This is actually an area of my blog that I have wanted to start for some time now but between moving and having another baby and yada yada… it just slipped through the cracks. So, I am finally getting around to it. I’m starting a new section on here called “Honest Talk.” (You’ll be able to find it under the “explore” tab moving forward if you like it.) And with this new avenue on the blog, my goal is to have you guys get to know me on a deeper level.
The first post in this “honest talk” section is going to be about turning 30 and achieving my life goals. I am actually 31 (my birthday is Oct 25, Scorpio baby!) but over the last few months I feel like I have had some sort of an awakening. I wouldn’t say mid-life crisis because I do not feel “in crisis” but I would describe it more as an “enlightenment period in my life.”
To give you some background information, ever since I was a little girl I loved to dream. I was a dreamer, a planner and eventually became a doer. I didn’t know the term then, but I would “mind map” out my future in my bedroom at night before bed. I would cut out pictures that inspired me from magazines and save them in a little box under my bed. Then in High School I started reading tons of self help / motivational books. From there, in college it continued and when I would go to the gym to work out instead of listening to music, I would listen to motivational audio books. I had (and still have) such a strong desire to feed my mind with motivation and encouragement.
Growing up, my parents separated when I was young. My mother worked two jobs for us to survive. I watched her put her blood, sweat and tears into raising my sister and I. Her persistence and work ethic was contagious and something I learned to model from a young age. I ended up working in High School as a nail technician and then in college I worked almost 40 hours a week to support myself and still was on the Dean’s List every year. Everything I have to this day, I am proud to say, I have attained myself. But if you are wondering where I am going with this; here it is. My so called “awakening” came about 2 months ago when I realized all of my goals that I set for myself as a child/teenager where recently achieved. One night I was sitting in my bathtub and drinking a glass of wine. I had a candle burning next to me and Moby playing on Pandora radio. And that’s when it hit me. I was looking around the bathroom, as I soaked in my bubble bath and said to myself out loud “this is our home, we did it.” Buying a home was something Tom and I always talked about, ever since we started dating. When we got married and were living in Florida we went and looked at homes but were so discouraged because the cost of a home in South Florida for what we wanted was insane. On top of that, the school systems aren’t that great so we had to factor in private school costs. It made the goal of buying a home seemed so unattainable. For 5 years we talked about it and once we finally moved and made it happen; it was surreal. For some it may sound like “oh congrats, you guys bought a home” but for us it was so much more than that. Buying our first home was the last “check mark” on my list of “things to do by the time I turned 30.”
Now, when I had this revelation; I had a wave of emotions roll over me. Then came my next question…”Well what do I do now?” My mind searched up and down and round and round for answers. On one side of the equation I was elated to have achieved all of these goals but on the other side, I was sad because I felt like the excitement to achieve them was over. I know that may sound harsh, because I love my life but it had nothing to do with that. It was that for over 10 years I made lists and spent hours dreaming of what I wanted to to accomplish in my life and they all were finally completed. I was like “now what?!?”
In case you were wondering, here were my “Goals to achieve by the age of 30”-
- Go to college. – I graduated with Honors!
- Create (and cherish) a good circle of girlfriends and always be out for their best interest. – As the saying goes “Real queens fix each other’s crowns.” And that is the best way to describe my girlfriends. I could go on a whole tangent about the importance of good quality friendships but I’ll save that for another post.
- Travel the world and learn about myself. – I moved to Bali, became a yoga teacher, did some soul searching and figured out who I was as a person and what I wanted out of life.
- Become a Physician Assistant. – I graduated with my Masters Degree in PA studies in December 2013.
- Meet a tall, dark, handsome and most importantly funny, Italian man that I felt 100% myself around. On a side note, my grade school best friend was Italian and I loved hanging around her house growing up and that’s how I knew I that I had to marry an Italian guy – I love the Italian culture (and the food too.) Bring on pasta and pizza everything!
- Marry this guy (see goal #5) once you find him. (more specifically on the date of 12.13.14, and we did!)
- Become a Mommy! – My greatest accomplishment yet.
- Start a blog and get accepted into RewardStyle for blogging. – Did it!
- Grow my Instagram through sponsorship’s and grow my following. – Still going!
- Work in a job that I love with a good work / life balance. – I work in Psychiatry and love my workplace / co-workers.
- Move to the North and buy a home (in the mountains.) – Check!
You guys may think I am crazy for being so specific with my list of things to accomplish but to be honest, you have to be. In life, if you don’t know exactly where you are going in life, you won’t know where you are going to end up! And for me, I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted to have control over what my future would look like. Instead of waiting around for something to happen to me, I went out and made it happen.
