I'm not going to say that turning 30 means I am old. But what 30 means to me is the ending of one huge chunk of my life and start of a new one. We waste a majority of our childhood waiting to turn 16 so that we can get behind the wheel. And then 18 so we can run away from home. And then 21 so we can have that first taste of alcohol.. legally. We grow up in using increments of time juxtaposed with a specific age. In my mind when I was 25 I was going to be married and starting a family. And while I adore my friends that are married and have children, I'm really glad that that's not who I am right now. Because frankly my life, just a couple of hours before turning 30, is nothing like I planned. And that's the way it should be.
My little brother is 25 years old, married, has steady job and owns a house. He has always had his nose down and on a driven path he never truly took off course. He's always known what he wanted and went above and beyond the call of duty to achieve those goals. Growing up that's how I thought I was going to be but it turns out life had other plans for me. It turns out that I didn't truly know myself well enough to know that I am a dreamer. I am consistently inconsistent. I am indecisive and easily distracted. I'm not ready to settle- for a job... for a home... for a boy... for anything less than fabulous. And I think that my inability to divert from this path is why I am where I am today: job searching... home searching and on the 14th sequel of the "Never Ending Story: Relationship Edition."
I told myself such behavior was acceptable though in your twenties. Those are the years you're supposed to find yourself. The years you're supposed to spread those proverbial wings and take flight. The years that you're supposed to see just how far you're supposed to push yourself until you fall on your face. And the years you see what you have inside of you that's enough to stand you back up. That experimental phase of your life is supposed to end when you enter your thirties or so I have been told.
But I'm not listening.
I have made more than my share of mistakes in the past decade. From failed relationships and horrible haircuts to failed careers and awful outfits. If you're supposed to spend your twenties making mistakes and learning from them then I spent my twenties exactly the way you are supposed to just with some added sugar and a little more Kelly Clarkson music than most. On the eve of the big transition into a new decade though, I'm surrounded by boxes... boxes that I have been packing for days now as I prepare to start over in a new state that will be filled with new challenges, new jobs... and a whole lot more mistakes.
The first digit in my age is going to change but for me that's all I am going to allow to change. I'm not done screwing up. I'm not done falling flat on my face. I'm not done making excuses for why I can't go to the gym. I'm not done sleeping in on the weekends. I'm not done eating frosting out of the container while watching Boy Meets World upside down off the couch. I'm not done having my head in the clouds looking for that perfect job and that perfect home and that perfect man (and still holding out for Jeter). Simply put, the conclusion I have come to is: I'm not done. I'm not going to have people tell me that with the dawn of my thirties comes the dusk of my youth. I'm not ready to be done.
I've learned plenty of lessons in my twenties that are more than remembering one glass of water and two ibuprofen before falling asleep. I've learned that you don't stay in a job that you know is not right for you. That you don't stay with a boy just because you fear being alone. That you don't stay on the safe side because you fear the unknown. I've learned that hearts mend, tears dry, rivers recede and wounds heal. That friends are made... and they're lost. That falling in love is not for the faint of heart and falling out of love is for the strong ones. I've learned that home isn't always where you've planted your roots but rather where you hang up your wings.
I'm just a crazy and sarcastic person with a big mouth and a huge smile. I didn't know what I was setting out to accomplish when I drove away from home years ago but I know all that I have accomplished since I took off down that road. I have left a piece of my heart in a tiny house in New York... a piece on a farm in Vermont... and a piece in this great city where I made all my mistakes and recovered from all (most) my falls. I've planted the roots. But at the age of 30 I'm putting the wings back on to try my hand at some more mistakes.
Because tonight, at midnight, when I turn 30 I'm no longer going to look at them as "mistakes that I make" because I'm a certain age. I'm going to just look at them as Life. My life. My never-a-dull-moment, joy-filled, inconveniently blessed, uncoordinated, forgetful and Fabulous Life.
And there's a cake.