I have been thinking about turning thirty all year. But if I am really being honest, I think I have been realistically thoughtful about turning thirty for about ten years now.
It all goes back to my early twenties, and the part of me that longed to be older, and more established, and married. For some reason, to me, those went hand in hand. And then, marriage hit, and as I focused more on my career, I thought about who I could be, what role I would play, what my job title would be at thirty.
For a while I wanted the big job, the career that I could brag about, the respect I thought I would ultimately get if I were “this” or “that” in the marketing and advertising world. I looked up to ladies I saw who had those jobs, those titles, those careers that seemed to somehow marvel others, and interest friends, and family.
I knew I also wanted kids, and wondered how I would balance work with motherhood if at all. I watched gals at work who tried to balance it all, and I knew back then even that it was a dance, one that seemed delicate, daring, and honestly, down right hard. I wondered if I would dance that dance or if I would stay at home.
That also seemed hard. For lots of reasons, but the one I kept toying in my mid-twenties was the sense that if I stayed at home, I was letting myself, my degree, and the woman inside who knew she could if she worked hard enough hang her hat on any title she wanted.
And then I became a mom, and when that became my full time job, I decided that I wanted all my babies before I turned thirty. I think I kind of wanted it like a newly found attainable badge of honor, that if I wasn’t going to continue my career, then at least I could have a bundle of babies that would show success to others, and to that singular part of myself who still wanted to succeed at something grand and great. Yes, a bundle of babies, now that would do it!
Now, don’t get me wrong, what I thought of motherhood and what it has turned out to be has been radically different than I could have ever imagined. Motherhood is incredible, and downright exhausting, rewarding, and challenging too.
But, as I turned twenty-nine, it became clearer and clearer that this “twenties” goal of having all my babies before I turned thirty was now a wild card, as my second turned out to be a girl too. I thought you got what you grew up with, and having another girl threw me for a loop.
When I found out that Addie was a girl, God began graciously showing me that the kid-card, the possibility of a third was still up in the air regardless of gender. And I began to think, that this goal of being done with pregnancy and nursing, and rearing one more was for sure still up for grabs.
These “twenty-something” goals and dreams, thoughts and ideas were all starting to fade in light of my thirties. They were starting to disappear in the brightness of what I ended up learning in my twenties and discovering about marriage, motherhood, and life in general. I was growing up, in the most basic sense, seeing that some of what I use to think I didn’t any longer, and that was okay too.
I spent a lot of time last year letting go, laying down, and ultimately seeing that change was really good too. Our family changed as we added a second, we changed churches, we changed some things in our marriage, we changed up the business, and we both changed habits about ourselves. We gave more, fought less, dreamed more, laughed more, and worried less. 2014 will go down in the books as one of the best years yet.
It will always be the year before I turned thirty that I look back on with giddy and glee, wonder and whimsy. My twenty-ninth year, the end of my “twenties”, the end of that era, is one to remember.
The twenties for me marked so many milestones. Finishing college, getting married, travel, advertising, marketing, house ownership, and motherhood times two. It was an incredible decade, one to hold on to tenderly, despite some goals and dreams not coming true too.
I learned this past year, and looking back, I think slowly over the past ten years that dreaming, and goal setting are stellar. What would we be without dreams, goals and to-dos? I know I need them in my life as a framework for my days and my year. But, change, that is harder, and better, and what I have started striving more for as I look into my thirties.
As one chapter has ended, a beautiful, chapter for sure, I look onto the next with excitement, and anticipation. And Hope. As all new chapters begin, I think hope is the best way to start.
I am setting goals, and dreams, both individually, within our family, and for our marriage too for the next decade ahead. The best part about having a birthday right around the New Year is that your birthday and the New Year both start at the same time. Lots of new. Lots of great new.
December was full of a lot of reflection. Honest to goodness introspection. And January is full of goal setting, meal planning, family scheduling, travel booking, house remodeling, and as I am learning, letting myself dare to dream a bit more.
One thing I am sure about, I am confident in, is that the closer I got to turning thirty, the more excited I get about life ahead. Regardless of the title, the bundle of babies, the laundry and dishes that still need to get done, I have more confidence the older I get, the better it gets. Looking forward, looking up, linking arms, and running ahead, thirty, cheers to you.