I feel like turning thirty comes with a lot of negative connotations. Recently I attended a gala for work that was held at a casino, upon entry, the guy that took my ID remarked that I looked good for twenty-nine. I looked at him strangely, because I'm apparently gullible and remarked that I'm not twenty-nine. He laughed knowingly and repeated that I look good for twenty-nine.
I'm not scared, ashamed or weirded out by being thirty.
It was, in fact, a welcome change from the ages of twenty-seven through twenty-nine. Those years, for me, were a blur of kind of awful questions, heartache, insecurities and searching. I undoubtably couldn't have made it to thirty, or who I am now, without those years, but to say they were the best years of my life would be lying.
At thirty, I am finally starting to be aware of who I am. What grounds me. What I believe and what I question. I understand that I may not fully ever understand anything, but I am, who I am, and I will not be ashamed of that. I am not someone who is interested in settling... in my career, my relationships or in my faith.
Since before I was twenty-five, I've made birthday lists. 25 Things Before I Turn 25 etc... Sometimes the goals have been silly. Sometimes large and seemingly unattainable. This past year I guess I wrote one, you can see it in my archives here. To be perfectly honest, I think I only wrote it because I felt like I should. People always have told me how inspiring it was and I had been doing it for almost five years. So I wrote it. With the goal to impress. To show the world that my world wasn't crashing in around me.
I don't know that I've looked at it since.
Obviously I glanced at it tonight... I crossed a few off. I traveled to the UK. I got a job. (Two to be correct.) I was even offered a job at Starbucks... so I almost had my career as a barista. I've kept money in my bank account. I grew out my bangs. (That is impressive folks.) I started this new blog and I have been hand-lettering a lot.
I think its the things I didn't list though, that have been remarkable, painful, wonderful and the most growing though. The things I might have been too afraid to write down. Things like, let a good friend hug you while you sob on his shoulder. Work a horrible, life sucking job but meet the friends you need to meet during that time. Take a break from attending "church" and going through the motions of what believing in God has always "looked like". Being straight up with a guy and asking him if there's anything going on between the two of you instead of allowing yourself to be lead on for ages. Taking a job that seems so silly, useless and a little frivolous because the opportunity was given, and, in turn, finding a potential career through it. Putting down the camera and several other things I love for a bit and allowing myself to just... breathe? Rest? Chill? And not picking them up again 'til I truly had a movement in my heart. Attempting internet dating and set-ups to realize what I knew all along... that's not how I connect with people.
Thirty hasn't been perfect. Its been messy. There have been tears and snot and achey hearts. There have been losses and growing pains and so. Many. Questions.
But there have been beautiful days. Friendships that have twisted and changed and grown with me. Chances for my career. Hugs from my niece and watching my nephew warm up to me as I spend time with him. Days spent with my little sister laughing and hanging in Columbus. Having friends confide in me and ask me questions about God when I myself felt like a total failure. A quiet, sweet home in a lovely little neighborhood, good coffee and family.
I have encountered the unexpected... I am still confused and have so many questions, but this year isn't a year I would trade in.