It’s a chilly, but beautiful night. One of the first days of the year that screamed spring, and sunshine, and change. Hope, ultimately. After such a bleak and desolate winter, days like today bring hope.
The day brought May, and with it there were thoughts of the year thus far. I always get a weird type of introspective on the first day of every month. It’s like I’m checking in with myself on where it is I am versus where I thought I should be.
Today I kept thinking May means it’s almost June, and June means that half of 2015 is already over… And that it is only three months until I turn the big three-oh. Thirty. 30. Thirty…
I try saying it often so I will be used to it when it comes the time to start saying it out loud. When people ask me my age, I still default to a weird stammer “Twenty-two– er– four, or twenty-nine. Yes, I’m twenty-nine.” That is always met by weird looks, but I am getting more comfortable with them with age. Weird looks, not people, that is.
It is currently 5 AM… 5:11 to be precise… and I am sitting in a park by the waterfront watching the giant, almost full, very yellow moon sink. It really looks like cheese… A nice sharp cheddar, I believe.
At any rate, here I am, in the cold and beautiful air, thinking about life. More specifically about my life. That may sound narcissistic, but all self reflection is that way by nature.
I am thinking about turning thirty.
I have been thinking about this for a long time now, but it doesn’t give me the wind-pipe closing feeling of anxiety that I got when I was turning twenty-seven. For me, that was a big one. I just remember always looking at people who were 27 and thinking “they have all their crap together” when I was younger. I’ve now learned that most people don’t have their crap together, and that we all just do what we can, and that maybe that’s enough.
But back to the point. I have been attentive to all these postings on the internet with attractive lists and catchy titles about things you should do or not do once you turn thirty. Some of it makes sense, some is common sense, other parts are total crap.
This past decade I can solidly say that one of my mantras has been to “live with no regrets.” That sounds very cheesy, and I’ll admit, it is. But if has offered me comfort in times of discord, so what more could I ask for, really? I’m sure I will visit this concept more in the next few months, but for now, the thing that summarizes it best for me is a song.
“I Lived” by OneRepublic gripped my heart the first time I heard it. Cheesy, again, I admit… but honest.
“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall” It’s not brave if it doesn’t scare you. Whether it’s a job or a move or a relationship, jumps are often necessary — and most of the time no one can assure you of the fall, much less the landing. And that’s something I learned is absolutely okay.
“Hope when the water rises, you built a wall” Be prepared for what you can prepare for. Easier said than done, but great advice, and something that is seemingly getting easier with age.
“Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay” Standing up for something you believe in gets easier the more confidently you believe in yourself.
“Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad” True. Ouch, but yes. Some of my favorite lessons I’ve learned and moves I’ve made have been in the wake of a broken relationship. (Romantic, or otherwise.)
“The only way you can know is give it all you have” There is something to be said about the feeling of satisfaction and completion when you know you’ve tried your damnedest.
“And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain” Pain leads to growth. Suffering leads to bitterness. Choose pain.
“Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say…
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived” The chorus in particular has a powerful resolve in me. It truly resonates, and I love it. Owning every second is powerful.
The moon sank into Lake Erie, and the sky is bursting with blue hues and the first glimmers of sun. I haven’t slept yet, and I’m also learning to accept that that is okay — maybe I’m not built for society’s hours. I’m okay.
But these moments of sitting here with the moon and all my thoughts have led to me knowing these few things:
I am not afraid to turn thirty.
I am not scared of what my next decade will hold.
I am learning that we are all still learning, no matter what age.
I know that I have built a good support system for myself, should I need that.
I have learned to invest in those who invest back.
I am more confident in who I am, and also — who I am not.
I am no longer afraid to show people who I am.
I care less about what people think of me, I’ve learned to care who thinks of me.
And I think, because of all of this, that thirty will be okay. It’ll probably be pretty great. So bring it on, thirty. Let’s see what you’ve got.
“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up…”