A Look Back at my 20s

Well, my 20s have come and gone and now I’m in my 30s! I have no idea how I’m 30. Whenever I’m around other adults, I still feel like the child in the room. Like, I can’t relate to all of those adults! Although, I have started to realize that I can actually hold my own during a “grown up” conversation and actually can relate to real adults. But anyway, that’s not the point of this. The point of this is to recap my 20s!

My early 20s were pretty much a complete disaster! I lived at home with my parent’s for some of that time while I worked part time as a dental assistant and commuted to college (I had already lived at college and moved home temporarily). Then I moved into Willow Trace, where the crazy times began! I turned 21 while living in those apartments and I partied hard with my neighbor, Clay. Clay and I would walk to the bars 6 nights a week and get far too drunk. I was also super depressed and basically stalking my ex-boyfriend, Andrew. And in all my crazy Facebook stalking of him, I decided I wanted to be like his new girlfriend who was totally girly and worked out a ton. So, I started wearing more make up and wearing more revealing (/slutty) clothes and I spent a lot of time being way too promiscuous. Somehow, despite all the focus I gave to alcohol, sex, and stalking my ex, I managed to still do really well in school.

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During my Willow Trace days, I found out that I was going to be deployed in 2008. I was actually really relieved to get away from home for awhile and not have to be around Andrew and his new girlfriend (the college town was super small, so it was hard not to run into them frequently). That winter, Laura was going to Italy with her parents for Christmas. I decided that since I was going to be making so much money on my deployment, that I’d spend part of my savings to go to Italy too. We ended up going to Switzerland and Italy and that’s when I fell in love with traveling!

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I moved back in with my parents when my lease was up and spent a few months in and out of pre-deployment training.

In March of 2008, I left for a year long deployment to Iraq. I worked as an ER medic with the 345th Combat Support Hospital. I was excited to be single and focus on myself. Since Andrew’s new girlfriend worked out a lot, I wanted to work out too. I started working out as soon as I deployed with a good friend, Cari, that I made in Iraq. We were the only females who worked nights at the hospital, so we gravitated towards each other. I really fell in love with being physically fit during that deployment and gained a lot of the weight back that I had lost during my depression. I also realized that I didn’t need to be like any other girl and became comfortable in my own skin. I no longer had to think about “Would this-person wear this shirt?” when I was shopping (well, after I got home, since I wasn’t shopping in Iraq)- it was all about my own life!

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I met Jon in Iraq and planned on moving to Florida when we got home so I could be with him (so much for being single). I really felt like I stabilized a lot while I was there. I loved our deployment and loved the guys that I worked with. We were in Tikrit and I was able to fly in a Blackhawk to Baghdad (which was awesome), where I spent a month in their ER. At the end of the deployment, Jon broke up with me to get back with his ex, so I ended up staying in Georgia.

I was accepted into nursing school upon my return in 2009. I took a trip to Greece with Gina and Kassie and then I moved into my tiny house in the woods. I spent a lot less time partying once I was all moved in and in nursing school. Jon and I got back together and spent a year long distance. Most of my weekends were spent going to Florida to visit him or to drill with my unit (I had been in a unit at the college, but they dissolved the attachment for my unit while I was deployed and since Jon and I were still dating, I decided to stay with the 345th in Jacksonville, FL instead of transferring to a closer unit). I also started doing CrossFit once I moved into my house in Dahlonega since I was living about 5 minutes from the CrossFit gym there. That winter, I also went to China and Hong Kong  with Laura to visit Gina and Kassie, who were teaching English there.

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Jon moved to Georgia before my second year of nursing school. We ended up moving houses and had a hard time in our relationship. I continued with school, working (I got a job in the ER that I work in now), and CrossFit. In December of 2010, Laura and I went to Australia (a very awesome and very expensive trip!). We got to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, which not many people can say they’ve done!

After I graduated with my associate’s in nursing (spring of 2010), I took a trip with Gina to Spain to visit Kassie. Jon broke up with me on my first night back. That week, I bought my very first car (my Honda Civic, which I still have and has been paid off now for a few months!). I ended up moving into an apartment by myself and started my job as an ER nurse (current job). I also started my bachelor’s in nursing.

