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Thirty, Flirty, Thriving

A girl drinking champagne on rooftop with city skyline in background

A girl taking a mirror selfie

A tiled fireplace with candles

A girl in spa robe holding two glasses

A girl and dog with a birthday cake

A birthday cake with a lit candle

A rooftop bar

A menu with two champagne glasses

Three bowls of pasta

A dessert with a candle

"Thirty, flirty, thriving." Who could have imagined that iconic line from 13 Going On 30 would stick with me from the ripe young age of 11 until now? The writers knew what they were doing. I can still remember watching that movie and feeling that 30 was sooooo far away. And I mean, when you're barely a teenager, it is. Then next thing you know, you're in your late 20's, and it's closer than ever.

As far as I remember, I've never said "I can't wait to be..." whatever age it was. I wouldn't say that I was ever the type of person who couldn't wait to be 21, 25, 30, etc. I have always been more than content to be the age I was and in the experience I was in. Maybe because of that movie and the lesson it taught, but more likely due to the belief I have about living in the moment. Celebrating the milestones as they come. And not being in too much of a rush to grow up.

In some sense of the word, I am a late bloomer. I didn't really date while I was in school. My priorities were on my friendships, participating in extracurriculars, and focusing on my grades (which let's be real, high school grades are a joke). Then I went to college, and it was even more important for me to prioritize myself and discover who I was as a young adult. Yet I would see classmates from my hometown already getting married and starting families. I kept in touch with only a handful of those classmates, but what I quickly realized was that I was on a completely different journey than them.

I was always interested in traveling abroad, learning about the world, and being exposed to different cultures. I'm eternally grateful to have parents who encouraged me to follow those dreams. I wouldn't be who I am today without them.

As I reflect on the past decade, I am just so proud of myself for doing it all the way I did. I've seen more of the world than the majority of people do in their entire lives - and I don't ever take that for granted. I have accomplished not nearly as much as I had dreamed to do as a little girl (aka discover that I'm a princess of Genovia), but I always like to say that I have lived many different lives. Though in reality, I have only just begun to embrace each experience for what it is.

I can honestly say that I have no regrets going into this next level - the "third floor" that I never knew was a thing until some of my birthday greeters welcomed me to it. When I tell you that I was confused and thrilled at the same time to learn this new phrase. And I'm just really happy to be in the place I am now, surrounded by so much love.

Kicked off this new decade with a luxury spa day at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa with my mom and sister. We each scheduled a treatment early so we could spend the rest of the day enjoying the facilities. I especially loved the complimentary green juice and sparkling wine for the celebration. I have also decided that my 30's will involve many more days like this because why not? For my birthday dinner, we went back to Seneca for an evening rooftop moment. It was also hilarious as the hostess had offered me and my 26 y/o sister a lemonade, in place of Prosecco, because she thought we were underage. God bless these Asian genes.

And although I am apart from my sweet husband for this birthday, I am extremely grateful to be entering this next phase of life together with him.

Here's to another decade of getting carded!


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