An Open Letter to Me On My Birthday Eve: Time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin’ across your face.

Dear Nichole, Nikki, Nic or whatever you are calling yourself,

Wowee wow. The big 3-0. Remember when we were little and we’d think about what we would be doing at 30. I believe it involved a few kids and a Barbie Ferrari. But look at you, in England. Just like you, taking ye old non-traditional route.

A wise man once said, “There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.” Ppffffttt

I see you are still trying to keep an enigma about you. Odd, since you have this whole thing for writing and putting everything online. Good luck with that.

You’re turning 30, and isn’t it nice to say that you are in THE best shape of your life. Take that 21-year-old me. This was a year where you certainly turned into quite the runner. Little miss marathon. You nailed 26.2, but screw running in Atlanta again. Damn hills. This year you hit your stride. You learned to not stop at the finish line. Your running seemed to be contagious and you’ve been lucky enough to see your mom develop her own passion for the sport. (I don’t know what took her so long either.) Keep at staying active. You’ve got some years to go yet and it’s best we keep looking fit. Those knees need to last us a long time, so pace yourself sister.

I see the karma train hit you this year. Remember what a gigantic ball of stress you could be about your job, then you move across the globe and find that maybe you took your career for granted. It’s OK that you don’t want to sit idle; you want to discover, relate and make changes in the world. It’s nice to have both options, remember that. Be thankful for the perception you have gained from being allowed to be on your own for a few months. You deserve it. You have learned to find a career that brings you satisfaction, and that means stepping out of your comfort zone and waiting for the best thing to come along. Sure you could settle down in a job you were use to, but never settle. However, if you could find a job that lets you work in house slippers – settle for that.

The relationship with your husband grew a bunch this year. Can we please talk about what an amazing man you married? Dayum, you are blessed. You married someone who knows when to support you and when to challenge you. Push you to the edge, if you will. Remember this year when he put you on top of the highest cliff in Wales and made you cry? Well, it taught you to love the outdoors didn’t it? Seems he does know what he is doing after all. Your relationship was tough when you first moved to the UK, but you finally learned to embrace every situation you were thrown in and have become the closest you’ve been since you met nearly nine years ago. You two certainly laugh a lot more in bed before going to sleep. Blame the Horlicks. Oh Nanny is right, he’s quite the looker. Your kids are going to be adorbs, and please Jesus hopefully get his smarts.

You learned even more this year than others how much friends and family mean to you. When your phone can’t ring to hear them back home, it’s nice to get messages and letters to know they still think of you – still not half as much as you think of them. The friends you are close with, those are the ones that will be rocking in a chair next to you in a nursing home some day. You learned how to stay close with the people that matter the most and occasionally let that big guard of yours down. Kisses to the makers of free international calling. Remember it is okay to call home sobbing about not being able to find Betty Crocker cake mix at the store, good Mexican food or missing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s lovely that you have friends all over this country and that country; continue to surround yourself with the right people – even if it’s only a handful.

If you think you are emotional now, just wait, I hear it only gets worse. I know you seem to cry at the drop of a touching commercial or anytime you look at Indiana Jones, but get it together woman. We have an image to uphold. And don’t take any crap about being 30. Would you ever go back and relive your 20s again, no thank you.

Embrace Own your thirties. It’s a peak time for your athletic career. Oprah said it was the decade where she truly found herself. Take chances. We all make mistakes, but be you – and always be okay with that. Never live with regrets. Regrets lack immediacy. Keep trying to be better, at everything. Better listener, wife, friend, daughter, sister. Live life like the honey badger.

Still reading, or did you just skip to the bottom? On that note, off to go find some cobra cookie cake. xx



  1. “And don’t take any crap about being 30. Would you ever go back and relive your 20s again, no thank you.” ~ Amen, Sister! Welcome to your thirties. I hope you enjoy a wonderful celebration here and across the pond. Here’s to your next 30 years…..

  2. You are amazing. You came into this world fighting for your life at 4 pounds and you haven’t stopped since. I loved my 40’s better than my 30’s so you can have that to look forward to as well. Enjoy every day of every decade. You live life to the fullest and never look back. So proud of you.. Happy Birthday.

  3. Nicki….you need to write a book. Just channel Elizabeth Gilbert…I think that’s who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. The thirties is an interesting decade but when you hit 50 you won’t want to go back. Life is a journey…enjoy the ride. And remember, life begins st 60. 🙂

  4. love every word of this! as someone who turned 30 in October, I can relate to so much of how you’re feeling about where you are in life, adventures, the wonderful men we married, etc. love you, and hope you’re having a fabulous birthday weekend!

  5. Pingback: 2011 Rewind « Across the Pond

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