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Hi.

My name is Madelyne Riley, welcome to my blog. Anorexic turned foodie, I'm here to champion eating disorder recovery and body positivity.  I'm having my cake, eating it too, then going back for seconds.  

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

Pop the champagne, cue the music, release the doves because this girl is thirty today!

I have what’s been called a “Swiss Cheese” memory. There are some things that I have the hardest time remembering, names most specifically. If I forget your name, please don’t take it personally. All proper nouns for that matter are difficult for me; the names of people I know, celebrities, movies, restaurants, I mostly call it all “that one place,” or “that one guy.” On the other hand, there are other things that I remember as if they were yesterday, and that I hope to hold on to forever.

One of these locked in gems was sitting with my grandmother at her kitchen table when I was in second grade (six or seven years old), and going over my life plan with her. I told her that I was going to get married at nineteen, have my first baby at twenty, my second at twenty two, and my third at twenty five. She asked me what I would do at thirty, and I said “Oh I don’t know, that’s so old, I probably won’t have any plans.”

I love thinking about this, it’s definitely a “kids say the darndest things” moment, but there is some reverence about the big “3-0,” something about that age that designates not just a new decade, but a new person. You’re in your thirties now, you should act accordingly. Enough of that silly youthful stuff, it’s time to get serious.

To be honest, I’ve been looking forward to thirty for a long time. I think back to my teens and twenties and cringe. I’m still working on forgiving that girl for the damage she did to herself, and I think I’m getting closer. I do feel as though I’ve found myself in my late twenties, I trust myself, I love myself, and can count on myself. More still, I’m surrounded by people who I can count on and who love me, which is a huge blessing in and of itself.

While I didn’t stick to my plans from second grade, I’d be lying if I said that the impulse to plan my life according to my age isn’t still there, to make a to-do list and check the boxes off with each passing year. There are things I wish I would have accomplished by now. There are accomplishments I’ve made that I never thought would happen. Of course, I am the same person today as I was yesterday, but we humans have constructed this notion of time and adhere to it religiously, so it’s only natural to notice a difference in the first number of your age, that “3,” so serious, so full of itself. I don’t have kids yet, but I hope to. I don’t own a house yet, but I hope to. I do have the most incredible husband in the world, I do have a job, I do have this blog, I do have a twenty pound cat that I love with my whole heart, I do have full and rich relationships with people that are worth more than their weight in gold.

I was talking through some of this with my husband yesterday morning, and he warned me not to get sucked into what he called “paralysis by analysis.” I’m going to enjoy the day, and the year, and the lifetime. I hope you do the same.

Photographer: Joe Dammel

Strey Designs

Strey Designs

The Girl with the Knife Earring

The Girl with the Knife Earring