If two years ago, someone said to me, “When you turn 30, you’ll be exactly who, what and where you want to be in life,” I’ll look at them as if they were crazy.

When I turned 28, I stood up on rock bottom and decided to stop letting life get the best of me. I dusted off my shoulder and set off on a journey to transform from ‘the girl that I was’ to ‘the woman I wanted to be’. Now here I am, on my 30th birthday as ‘that woman’—as happy as a clam at high tide. I’ve done everything in my power to get here; I wish I could take full credit, but can’t. I couldn’t have been at this place today without these amazing people:

Andy—you had my heart the moment you said to me, “All I want to do is love you.” You never make me promises, but yet, you are the only person who has ever done exactly as you tell me. Thank you for literally holding my hand, showing me the way, and giving me pep talks when I feel like quitting. There is absolutely no way I’d be here right now, writing this post and feeling this way if it weren’t for you.  I remember when I turned 29 you told me—“welcome to the best year of your life (so far).” I don’t know how, but you exceeded in making it the best year ever for me and I know without a doubt, it’ll only get better. Words cannot describe the magnitude of love and joy you brought to my life. Thank you for being as amazing as you are.

Mimi—I never thought I can love something so much that can’t speak a word. Mimi brought exceptional happiness to my life. She warmed my heart, taught me how to love, and made sure I was never alone. I’m so grateful for her.

My two sisters and my parents—these people represent the true epitome of “blood is thicker than water.” Thank you for recognizing my recent happiness and for supporting and understanding my life choices to get here.

Darielle—I never thought someone would go the lengths you did to protect me and to make sure I was always ok. When I think back on some of the things you’ve been through for me, I can’t help but tear up.  We drive each other nuts and argue like sisters but our friendship is deep and real—one that I value the most. I feel truly blessed to have you in my life. I will always have your back, as you have done with mine.  Thank you for being in my life.

My day ones—Teri, Klesca and Rochy, you’ve been my friends for over 15 years and counting. You girls never questioned my choices or doubted me for a second. We don’t see each other often, but it makes me happy to know you three are always there. Thank you.

They say, “Life is what you make it,” and let me tell you—LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT! Life will knock you down and kick your ass—I know this all too well. Life will NEVER go smoothly—it’s not meant to, but you have to take control and make life into what you want it to be.  

Today at 30, I feel proud to have taken control of my life and transform it by a complete 180. My life is everything I wished for. If today was my last, I would’ve left happy and fulfilled. I feel extremely loved, confident, full-of-energy, healthy, blessed, grateful, free, peaceful and excited about my future.

How’d I do it? I got rid of everything and everyone who’d been weighing me down. I focused on what mattered—myself and those who were left in my life. I worked every day to becoming my best self mentally, emotionally and physically. I invested my time and energy on strengthening my relationships with those who were important to me. I stopped complaining and started accepting. I stopped wanting more and started being grateful for what I had. I stopped expecting and started giving. I stopped waiting for love and starting loving. I stopped waiting for the right time, and started doing. I made sure to keep myself in uplifting environments and stayed away from negativity. I gave my best to people, but most importantly, I gave my best to my self. Since then, my entire life blossomed.

Life is what you make it!

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Thank you for reading.

Smile! Life is better when you’re laughing

Love, Candace

38 thoughts on “My 30th Birthday: Life Is What You Make It”

  1. For some reason i stumble up with your blog, thinking about it I honestly dont remember how. But all i could said is WOW!! Your words hit me so hard , is everything I know i need to applied in my life.. thank tou so much!!

  2. Beautiful article cams. Happy Birthday!!!. Your words are truly an inspiration and I pray all the best for you today and everyday after.

  3. Felicidades. Happy birthday! Life is what we make it! In order to achieve success I only need to stand up one more time than I fall. Here’s to another great year 🎉🎈🎂❤️

  4. I always look forward to your pieces chic. Really healthy soul food I must say. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays darling and may you continue along your path of growth and wisdom. 😄🤗

  5. 30 is a wonderful stepping stone! I am 31 and it just feels like I jumped from an emotional roller coaster of a life in my twenties to discover a new found peace and strength that wasn’t there before. I too have made my own little journey to a better self and your post is just a reminder of that. Beautiful words and happy that you have made your life exactly what you want it to be!

  6. FYI! I absolutely love this paragraph “They say, “Life is what you make it,” and let me tell you—LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT! Life will knock you down and kick your ass—I know this all too well. Life will NEVER go smoothly—it’s not meant to, but you have to take control and make life into what you want it to be.” I hope it is okay that I quote the last line of it in my new post scheduled for tomorrow! it goes along with the theme and I will link this post to it! Just inspirational!

  7. Happy Birthday, Candace!! I hope you had a wonderful day! I began my own journey toward personal happiness and pulled a 180 on my life two years ago, as well. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. The difference is, I waited until my 30th birthday to start making that change. It seemed like a fitting time. Reading this post put a smile on my face. I just love seeing/hearing/reading about others who are happy with their life. Other people’s happiness makes me happy. Keep living the life you love every day. You seem to be on the right path!

  8. Well this time I have a perfectly good reason for my late comment. I was way to busy spending it with you :). I am very grateful to have and still be a part of your journey, I am so very proud of you babe. You have definitely proven and keep proving what persistence and a little patience can achieve. Wishing you lots of success babe and I love you.

  9. 5 years have passed since I was 30, and I am still nowhere near where I wanna be. I admire your efforts and guts in ditching all obstacles, for I am unable to achieve that.

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