This was not only a brave and powerful piece but also something that I personally needed to read. Your graciousness in maturing and leaning into the process is truly inspiring. Thank you for reminding us that growing up is a journey and that just because yours doesn’t look the same as someone else’s, doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it right.

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Emily

Happy birthday Carly!!! You are a true inspiration to me. I have been reading your blog for many years and now am a senior in college! Time flies. Have the best day, and the best year!!

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Taylor Gwin

Carly!! I am teary reading this! Happy happy birthday. It has been such a joy to watch you bloom over the past 5 years, and I feel as though I have grown along side you. You are an amazing guide, as I am turning 25 next month. I am always just a little behind your life stage, and I love reading your wisdom and self-discovery as it often fuels my own! This post gives me so much peace and hope for the next five years. I can only hope I am as content and fulfilled on my 30th! So happy for you (and Mike!). Enjoy your big day.

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Mindy Gray

Gosh this is so true. I am 32 and love it. I wouldn’t go back to 22 for the world. The turbulence of my twenties, and forever “waiting” for my life to get started – my story is a little unique in that I got “everything I wanted” by 26 (a husband, a house, and a baby), but in terms of being true to myself? It doesn’t hold a candle to my thirties. I can’t wait to see what each new decade brings, and what a hopeful perspective that is 💜

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Lindsay

I absolutely love this post. I am 28, so 30 is coming up fast and I am very inspired by this post. I also relate a lot to the things you talk about, and they inspire me on things to reflect on in my own life, such as being myself and not always trying to please others, and the anxiety that comes from that. It is great that you are so happy with where you are in life, because that is the most important goal! Happy birthday and I can’t wait to keep following along this year

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Kitty Cetola

Thank you for sharing. I can relate to a lot of your story and I really enjoyed hearing it.

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Kate W.

This post is great! I was one of the last of my friends to turn 30 and I remember dreading it on my 29th birthday a year prior. By the time I turned 30 I really felt like I was entering a phase of life I was more than ready for in so many ways, and it turned out to be completely true. Happy birthday! 🙂

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ΣΟΦΙΑ ΚΥΡΙΑΚΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ

Happy birthday. May you live a long and healthy life, surrounded by your beloved people , full of laughs and creativity.

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Rebecca Kelly

This is one of my favourite posts you’ve ever written! Absolutely beautiful and thank you for sharing.

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Coralys M

Carly, I love this post, it has actually made me think of narrowing down what i really want to accomplish in my thirties. I turned 31 this year, and i feel like I haven’t accomplished many of the things i would like to do. Hope you had the happiest of birthdays among your loved ones.

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Leena

Which of your best friends is going to explain to you that Mike should have stayed with you on Nantucket with your family for your 30th birthday? He (and you) sees his NJ family all the time. You clearly take your birthday and Nantucket very seriously – Mike should see this at least as much as strangers on the internet. You need to find better guys. I recall when readers began seeing issues with Garret – first, you were super defensive… then a few months later you split up.

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carly

Thanks for your “concern.” But Mike left Thursday because he has a job… and he took off EXTRA days to go to my friend’s wedding with me AND spend time with my family on Nantucket. We left Nantucket at 7am on my birthday (which was my planning for a week house rental). I spent my birthday driving home and my family flew back to Florida. I got home mid-afternoon and had a great day with Mike privately. Honestly, people like you are why I don’t share my life. And yet you still jump to disgusting and hurtful conclusions.

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Leena

What you did on your birthday proper (based on rental timeframes) isn’t the point. You planned a significant celebration that he wasn’t at. He had to get back to work on the Thursday/Friday before a holiday weekend? But, you got home mid afternoon and he was home to celebrate with you? So confusing. No conclusions were ‘jumped to’. I concluded he wasn’t at your celebration based on your nonstop posts about it. That conclusion was correct.

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carly

I didn’t plan a “significant celebration.” I didn’t even spend my birthday with my family (this was the first time I’ve even seen my family on my birthday since 2008). His job is in NJ and yes, he had meetings and an event he had to attend (after, again, taking a full week off of work to go to my friend’s wedding and be on Nantucket with my family which I preferred over my birthday, without question).

How is it confusing that he’d be home, in New Jersey, where he works and lives (with me) to spend the rest of the day with me? Should he have flown back to Nantucket on Friday evening to spend 24 hours with me and then take a two hour ferry and a six hour drive home so he could spend the full day of my birthday with me??? I’m not a brat about my birthday and wouldn’t subject anyone to that lol!

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carly

I’m truly baffled by your confusion. But to spell it out again, so you’re completely clear:

1. My best friend got married on the cape. Mike and I were in Chatham celebrating that Thursday-Sunday (as was my family).

2. Because my whole family was going to be there, I booked a family vacation( (which coincidentally ended on my birthday). The vacation was based on my friend’s wedding and not my birthday- and the fact that my family would be up there.

