You won’t believe this, but I’ve had a post titled “30” in draft since August. I remember, as my birthday was approaching this year, that I needed to start gathering my thoughts. I just dug out the post, hoping it would provide a place to start as I am otherwise a bit scattered.
It was blank.
Title : 30.
And that’s it.
Super helpful, Sarah-of-two-months-ago. Super helpful.
I started this blog almost eight years ago and named it “Confessions of a 20something Drama Queen”. It was absolutely the most appropriate title for the content around here back then. Well, who are we kidding, it’s marginally appropriate every now and then these days, too.
As I think about the last 10 years, I can’t help but think about the reflection I wrote about my 10 year high school reunion. In some ways, those stretches of time are similar. And in other ways, not. At all. In some ways, measuring the time that passed between high school graduation and that reunion — was an exercise in comparing girl versus woman. An exercise in coming to terms with the dreams and goals and expectations I had as a high school KID and the life I had somehow carved out for myself over 10 years.
But getting from 20 to 30 has been a different kind of journey.
I turned 20 in Verona, Italy while studying abroad during my junior year of college.
That’s me on the far right, Jenni in the middle, and Lisa on the left — travelling buddies on a weekend away from school. This was taken at our hostel in Verona, before we headed out for my birthday dinner that night. I distinctly remember when my clock rolled over from 19 to 20 – I thought I’d accomplished something. Not a teenager anymore! TWENTY. I was big time. My priorities changed from day to day, week to week. Sometimes school. Sometimes not. Sometimes being a grown up. Sometimes not. I was smack in the middle of college and I was backpacking through Europe wearing out my first credit card. Life was good.
I turned 25 in San Antonio, Texas while home for my brother‘s funeral.
I hadn’t celebrated a birthday at my parents’ kitchen table in a while and certainly wasn’t expecting it that year, but there I was. I was 8 weeks pregnant, but no one knew it. As I blew out the candles on 25, I was surrounded by family and friends from all over the world, and my heart was swirling with emotions. Life was changing. Rapidly.
And now, 30.
Two years ago, I wrote my Life List. It wasn’t prompted by a birthday or a death or disease or any specific event — I just wanted to put it in writing. And I unofficially challenged myself to cross off 10 items by my 30th birthday (and I foolishly thought it would be more like 20). Well, life is certainly not a contest and I hope I have many, many more years to explore and experience the rest of that list. For the record, I’ve crossed off 6. And they were awesome.
I’m ok with turning 30. I’ve spent some time thinking about those 10 years — from 20 to 30 — and thinking of all the change they brought. Some welcome change, some not. But overall, these years have been unbelievably good to me. Hell, all 30 have been good to me. And while I won’t be wishing for more (than my fair share of) change in my 30s — I’m certainly wishing for years of growth, love, and adventure.
Here’s to you, 30.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
— E. E. Cummings