On Turning 30

Girl hiding behind balloons.
Girl hiding behind balloons.

Tomorrow I turn 30.

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to care, or if it mattered. Billions of people turn 30 daily, and 30 is... 30. I had such trepidation about turning 29, and what that meant, and now this birthday has sort of been an afterthought.

Like, oh, in between cleaning the bathroom and turning in my project at work and walking the dog, I guess I'll have a birthday too. Maybe there will be cake. IDK.

29 taught me that life can change on a dime. So much can happen in a year, if you're willing to open yourself to the possibilities. New love, new jobs, new goals, new opportunities. I learned to say yes and mean it. To say no and stick to it.

So now here I am, no balloons, no pomp and circumstance, patiently looking at the calendar and wondering how the life will change with this next trip around the sun.

I recently took a training at my local yoga studio, and I was shocked at the end of it to learn that many of the people involved were a good six or seven years my junior. From talking to many of them and hearing their perspectives on life and living, I thought it was the reverse. As it turned out, I was one of the oldest in the group. Now, that's not a big deal - I'll happily accept new friends of any age if they're into doughnuts and puppies - but it just caught me off guard. One woman in particular seemed like such an old soul that I had just naturally assumed she must have been around my same age bracket, or older. To learn her real age was startling; I did a not so smooth double take when she offhandedly mentioned she was 23... Like WHAT? 23? My favorite age which also feels like a newborn compared to how exhausted I am right now at good ol' 29 and 11 months?

But it was a good reminder. Quit judging a book by its cover. Don't link an ability to connect and resonate with a certain numbers of years under your belt. Wisdom and understanding and empathy don't have to come with a certain number or a certain tick of the clock. It's personal to our own lives and our own experiences; age is age is age. It's all relative. Didn't Albert Einstein say that? [No, I'm not a science teacher, don't worry.]

Anyways. My dad, a sage man in his late 70s who looks like he's in his 50s and who I admire deeply, is going to read this and tell me to relax. It's just a new day. But I am! Don't get me wrong.

My point here is that people seem to make such a fuss about leaving their 20s and turning 30, and from my seat right now.... it feels like a non-event. And that's from someone who thinks birthdays are the best. Mine, yours - I love a reason to celebrate, to be irrationally happy and shiny and feel like the universe is smiling down on me for this one particular day out of the other 364.

Any chagrin has come from the not knowing. From accepting that the present is IT, and I'm entering whole new territory for me. I think that's personal, and it's coming whether I'm ready or not. Perhaps you've already been there, or are getting there soon, but all of our roads forward will look different, feel differently, regardless of year. Maybe it'll be exciting, and maybe it'll look a lot like yesterday. I'm not sure where this new decade will take me, but that's like much in life, right? You have to grip the reins and just hold on for the ride.

Let's hope there's cake.