Friday, November 13, 2015

Why 30 is NOT the new 20 and other reasons I'm proud of each year I add to my age.

As I approach my 30th birthday, I realize how different it is from my twenties. I mean, I can't possibly know, as I haven't been there yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm leaving behind some things that belong in my twenties.  I know people often convince themselves that as they get older they're really just staying hip and young forever.  But I think something more special is happening here.  I don't want to discredit my thirties by saying I'm starting my new twenties.

During my twenties I accomplished a lot and made a few mistakes.  Let's revisit my twenties so I can share all the ways I'm hoping my thirties are NOT like my twenties.  To start, in my twenties I moved away from home for the first time, to a new city with a boy I was seriously in love with.  Our relationship still had aspects of being new.  We'd never lived together.  We weren't married.  We didn't have kids. No real responsibilities, just a couple of part time jobs. And while I'm always down for a new adventure or even the possibility of moving to a new place, I definitely don't want to start over completely like that in my thirties, I know lots of my friends who aren't married and who have the freedom to date, and while they're happy, there are also a lot of challenges in dating.  It takes a lot of effort to connect with another human being and be vulnerable, I don't want to have to do that again.  I'm grateful I'm not in that stage of my life anymore.

In my twenties I was in college.  Not that I would mind school again, but I'm grateful I wouldn't have to start at the bottom. I love that I have enough education and experience I could start a masters program if I wanted to.  I couldn't have afforded to do that in my twenties, nor would I have wanted to manage a new career and going back to school.

In my twenties I got married.  After I graduated, I got married.  Young.  And it wasn't a bad decision but I'm not sure if I'll ever know if it was a necessary decision.  My husband and I are very much in love, but it was sort of the same for us being married as it was before we were married.  People kept asking how different it felt to be married and to be honest it didn't.  While I'd love to renew our vows in a private ceremony, I have no desire to get married {the whole big thing} again.  My views on marriage have changed a lot since actually being married.  But this knowledge of marriage isn't something I had in my twenties, now as I enter my thirties, I'm even more aware of the experience I'm gaining in my partnership and proud of the life we've build thus far together.

In my twenties I became a mother.  I loved that sacred experience of growing a human life, nourishing something with my body and rocking my au natural home birth.  But dude, I do not for any practical purposes want to be pregnant again.  My kids are finally out of diapers and done potty training!  And we're on to planning even more adventures! Plus, they can actually do fun stuff, gymnastics, dance and sports and soon they'll be starting school. While I've gone back and forth on putting them into a classroom, I know it will be good for me to have a little more creative freedom.  For me, not redoing the new mom thing is another reason I'm hoping my thirties aren't like my twenties.

Besides the obvious above lifetime milestones I've accomplished, I've also started a business, started painting, stopped and then started painting again, paid off my first car {before someone hit me and totaled it}, bought a house {learned some legal lessons there too}, spent more money than I had, paid most of it back, and been to 11 countries and counting, and a bunch more little tasks everyday.  I don't want to think of my thirties as the new twenties, I don't want to relive past experience or pretend being younger is better than getting older.

I've worked really hard to be where I am.  I've found a partner who works really hard so we can be where we are.  I've got two amazing daughters who make me laugh everyday, and also challenge me to be a better person, and I couldn't have had all those things in my twenties.  In my twenties, I was planting seeds.  Now, as I approach my thirties I'm starting to see the fruits of my labor, and they're almost ripe.  I'm excited to see what I'll accomplish in my thirties.  I'm excited to see what I'll learn.  I'm excited to explore more places.  I'm excited to use more of my creative energy to build my brand, to create my life's work.  I'm excited for the next decade and I'm proud of the years I've survived, and endured, I'm proud of my accomplishments.  

I'm proud of each year I add to my age.

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