On Turning 30

BirthdayCandle

Summer hiatus! It’s a thing. Especially as the beginning of my last fall semester of grad school rapidly approaches. A little brain R&R was called for! And I’m about to turn thirty!

And part of the fun of having a blog (albeit still a brand-spanking-new blog) is that sometimes you get to take a moment to reflect on things, and put it out there on the Internet for others to read. Because… why not?!

So, I give you reflections. As I come barreling to the close of my twenties…

 

On Turning 30…

Age is just a number. My birthday? Just another day this week. But for some reason, the marking of becoming a three-decade veteran of life feels like an appropriate time for a little stock-taking.

I don’t feel ‘old,’ as I’ve heard some do at this point. Well… unless you put me in a room with the new legion of tweens and teens that were born into a world in which Facebook already existed.

There’s no filter in that room. I require a filter.

I feel ready. I feel grateful. I feel lucky to live in a time when 30 is still considered an age of possibility (and for that matter 40 and 50, too!).

I feel unlucky to live in the era of an ongoing battle to look younger/thinner/immortal at any cost. I’m mortal, and I’m okay with that.

I feel as though I did a lot of “good work” in my twenties. A lot of learning, trying, failing, laughing, breaking, healing, and living to tell the tale! I got more comfortable with the constant cycles of change that make up living. And no doubt, there will be much more in store….

But I’m not leaving empty-handed. I have managed to build a bit of a tool-box along the way, and feel I’m bringing an appropriate amount of wisdom to use and add to in this next era…

 

Tool-Box:

– I am bringing with me a deeper sense of independence. Not the exhilarating kind of independence you attain when you first move away from home, or pay your first electric bill, or realize that adults can have ice cream for breakfast if they want to (all magnificent moments, indeed!).

But a solid independence that encompasses a greater knowledge of who “me” is, and a greater ability to trust that this person will always be enough, whatever the circumstances.

– A (thankfully) more attuned sense of what NOT to wear. I don’t necessarily nail it all the time either, but I’m getting much… much better at it.

A smaller (but closer) circle of friends than I started with. I’m so lucky to have such brilliant, honest, hilarious mirrors in my life to reflect immense truth, love, and light back to me. I honor them from the deepest places of my heart, and strive to be as valuable to them as they are to me.

– Understanding of the profound importance of self-care! Sleep. Flossing. Sunscreen. Hydration. Sustaining food and regular exercise. And knowing my own, personal, most efficient route to peace-of-mind (even if it’s just the temporary kind).

– A humbled reverence for the passing of time. It’s true that it just keeps going faster the older you get. I’m learning to guard my own time as a precious commodity, and to avoid wasting commodity that belongs to other people.

– A better awareness of how whatever I put out into the world affects others– my words, my actions, and my energy…

– An ability to let go. I don’t think I had this at all earlier in life. This is a new and amateur-level skill in my arsenal. The letting go of things, people, guilt, and deeply ingrained concepts of relationships, of ‘supposed-to,’ and of self.

– An unyielding love and appreciation for ice cream. While my long-standing love affair with this dairy delight has been dimpled with bumpy times, used and abused as emotional salve, I still find such legitimate joy and celebration in an indulgent spoonful (or cone-ful) of ice cream… And, barring lactose intolerance (god forbid!) I probably always will…

 

So cheers! To the people (parents, friends, acquaintances—to all of you beautiful gurus!), to the places, and to the experiences that have marked me, and readied me for whatever adventures come next…

6 thoughts on “On Turning 30

  1. Jen, Finally had time to read your birthday blog. All I can say is how proud I am of you and all you have accomplished by 30! Still a fantastic writer! We love you!

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