I am still grateful for that time that Jon and I spent apart. I briefly dated a few people and got to party a little bit again. I had some fun times going out and focusing on myself again. I worked hard to support myself, support my traveling, and pay for my degree. I lived on my own for two full years in my little apartment and loved it. I also got into powerlifting and was really into CrossFit. I spent a ton of free time at the gym and hit my PRs on all of my lifts during that time. I also hurt my thumb, which was the first injury that put me out of the gym for an extended period of time. Laura and I also took our first road trip together inside of the US to the Grand Canyon and Zion NP (summer of 2012)!

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At the end of 2012/beginning of 2013, Jon and I started talking again. I also started the search for a condo and ended up buying my first condo on my own! Laura and I took a trip together to Croatia and then I took a ferry over to Italy, where I met Jon, Adam, and Jessie (Adam and Jessie lived there at the time).

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When we got home, Jon ended up moving into my house (summer of 2013) and then he proposed to me that December. We were courthouse married in January and had our wedding in May of 2014.

I finished my bachelor’s in nursing that semester. As soon as I finished school and we were married in front of our friends and family (which is not the anniversary we celebrate- we actually celebrate our courthouse anniversary on January 24th), I left for travel nursing! Jon and I took a road trip up to Maine and then he dropped me off in Plymouth, MA and I completed my first travel nursing assignment!

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After that assignment, Jon and I road tripped back down to Atlanta and I stayed for 2-3 weeks before heading out to Portland, OR for my second assignment. I hurt my hip at CrossFit on the way out there, which was my second big injury that took me out of the gym for an extended period of time. I also got to visit Rocky Mountain NP, Canyonlands, and Arches NP. That drive was amazing!

I loved that assignment, but decided I wanted to spend the rest of the winter at home. Jon flew out to OR and we did a road trip down the CA coast, through Death Valley, and back to Atlanta!

During that time, I decided to stay home a little longer and Jon and I tried to get pregnant (spring of 2015). We took a trip to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria. I got pregnant while we were there. When we got home, I got my second nursing job working in PCU at another hospital. I also started my master’s in nursing (management) and started expanding my CrossFit horizons and joined ClassPass, but in the end, went back to doing mostly CrossFit because my true love lies there! Jon and I took a trip to Lake Tahoe (December 2015) since Paris got botched during the terrorist attack there.

In February of 2016, I became a mom to Jackson!

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And now I’m 30! Still doing CrossFit, still married, now a new mom, still working on my master’s, still love traveling, still an ER nurse in the same place, and can’t wait for my next vacation!

 

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4 thoughts on “A Look Back at my 20s

  1. I remember so many of these things because we go way back :). I actually love your hair in the first picture too, I always thought that cut/length looked really good on you… and I’m kinda jealous you’ve gotten to travel internationally so much and do so with friends (I don’t have many friends that close and the ones I do have, and myself, we’re too broke to travel now!). Your 20s were definitely pretty exciting and I think your 30s will be great too!

    • After I hit like, 23 or 24, my 20s were good, haha! The beginning was such a mess! I have ALL of my Kiwibox posts saved in a word document. I should go back and pull some of those and post how crazy I was as a reflective post now, haha. It might be too embarrassing though! I am SO glad I had such adventurous friends! None of us really traveled a ton in high school (Gina did with her parents) so it’s pretty amazing that we all ended up loving traveling so much as we’ve gotten older. I definitely feel like now that everybody has real expenses and they have to use PTO for vacation, it’s a lot harder to take fun trips like that. I’m really hoping for another big girls trip at some point though, especially because Jon doesn’t even want to take a week of this year to go back to Lake Tahoe! But girls trips are a lot of fun, so I’m totally fine with leaving him at home and going with friends 🙂

  2. Wow, you have accomplished so much! A degree, house, paid off your car, marriage, and a baby in your 20s! That is awesome! I never know how people do it and you have managed to!

    Sometimes our chaotic lives help us grow even further.

    That last picture is just adorable!!!

    • I have to say, that deployment set me up pretty nicely financially! I came home with $50k in the bank, I had a state scholarship that paid for my tuition, plus my GI Bill, plus I qualified for the Pell Grant. So, joining the Army was probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

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