Kenz took this picture and I absolutely love it!
Two years in... Am I the only one who loves being 30-something? Through my 20's I kept having to fight the feeling that I was trying to get somewhere... 'Enjoy the Doing' I had framed and displayed in my house to remind me to slow down and stop reaching forward - reaching forward to some goal that I couldn't even put my finger on. The end of my husband's schooling? Perhaps. The end of moving around to temporary homes? Maaaaaaybe. Though, I don't really want to finish schooling because I love this life... and I don't really look forward to settling down forever, either. In fact, any option I thought of didn't feel quite right... and sure enough, when I turned 30, still in the middle of all of these changes, I felt a strange relaxing feeling that I had arrived. Reaching forward to my 30's? Well, I guess so.
Plus, I must have subconsciously known that this delicious Oreo ice cream cake would be waiting for me on my 32nd birthday.
I've always had a desire to be older than I actually am. In fact, I remember as a child overhearing my mother tell one of her friends that she thinks I have an 'old soul'. I think so, too. I haven't always loved this about myself and, in fact, spent some time in my adult life trying to change it. I was so inspired by those friends around me who seemed to be able to just laugh and let the cares of the world brush from their shoulders. It looked so freeing and they looked like they were having so much fun! I wanted that, too, because compared to them I felt old, and boring, and serious. I can be silly, too, I consciously decided one year. And so I began to be like them... carefree! Silly! Giggly and funny!
...It was not good...
Turns out you can't force it; and when I tried, it felt miserable and... well... forced. That year I realized that I'd much rather watch others be silly. I'd much rather be the one to laugh at the jokes than to come up with them myself. And then, whenever anyone needs an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on, well, then it's my turn to shine. There is fun and beauty in that, too.
Being 30-something strangely gives me permission to simply be who I am. I've lived long enough to see that there is a place for me in this world. And that I don't have to be carefree to be deeply happy. I appreciate the part of my personality that can sit on the balcony on my 32nd birthday with my camera and a sunrise, and feel so content and full that I think the beauty of that moment could carry me through the rest of my life.
I'm not old, boring, or serious... I'm me. And being 30-something somehow fits me better than any age I've been before. It feels so comfortable. So refreshing. So promising. I'm learning how to prioritize my life better. I'm spending more time on the important things and less time trying to figure out what those things are.
For me, being 30-something means more than a decade of marriage...whatever kinks were in the beginning have long since been ironed out and when new kinks snag us we're able to work through them with the understanding that only comes with years together. Brian has spent these years weaving so many strands of golden love through my heart that it can hardly be called my own anymore. Strands that can only be crafted from kindness, gentleness and honesty. Strands that can only be woven by hands that have proven, time after time after time, of their unconditional love. Years of crafting; years of weaving; this man has filled my heart with his own love.
For me, being 30-something means my house is full of children. It's said that a mother's job is to teach her children. But I'm afraid that the roles have been reversed in this household. I'm the one learning kindness. I'm the one learning patience. I watch their examples and come away inspired to forgive quicker, to hug more fervently, to obey when I'm tired and to let my tears turn to giggles before they're dry. I'm the one learning to be honest, to be quick to smile, and to focus on my small accomplishments--and to not be so hard on myself when I fall short.
(Birthday picnic with long, beautiful shadows)
As I look through my pictures, I see over and over and over that my days are framed by beautiful sunrises and beautiful sunsets. But the most beautiful thing of all is what is pictured between those frames. Being 30-something is good to me.
I think I'll stay.
You know, I think I've always been here.