3. Mike was there on Nantucket until Thursday at which point he had taken a full week off of work and had to return because, he, um, has a job?

4. Which is in NJ, which is why he was home on Sunday. Where I drove to, after leaving Nantucket early that morning (which again, happens to be my birthday)

5. So I saw my parents and sister for a little bit that morning, and they left for Florida (where they live) and I did the 2 hour ferry plus 6 hour drive to NJ (where I live… with mike) and spent the rest of the day (my birthday) with him.

If you can’t see why I have zero issue with the fact that Mike wasn’t on Nantucket with me for my birthday for the one hour I was awake on sunday morning, I don’t know what else to tell you besides to find a better more productive hobby. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Leena

Whoah. You’ve been publicly talking up your birthday for over a year. Across the last few weeks you’ve mentioned your birthday a dozen times or more on social media. Nicole’s wedding was on the Cape. You rented a house on Nantucket. Those aren’t the same and you clearly made the separate plans and rental based on your birthday, not her wedding. That’s totally fine and understandable – but let’s not pretend you’re not a ‘brat’ about your birthday. If booking a family vacation on one the most expensive and hard to get to places in the USA around your birthday isn’t a ‘significant celebration’, I must live under a rock. I get that Mike was home on Sunday. Thanks for clarifying. Part of the issue is that to decided to publicly promote and brag about your birthday – a lot. Then, your boyfriend isn’t there on the night you decided to celebrate. Why didn’t you have your celebratory dinner on Wednesday night so he could be there to take part? You may have reasons and ways to rationalize that, but you should also understand how it appears publicly. That is a big part of your job, after all. Separately, how have you always felt like a 33 year old if you didn’t go through puberty until the age of 19-20?

carly

I’ll just say one more time, it really was good timing that I could book this family vacation after Nicole’s wedding. Yes, it’s a difficult place to get to and all three of my family members have jobs that are difficult to coordinate so knowing that they were going to be up there for Nicole’s wedding on the cape presented a great opportunity for the trip with my family. I don’t live near them so I’ll take any opportunity I can get to spend time with them. The fact that my birthday HAPPENED TO BE a week and a day after nicole’s Wedding was a coincidence.

I’m sure feeling in my 30s pre-puberty would be similar to how someone post-mama pause may still have the attitude of a teenager. Biology has no affect on how I feel. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Hannah

Happy birthday, Carly!! I’ve been a reader of your blog for 8 or 9 years, and this is my favorite post. As someone in her mid-twenties, I really appreciate your perspective on your last decade. Cheers to your 30th and many more!

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Leena

What is post-Mama pause? Didn’t you have boobs in high school? Is that not puberty? It’s pretty clear that your biology has a huge impact on how you feel…you blog about your mental and physical biology all the time. I find you absolutely fascinating.

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carly

Menopause-just auto corrected. I find you just as fascinating. YEARS of commenting disgusting, insane things and you just… keep coming back. I don’t care that you ( obviously) don’t like me. But you have to take a step back at some point and ask yourself, “why do I keep doing this?”

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Leena

Answer: I find reading your blog immensely entertaining. Witnessing how you live and portray your life is endlessly confounding and fascinating. That’s my reason. Is that a ‘better’ reason that other commenters who are here to plug their own blogs or leave mindless compliments? Who knows. Are my comments ‘insane’ and ‘disgusting’? To you, clearly. But, you’re obviously in no position whatsoever to question or criticize other people’s sanity or good taste. Exhibits 1-3: your blog, Twitter, and Instagam. Enjoy the eggs and caviar and everything and hey girl, keep it rattan and wicker this weekend.

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JM

Leena, if you put half as much effort into your own life as you do stalking and harassing an internet stranger about their life, you might find that you’d be a happier, more fulfilled person. I can’t imagine having the amount of free time that you must have to continue harassing Carly like this. Some friendly advice: perhaps use some of that free time to explore the root of your low self esteem, and your need to project your self-hatred and insecurities onto someone you don’t even know or have anything to do with outside of reading their blog. Or you could try a new hobby – perhaps start your own blog?

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Olivia

Leena – I have a strong suspicion you’re wearing week old sweatpants holed up in your parents 90’s basement as you write these comments to people you’ve never met on the internet because your life is severely lacking friends, love and social activity. Probable? Yes. Mean on my part? Also yes. However, anyone who takes the time to add negativity to the world deserves an equally nasty response. Think about WHY you choose to come back repeatedly to leave nasty comments on this blog. If you gain pleasure from looking at someone else’s content purely with the intent to poke fun, you need to reevaluate your priorities and personal life. Maybe if you felt better about your position in the world, you wouldn’t feel the need to be a nasty internet troll (or to continually mask your identity for that matter).

