I am thirty years old today.

And I have typed a little here on this page just to backspace and delete every single time. As is the case with most other monumental occasions, it’s hard to decide exactly what to say, to put your own feelings and ideas into words.

I’ll say something I didn’t expect to say: I’m happy to be at this number.  Your twenties are such a glittery decade, but I feel like I’m ready to turn the page.  When you reach the next step concerning life or career or education or age or whatever, you can’t help but look back and think about what you learned and how you’ve changed. So I hate to be all I-know-everything-now-that-I-am-older about things because surely I don’t. Surely I’ll look at this post sometime later and laugh at my naivety and what I didn’t know, but that’s the joy of life – growth and change and gratitude along the way.  Nevertheless, a list of 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years:

  1. I’ve learned that you can wait around for your life to start, but really , this is it. Wherever the this is for you right now, it won’t happen again. There have been moments, I’m ashamed to say, when I thought when I graduate, things really begin.  When this semester is over, I can do that.  When we move, life will be different.  Blah blah blah.  In the words of Wordsworth, “To begin, begin.”
  2. I’ve learned to be what you are. Even if you’re not tan or you don’t wear heels or you aren’t always where you expected to be.
  3. I’ve learned that people should wear sunscreen.
  4. And eat more vegetables.
  5. I know that travel is the best reset button for any amount of monotony or restlessness.
  6. Give me a movie with thick British accents and some period costumes, and I’m a happy girl.
  7. Every now and then you should do something just because you feel like it.
  8. But life definitely isn’t only about what you feel like doing.
  9. I’ve learned that I love literature, and I don’t care that you think it’s nerdy.
  10. I love poetry, and I don’t care that you think it’s pretentious.
  11. While we’re at it, I also love Simon and Garfunkel.
  12. And slow, sad movies that make you cry.
  13. I know that I don’t like roasted red peppers.
  14. Or cantaloupe.
  15. I know that cooking dinner is my favorite part of the day, and I use real butter and heavy cream, and I don’t care that they’re not fashionable right now.
  16. I know that, at the end of the day, there aren’t many things that a glass of Cabernet and a long bath can’t fix.
  17. I’ve learned that creating something feels so good.
  18. Cooking dinner with a glass of wine and good music on the stereo is an unfiltered, heavy dose of happy.
  19. Food is far more than sustenance.
  20. Live music is good for you.
  21. Teaching is a profession you can love and hate at the same time.
  22. Kindness usually pays off.
  23. It’s sometimes really hard to be honest or genuine, but good people are always attracted to the “real” in someone.
  24. I know that life isn’t fair, but the happy outweighs the sad.
  25. To be more specific, there have been some painfully unfair elements about my own little life, but it’s a happy one nonetheless. I am still a lucky girl.
  26. I’ve learned that there are many types of love, so many different manifestations.
  27. Loving someone, with any type of love, is the best feeling in the whole world.
  28. I know that birth is a heavy transformation.
  29. I know, with all certainty, that of all the incarnations I’ve been, of all the hats I’ve worn, motherhood is clearly the best. It is fulfillment and wonder every single day, and it drowns out all the white noise in my life.
  30. I’ve learned that those tiny, seemingly insignificant moments actually emerge as the most powerful for me, the most meaningful of my life.  So stressing and pontificating over milestones like this one are really useless tasks.  It’s all the everyday life in between these things that gives me meaning.

So I’ll leave it at that.  Life is calling my name – the fun stuff and the boring stuff.  And I’ve got no time to think about younger years when my ass was tighter or my days were more carefree, except to be grateful for them.  I’ll pack them up and move right along to this new place.

7 thoughts on “thirty.

  1. I love this! Your # 1 reminds me of that wonderful quote from Fair and Tender Ladies: “I said to myself, Ivy, this is your life, this is your real life, and you are living it. Your life is not going to start later. This is it, it is now. It’s so funny how a person can be so busy that they forget this is it. This is my life.”

    Happy birthday Katie Mae!

  2. Isn’t it weird how when you grow up you realize just how many people really are your age? For example, I always felt like you were SO much older than me. That is why I was shocked to read this post. You are just a year older than me! And my OLDER brother Brandon is just a year older than you. Back in the day it seemed like a major difference. Great post, and wrinkles sminkles. You look great.

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