Last week I responded to the elliptical’s demand, “Enter your age,” with, “30.” It was the first time I had to ‘own’ my age, and it somehow made it official. Parties and adventures are glorious and herald the changing of times, but this was the mundane and that made it real.
If I am honest, I will say that a few months ago, I was not too happy about “30” becoming part of my foundation. Welcoming a new decade meant saying goodbye to the last. And as I thought about it, I was not sure if I was ready to say goodbye. I was not sure if I had done what I wanted to do in my 20’s in such a way that I was ready for that next period of life.
Of course, as my father is quick to remind me, it is really just another day, and celebrating is so much better than the alternative – not being here to turn the pages of time. In proclaiming my academic achievements, a friend said, “You have done so much more than many in your 20‘s.” Both are true, but there was something deeper inside of me that this change stirred up.
2010 was a year of a lot of whiplash. Of heading in one direction and then changing mid-stride as I whipped around a corner I did not know existed. Some of this I have written about, much of it I have not. It made me exhausted in every sense of the word and demanded I take a step back to breathe. And so I have been breathing.
Amongst that breathing has been the anticipation of welcoming a new decade, of turning 30. I have thought about who I am and what I am proud of, and what the future holds. Mostly, I have been reminded that I am more myself than I have ever been. I remain passionate about learning, teaching, and seeing people be their best. I love life dearly, and know that it is the people interwoven into life that make it real. I strive to live life to its fullest and fill it with fun and adventure – through nature, food, art, and daily living. Through it is a theme of water – a substance that almost always makes me smile. Through these remembrances, I have continued to breathe.
That breathing and those remembrances meant that this month I could truly celebrate with friends and family. I ate good food, spent time in nature, played games, and, most of all, was with people I love. It was a perfect, beautiful reminder of who I am and who I love.
I love adventures. Sometimes they are big and cause grand adrenaline rushes, and sometimes they are small and make the eyes smiles. Each one speaks of living life to it’s fullest. I have declared my 30th year to be a year of adventures. It might just spill into the whole decade. And so, I as continue to simply breathe, letting life get more and more full, I say, “Hello 30. Let’s be friends.”
Pictures and stories of the birthday adventures coming this week….