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Bailey Humphrey

Happy belated Birthday, Carly! I look forward to your birthday posts each year whether its your old family photos or deep reflections such as this. I have been reading since I was in late middle school and I just graduated from college. Thank you for sharing. I have even noticed myself how much you have blossomed in the last year or so!

xo,
Bailey
http://www.baileysbulletin.blogspot.com

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Emma

Beautiful, eloquent and so thoughtful, a wonderful post to celebrate 30. Wishing you the best and happy birthday!

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A Girl, A Style

Happy birthday Carly! I hope you had the most wonderful birthday weekend / family vacation!

I absolutely LOVED reading this, and related so much to absolutely everything you wrote. Once I got over my turning-30 existential crisis (that my life looked so different at 30 to how I expected it to when I was 20), I have to say this is the best decade yet (and like you, I always felt like I belonged more in the 30s than the 20s). You’re going to love it!

Briony xx

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Aislinn Santoyo

Carly,
First of all, HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY! I have been reading your posts since I was 20/21 so approximately 7 years ago and it has been a pleasure growing up with you. Your posts about mental health, fitness, relationships and everything in between have helped me go through those hurdles. I am 27 right now and I cannot wait to be 30, with all the the perks and caveats it entails, including grey hair too! Anyway this post literally made me tear up because it felt as if I was listening to a friend! Thank you for inspiring us to be ourselves and to love every step of the way! Hope you’ve had an amazing birthday and can’t wait to read what your 30s bring! PS. Thank you for mentioning SEXUALITY, such an important and yet rarely talked about subject for women!

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carly

Someone who has been trolling my website for YEARS. I usually delete her comments and don’t publish them

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Sam

Curious, why did you decide to publish her comments then? It comes across like you felt the need to defend yourself about the Mike/birthday situation. If you truly had no issue with Mike leaving before you and your family did (and I disagree with Leena, I don’t think there’s an issue there), then why defend yourself so strongly/at all? I’m a believer in Michelle Obama’s “when they go low, we go high” sentiment, especially in contexts like this.

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carly

Normally I would (and usually I do, hence why you’ve never seen her comments on here before). She comments multiple times a day (that I never publish) and I’m frankly just over it.

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Jennifer

Happy birthday! Thank you for including sexuality! It’s not talked about enough and treated like a taboo and it’s so powerful for you to use your platform to share about it!

Also, I think it’s great to expose the troll in the comments. You’re handling her pathetic and sad behavior with grace. By publicly showing her comments you’re sending a message that the internet doesn’t mean you can treat people poorly. I’m sorry you have to deal with her, but I hope you know that you have been an inspiration and a resource for countless readers of the years, myself included.

Thank you!

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Libby

I hope you had a great birthday, Carly, and I hope the first few days of 30 have been great for you! This post feels so real. It feels great when you finally realize the person you are, I totally get that. I am still figuring it out as I turned 25 on the 25. I love love how insightful you are, it has taught me a lot!
I hope you had a great time celebrating with your family in your favorite place 🙂 Cheers to more great years!

xx Libby

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M

That last sentence made me laugh out loud. I LOVE these very raw, real, sneak peak into your life posts. I’ve been reading since you were 21 and am now 30 also, and this is so relatable. I’ve also dealt with the anxiety, the mixed feelings around sex, the career burnout, the wrong guys, and then the right one.

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Jenn J.

Happy birthday, Carly! What a joy it has been to watch you grow and change. Thank you for sharing with us. May the next 10 bring continued personal growth, joy and plenty of happiness!

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Nicci

Happy birthday, Carly!! Such a great post! I love seeing how happy and at ease you are in your own skin. I think figuring out who you truly are makes you so much happier and life so much easier. I loved most of my 20’s, but have found that the 30’s are so much easier. 🙂

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Erica

This post really resonated with me. Thank you for being so raw and honest, it was amazing and it validated some of the feelings I have personally. I just turned 25 and I’m not where I want to be (I’m not even sure I know what that is). It’s nice to know that we’re all not alone in these feelings and I look forward to my journey of finding confidence. I love all of your posts but this one is by far one of my favorites. ALSO Happy Late Birthday!

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Anne

I just REALLY love this post. Happy birthday to you Carly, and thanks for being so candid about the “journey” that your 20’s were. It’s so true and something I don’t think we acknowledge enough as a society, so its hard not to always feel like you should have things figured out or be more settled, more successful, etc. This is one of my all time favorite posts of yours. Thanks for sharing– cheers to you and your next decade being the best one yet. XO

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Stevie

Happy 30th Birthday! I’m so happy for you and so proud of how much you’ve accomplished in this time!

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Erin

Happy Birthday Carly!!! I have been reading your blog for years and find you so inspirational!! I just turned 30 as well, so lets make this next decade even better!!

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