All Grown Up: Thirty and Counting

Two weeks ago I turned 30. The big 3-0. Honestly, it was kind of anti-climatic. I’ve been thinking about turning 30 for several years now and was really looking forward to it. But turning 30 isn’t like turning 21. There isn’t a lot of fanfare. No one suggests you take 30 shots. Old creepy men do not buy your drinks. People ask you if you feel older. Yes. For the first time ever yes, I feel older on my birthday.

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My 21st birthday lunch in Glasgow, Scotland

That isn’t to say I’m not still excited by the change. I’ve never been one to dread a birthday. I do not lose sight that getting older is a gift. It’s a mix of just being lucky and a few good choices. Both allow me to turn 30 and hopefully to have many more big birthdays.

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My 30th birthday at Cape Fear Escape Room

While I can’t speak for everyone, I often hear a consensus around your twenties and thirties.  Your early twenties are pretty awesome. I loved college. I felt surrounded by knowledge and the opportunity to learn more. There were awesome conversations, challenging ideas and a lot of great parties. It wasn’t all wonderful as I still struggled with loneliness, anxiety, and self-doubt but the environment I was immersed in was positive and rewarding. From there I traveled- Australia, New Zealand, Wyoming- trying to find a path in the world for myself. This is really what I think of when I look back on this time. It was all about self-discovery. While I chose to do it in beautiful surroundings, it was also pretty painful. Putting yourself on a journey to find your direction is…overwhelming and can be somewhat anti-climatic. I didn’t have any epiphanies. The issues from college still hung on strong.

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At 23 visiting Uluru in Australia

And then I turned a corner- hello 25! Part of this turn was falling into a job that actually interested me. Another was meeting a partner who was (is) supportive and loving. Part of it was making new friends and developing a community where I felt like I belonged. What I think it came down to are two things: a little more maturity (I could probably use more but I’ll take what I’ve got) and being surrounded by positive, uplifting people. At work I had a boss that built me up. At home I had roommates who laughed and loved and worked hard. They weren’t “drag you down in the gutter with them” type of folks. It’s not as though I haven’t had this before, but not to the same degree and not the way I needed it. And so you discover another life lesson, choosing your friends is important.

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Supper Club Reunion in Austin last weekend

I was 28 when we moved to Wilmington. Parts of the move have been very hard. Leaving my community of folks wasn’t easy. I’ve been lucky to find a new group who embody these same qualities. Things are different though. Life is Austin felt like anything could happen. Here things feel…steady, stable, a bit like I’ve found the good life.

So welcome 30! I’m happy you’re here. I’m ready for a little less self-discovery and a little more making roots in the evolution of me. This year will be another big one and I can’t wait for every step along the way.

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Celebrating 30 at Greenfield Lake Ampitheater

 

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