Today is my 30th birthday!
Let it sink in for a minute. You heard me right - 30. As in 10 years ago I wasn't even in high school! I always imagined myself as this magical unicorn that would never age. The big 3-0 has been pretty damn hard to accept. I thought about hiding it. I thought about not acknowledging it at all, and therefore it wouldn't happen.
The honest truth is that for months I've been REALLY upset about it. I thought that I would be so much more accomplished in my life. I thought I would be more successful than I am. I thought I would know more than I do. 30 always seemed so far off. I thought surely by the time I'm 30, I'll have all my shit figured out, right?
So many thoughts where the bottom line was this: I'm short of this perfect vision I had for myself at this age. And when you don't live up to your own standards, it's hard to believe you amount to much of anything. Everyone makes their "30 before 30" lists. This idea only amplified the pressure that I need to be more than I am. Aghhh! I went through probably every negative emotion about this turn of events. I cried, I complained, I screamed, I felt sorry for myself.... and then I decided to do something about it.
I pulled up my friggin big girl unicorn britches and decided that wasn't how I was going to go out of my 20s! I decided to make lists of all the AWESOME stuff I've done in my life! I've traveled, seen amazing things, experienced so many adventures and I've loved! I've loved so many people, all different kinds! And that in itself has been an amazing gift. I've loved family and friends. I've loved strangers in foreign lands. I've loved deeply. I've been hurt deeply. I've hurt others. And I've tried to do better the next time around. I've learned forgiveness. And I've learned that the people in your life are what matters most. I made lists of big stuff and lists of small stuff. I made lists about crap that wouldn't matter to anyone else unless they were me! I sang songs I remembered from my childhood. I sat and looked at pictures of when I was a wee little one and of all the places I've traveled. I took a week and colored in a coloring book just because I remembered how much I liked to color. I spent time remembering all the things that make me me. And I chose to see how everything that makes me me is beautiful, special, unique and mostly AWESOME! I didn't compare myself to anyone or anything. I just soaked in the fact that I'm all I need to be. I'm everything my God ever hoped for me to be. I'm all he imagined when he first thought of me. And when I got there - I no longer desired to be anything more.
When you make lists of all the awesome stuff that's happened in your life, it's hard not to see the truth about how awesome you really are and always have been! Just because life doesn't look the way you thought it would at age 30, doesn't diminish your value or worth! I'm becoming more and more convinced that sorrow and regret are only based on shadow images of ourselves we make up. They're made up of what we see on TV or read in magazines. They're made up of what we see happening in our friends lives. They're made up of un-realistic standards of what we believe success is. These versions of ourselves will haunt us as long as we let them. We have to realize it's by our own doing. And we are the only ones who can free ourselves from it.
So, for those of you out there on the brink of 30 or who have already turned 30 - start making your lists of everything awesome you've ever done! Give yourself grace! Spend time remembering how you thought as a child - when you had no agenda other than to enjoy each day as it comes. Don't stop aiming high, but don't be so hard on yourself either.
Life IS the adventure! I'll say it again. LIFE is the adventure. Don't forget this.
You will never "arrive". That's never been the point. Enjoy each day as it comes. It will never come again.
Cheers to being 30! xoxo!