A few minutes before 6:00 am on August 2, 2011 I will be 30. Not 29 again. Not celebrating the 9th anniversary of my 21st birthday. I will be 30.
To say that this particular little birthday has brought up some interesting feelings would be an understatement. I have gotten all kinds of introspective and sentimental and all that blah blah stuff. I have been thinking about the last decade and the one that is coming up and have realized a lot of things.
For starters I welcomed my twenties with an amazing 12 year old staying up late, baking me a cake, decorating her house and having everything ready for me when I arrived at work that morning. I didn't have too many expectations on my twenties (besides eagerly awaiting my 21st birthday!) and I certainly wasn't thinking about 30 at the time.
Following the big 2-1 the next big one was 25. I had a wonderful 25th birthday party. We had a fabulous table at Cafe Nova, which had recently opened. I had tons of close friends there. I know for a fact if I was thinking about it I would have told you that night, without a shadow of a doubt, that by the time I was 30 I would have been married and had my two perfect children. I was quite certain of this plan and I wasn't worried about it. I wanted what everyone else in my world seemed to have: husband and kids. It felt like that was the only choice in life, first comes love, then comes marriage then comes the baby carriage.
I feel like I'm beating a dead horse with this subject because it seems all my blog posts somehow go back to how I feel so different from everyone else and how I feel so far behind. I am 30 years old and I am not married and I am okay with that. Sometimes it is hard watching everyone else catching all the dreams that I want. Sometimes it is really easy, knowing that I get to sleep in when I want and that I don't have to ask anyone's permission to go on a trip and other things of that sort. It is quite nice being only responsible for myself and completely being on my own.
I have my hands completely full for the upcoming year. I work, I go to school, I have an internship to complete, I am a chair for Junior League, I do a lot at church and I am committed to starting this non profit I keep mentioning. I was really busy last year and the next one is going to be just as busy. The trick this year is finding the balance between all the activities in my life and being who I am and being happy with that person. That is the key thing that I didn't get right last year.
Last summer I read Eat, Pray, Love for book club. If you haven't read it or seen the movie Liz Gilbert aims to achieve three things in a year: understand pleasure, understand spirituality and then to find the balance between the two and the balance in her life overall. While I was reading the book I had a friend tell me that I was having such a hard time with the India (Pray) section because that's where I was. Pray was all about finding who you are and how that fits into the universe, which is certainly what I was doing last year.
Now is the time for Bali. It is the time to find love. And when I say love I don't mean falling head over heels with some boy, though I might not say no to the right one. When I say Bali and love and balance I mean balance within myself. I love everything that I am doing however sometimes it feels like too much and I can't see how I am ever going to be able to all that I want to do with my life and still find that Prince Charming and have a child. I know that some things will fall away, like school will be done in May, but I will replace them with other things. The challenge will be finding the balance to my activities along with the things that I do for myself.
So what does all of this mean? It means I have set some lofty goals for myself in my thirtieth year and I have some high expectations of my thirties in general.
In the next year I will...
...be happy, I will smile more, I will worry less, I will have fun, I won't care what other people think of me, I will enjoy being by myself, I will enjoy the people I know are my real friends, I will continue the journey that I have started recently, I will start a non profit, I will finish my Masters, I will go on a cruise or two and I'm sure I will do a million more things than that.
In my thirties I will...
...change people's lives, I will become a mother, I will fall head over heels in love, I will get out of debt (hopefully completely, houses and all), I will buy a new car (hopefully an Audi :)), I will go to Italy and Ireland and as many other places as I can think of that I want to go, I might live in New York for awhile, I will do all the things that I have been too scared to do, I will Tweet more and Facebook less, I will write more and hopefully be published, I will have a blog that lots of people all over the world read all the time, I will take more pictures and slow down and enjoy life more, I will realize that this is the only life on this earth that I have and I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can, I will not take for granted the days that I have been given and will do everything in my power to make my own life and as many other people's as possible better, I will speak up for people who don't have voices in the masses, and I will be happy.
So those are my challenges to myself. Months ago I found this on the Tiffany's facebook page and it just seemed so perfect, so I saved it and held onto it for this particular post:
So for the next year, the next decade and all the days of my life I will do all of these things, every day and not just on my birthday.
Another little irony happened last night as I was writing my last academic paper of my twenties. I put on my study playlist, because New Kids on the Block was not cutting it for study time, and the first song that came on was this, which I have decided is going to be my theme song for the year (which also comes from my favorite movie):