Now this is where the power of “The Secret” plays it’s role. One of my best friends and I discovered the book “The Secret” in High School and it was a total game changer. The whole story line behind The Secret is the “power of our mind.” It’s about how our everyday thoughts become tangible things in our lives. The book talks about how you have to be very specific and visualize your future in order to achieve your goals and that is exactly what I did. After reading it, one night I pulled out my box of magazine cut outs from under my bed (from when I was a little girl) and found some new pictures to add to the stack and then started to visualize what I wanted my life to look like. I glued the pictures that inspired me to a big poster board and hung it in my room. I had pictures of houses in the mountains (I had no idea how I was going to get there living in Florida but I knew I wanted to live up north somewhere,) Italian food, cute babies, hospitals, doctors, stethoscopes, fashion outfits, the car I wanted to drive and anything else that inspired me at that time. And that’s exactly how I figured out what I wanted out of life. I brainstormed, planned, created the vision and figured it out. I looked at it daily while I would get ready in the morning and I let that be my driving force to get out of bed each day. Did you know it’s proven that when you write things down and put them on paper, it plants a seed in your subconscious mind and you may not even realize it, but on a day to day basis your mind is always looking for these things subconsciously. What is even more interesting is that it can go one of two ways, positive or negative. If you focus on the positive; that is what you will attract and if you focus on the negative; that is what you will attract.
Now lets back track to the year of 2011. I was living in sunny (flat) south Florida, with no mountains around me and as single as can be. I wasn’t even looking for a partner at the time, I just wanted to get through school. I was finishing up my last year of my Bachelors Degree, applying to PA schools and continued to just focus on my long term goal of becoming a Physician Assistant. I started working at a restaurant while I waited to hear back from PA schools and that’s where I met my husband, he was in school at the time and was bartending at the restaurant too. Next thing you know we started dating (and that was totally unexpected.) I found out that I got accepted into PA school on his birthday and we then had two things to celebrate on that day. Long story short, we ended up getting engaged on our 2 year anniversary, I graduated from PA school in December 2013 and got married 1 year later on 12.13.14. Once we got pregnant and had Jude, we sat down and had a long talk about the future of our children and what we wanted for them. After realizing Florida was not the place we wanted to raise our kids, we decided to move to Pennsylvania to plant our roots as a family. We moved from Plantation, FL to Erie, PA in July of 2016. We chose to move to Erie, because that was where Tom was from and his family was there but after a year of living there we realized how much we missed living in a big city. So, we relocated to Pittsburgh, PA which was only about 2 hours south of Erie. Funny enough, my mom is actually from Pittsburgh and I still have quite a bit of family here. (She moved to Florida when I was 1 after she separated from my father.) But it’s nice now because we are still only 2 hours away from his family and my mom’s family is near us. It ended up working out.
But anyways, when we started looking for a place to rent in Pittsburgh we stumbled into a community where they were building new homes and when we walked into the builders office my husband knew the realtor that was selling the homes in the community. Can you say fate? Within 1 hour we did a tour and sat down to look at floor plans. While we were walking around the neighborhood I had an “ah ha” moment and thought of the inspiration board that I created when I was younger. The universe had lead me to this point. The homes looked just like the pictures that I used to dream about and the photo’s I glued to my inspiration board. They were made of brick and just down right beautiful. And to top it off the community was nestled up in the mountains. After falling in love with the homes and neighborhood we decided to move forward and build a home there. And in December 2017 our home was complete and Tom, Jude, Lilah, Henry and I all moved into our new home. Isn’t it crazy? My thoughts, dreams and determination became my reality.
Now I am not saying by any means any of this was easy. PA school was two of the hardest years of my life, my relationship with my husband has been filled with ups and downs, raising children is definitely challenging (especially with no family around) but all of that is what makes the good times that much sweeter. Because without the bad, you wouldn’t appreciate all of the good as much.
Also, I can’t forget to mention how important it is to find a partner that has similar goals as you. I remember sitting down with Tom multiple times when we were engaged to discuss our future and what we both wanted out of life. We were on the same page about everything. To this day I give him half of the credit for all that I am and all of what we have. We are a team and did it together.
So what’s the point of this post again? Well, last month I was sitting with Tom at dinner telling him about my recent revelations; of how we had all of these goals and how we have recently achieved them. I also mentioned how I was feeling kind of down about it because it was bittersweet. My “goals to achieve by 30” were accomplished and so I asked him, what do I do now? And his answer to me was so, so simple. He said “well Nicole, we need to make new goals and plans to reach by our 40’s and 50’s.” For me, it’s crazy to think about being 40 or even 50 but I know the time is going to come sooner that I think. Moving forward with Tom’s advice, that is exactly what I am going to do. I am not sure what my goals will be just yet (I have some ideas) but I wanted to share this bit of excitement with you guys. I’m going to bust out the drawing board and get to work!
If there is one thing I have realized in life, it’s that no one is going to come over and give you what you want out of life on a silver platter. You have to get out there and work hard for what you want. It’s better to be proactive about life than reactive and it’s surreal to think I have accomplished everything I used to dream about. It just goes to show, like Walt Disney said “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” So let the planning begin. Cheers to the next 30 years! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.
p.s. Please feel free to let me know in the comment section what you’d like to hear about in this new “Honest Talk” section and feel free to always ask questions.
I’m an open book!