I’m sitting here on the Monday of my birthday week thinking about so much. I can’t believe this is going to be the last year I spend in my 20’s…so next year is the big 30th birthday?! UNREAL!

I want to take the last year in my 20’s as a new start, not turning 30. I want the last year of my 20’s to be the BEST year (which will be..because BOTH of my girls will be in my arms!) and serve as a reflection of the best part of me and who I really am. The beginning of my 20’s started at ODU, struggling to make ends meet ALL the time, dating a nice boy who it didn’t work out with…and then dating another boy who thank goodness it didn’t work out with..because I would have never known true love like I know now. I went through wild and crazy times and sunk so low sometimes into a bitter sadness that I never want to relive, feeling like I didn’t have a purpose to serve. If I had no chance of finishing ODU because of having to work all the time, and having no money, and feeling like I was NO good at anything that would get me anywhere…what was the point? I went through something I will never talk about will probably and take to my grave that if people knew would make them cry. It was HARD. Life wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows…(but thanks to Cammy it is that, AND puppies, kitties and other fluffy things now haha!)

I know! This is so depressing. I feel like my 20’s started out twenty shades of black and gray. I thought my ENTIRE 20’s would be filled with a carefree attitude and lack of responsibilities but something changed. A little before the halfway through my twenties mark, I started dating my husband…and that was IT. I never knew that sweet man would turn into such an inspiration for a life change. That’s where things began to look up, but not right away.

When I talk to some of my brides, we are all pretty close and we share a lot of the same stories and situations. You start dating someone (your future husband), and all of a sudden out of the wood works here comes the attention and calls and texts from girls that didn’t pay attention to them before but all of a sudden have an interest in making a “I’m involved in their lives” statement. Mike would say, I’m not sure why these people are talking to me all of a sudden but as a woman, I knew why. I got called names, treated like I wasn’t part of the “group” and outcasted very quickly and I remember thinking…great. I just spent the last four years of my life working two jobs, sitting on the ground in Norfolk in front of the Scope waiting for the bus to pick me up, filling my shampoo bottles with water and shaking them to savor as much as I could before having to spend the pennies I had on another. Asking my friends for hand me down clothes, the only new clothes I EVER bought where black pants, shirts, shoes and belts for work at Max and Erma’s…and here’s a girl with a brand new Coach purse, easy ride to college and not paying for their own bills calling me trashy. That was a GREAT way to start a relationship with the most amazing man I’d ever met. You wanna talk about hurt, it put a strain on us for months until we realized that life was too short to be anything but head over heels in love, surrounded by the right people…not just the people you are “expected” to want to be around…but the people who are treating you right and doing the right thing.

We had falling outs with certain friends over the past couple of years that at first really affected us but eventually we weighed the pros and cons and the cons were there shining in our faces all along. We should have seen things coming but sometimes you want so desperately to see the good in people and make everyone get along and just be happy, but as humans we are just not all meant to get along. I spoke words of anger in the name of defending the innocent because I believe to my CORE in honesty and justice, but I have to accept that it’s just not the world we live in. If I speak words from now on, even if they are truthful…I have to make sure they are not going to hurt someone, it’s just not my place unless it directly involves my family. I have to make sure the people I am allowing into our lives are not violent, perpetual partyers, malicious and are safe to be around my family. I have to be careful about EVERYthing now that a baby is in my life and I need her to remain in good company and safe.

My mid-twenties was filled with Mike and IĀ  getting closer and closer to one another, becoming THE best of friends through our mini ordeals and getting engaged…and finally married in OBX! Those were the best times of our lives. We never knew it was possible to feel better than we did then…and then the decision for a baby came along not long after and there we were with my two best friends Teresa and Christina on our one year wedding anniversary in our kitchen feeding each other the top layer of our Key Lime wedding cake, PREGNANT with a little angel girl šŸ™‚ These are the beautiful times and highlights of my twenties when the blacks and grays starting sprouting pops of beautiful color and LIGHT everywhere, there was a gorgeous light waiting at the end of this tunnel. Her name was Cammy. I was 27 when she was born and it was the best year of my life.

Now here I am, turning 29 this Saturday. I’ll have a wonderful husband, a small and great group of friends, two little girls, a successful business, a home we don’t own but we rent and are happy with, a car to drive and food on our table. My 20’s ended up one giant mess of beautiful colors and positivity from something that you could have never imagined. If you feel low at any point of your life– you NEVER know where you are going to end up. I remember my senior year of high school getting compared to this friend, that friend, etc for the colleges they were getting into and their grades, etc. I can safely say that most of those people went back to living with their parents and are NOT entrepreneurs. Don’t let one dark part of your life overshadow the beautifulness that is yet to come. This WILL be the best year of my 20’s šŸ™‚ I will be the best version of myself, spoil my clients, love my family, baby my business and love myself for who I am now….not focus on who I have been before. I am sassy and especially when pregnant, I can be feisty, but I know I have a good heart and always the best intentions. I love people and life and this beautiful world we live in! LIFE IS GOOD at 29!!!!! šŸ™‚

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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

<p>Hey there! We’re a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.</p>

6 replies on “Last Year of My 20’s | Personal

  1. As someone who is still in my young 20s (I’m only 23) and going through some rough and tough patches, this post made me hopeful! Your story makes me have hope and I feel that I can reach my dreams by watching you reach yours. Thanks for posting this! You’re such an inspiration to a young girl like me!

  2. I should really email this response to you because I am not sure that I want to post it for all the world to see as I am really just not that brave. However, I have to tell this is just absolutely beautiful Amanda. You are such an inspiration to me and many others I am sure. This makes me want to follow my dreams more and worry about what others think less. I love following your beautiful story because it gives me a sense of hope and direction! I am finally starting to love my life and pull put of the dark spots with the help of Henry and Jonathan. Following your story makes me believe that dreams will come true!! Thank you for posting such raw and true emotions!

  3. Aww Amanda, I love your story. Its funny you posted this today, b/c I just blogged about turning 30 today (won’t post til tomorrow). We have had very different paths, but they both led to happily ever afters! Thank you so much for sharing!! šŸ™‚ <3

  4. Amanda,
    As I read you blog today it made me cry. Everything you have shared about your personal life experiences gives me hope to get out of my own down times. I love seeing/hearing all the good that has happened in your life, and it makes me realize that after the rain comes sunshine and rainbows šŸ™‚ I’m ready to get up and get out into the sunlight. I too will be turning 29 on September 14 and just got married last September, and times are tough (financially, but then when are they not!). Anyways I just wanted to let you know that you inspire me to get into photography and make a better life for my husband and me šŸ™‚ and I can’t wait to take one of your Q & A soon. I’d love to attend the Sept. 29 however my husbands grandparents 60th wedding anniversary is being celebrated that day and my husband and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary that day! So maybe the November one will work better for me.
    Thanks for listening!
    Ashley Doss

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