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Today is the day of my big 30th birthday bash. Well, tonight, to be precise. It’s got a hashtag. Yes, I’m THAT person {follow along at #sugersneon30th}. Tomorrow I turn thirty, so I thought now would be a good time in all the rush, the hustle and bustle to take a minute and take stock of the past 30 years. Remember what I can. Be grateful for it all. So I’m going to make a list. Because that’s the way my brain works, and I like lists.

Ready? Let’s go!

I am positive I knew just how lucky I was to be born to such amazing parents from day one. They were everything a girl like me needed in this life. So strong, independent and generous, and they made me that way too. My Dad will tell you; this was a deliberate effort on their part, so congratulation to them!

Despite every reason as a parent not to, they encouraged my voice and my spirit, as challenging as I’m sure that was. It allowed me to be me when most parents would have tried to kerb those traits somehow. They had known me before I did; they saw it in me from the start. I’m very grateful for them and all they have shared with me. They’re genuine people, my parents. Good people.

Great people, in fact.

Later I was joined by two siblings who have enriched my life beyond measure. These two fools are the best thing that could have happened to me. A brother AND a sister. The best of both worlds. I love those guys so badly. Their families, ever-growing, it seems like, make me proud to be their sister.

I’ll never forget my last night at home, curled up in my double bed together. We talked the night away and cried a little that life was changing. Even after all this time, I still feel that way when I’m away from them too long. They are a piece of me. I am grateful every day to have them in my life and share in theirs as they grow and have their story.

I was born into a large family.

Not my immediate family. There are only five of us. But my extended family. My Dad is one of eleven and my Mum one of five. I had cousins coming out of my ears since before I was born. Cousins who were {and still are} the best friends a girl could want. They challenged me, argued with me, laughed and cried with me. I got into trouble, got out of trouble and everything in between. I would not be who I am without their input. Thank you to them all.

I always joke that I don’t have many friends. Any friends, in fact. But I have been blessed in this life to have known friendship in the way I have throughout my life has been the greatest of gifts. I learnt what it was to care, share, and fight for who I am; that putting yourself out there is scary but worth it, and people are pretty much good. I’ve been stepped on, over and around, and I’m better for it.

Then late in 2009, I started a blog.

The internet was calling me, and I answered. Who knew what a world it would open up for me? The friends I’ve made, the adventures I’ve had, the opportunity to say stuff and people, somewhere, listen. Being online has shown me, people. I’ve learnt a lot about who people are, what they have experienced and who they want to be. I’ve journeyed with so many of you. We’ve come a long way. So, thank you to you, I carry you with me too.

And then finally, last and by no means least is my Kel.

Kel is the husband that 20-year-old me didn’t know she wanted but was smart enough to get anyway. The man laughs at me when I am crazy but held me tight when the crazy took over. They loved me before I knew how to love myself properly and shared this life with me long before it existed. I never thought I’d admit this out loud, but he has MADE my life. He has made my life the funniest, weirdest, greatest thing I ever could have imagined.

Gah. Crying.

Give me a second.

sniffle

And just like that, I’m ready to party! I’m ready to don my neon finery and party like it’s 1999 because baby, this is my 1999. Tomorrow I’ll be 30, and I cannot wait to see what life has in store for me from here on out. Over and out, Sugers. See you on the flip side.

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