I woke up today and I was 30.
I’ve been anticipating this – I’ve referred to it as my “existential crisis” year. New state. New job. New life. New, well, everything.
I’ve felt pressure all year – the often voiced pressure of being a single southern woman approaching 30.
“What’s going on in the boy department?”
“Are you seeing anyone?”
Or, as my best friend’s 6 year old likes to say, “You need a boyfriend because all you have is a hedgehog and she’s mean.”
Social media inundates me with photos of my friends and their weddings and babies… 2 and 3 babies… it’s easy to feel inadequate.
Finally, just this week, I had my moment of zen and everything just sort of looked different. I realized that I’m a way cooler person now than I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago. I’ve grown. I’ve done more things. I’m more confident. I’m happier.
Most of my 20’s were dedicated to work… a career that sort of chose me. I let it define me. The years since I left Washington – 2012 and 2013 – have started to become about the other things. I became a better friend. A better artist. A more balanced person.
It took me almost 3 decades to figure out that I really don’t have anything to lose by trying things. I just decided not to be scared… because I realized I had no idea what I was really scared of. I joined a band. I traveled across the country by myself, just because I wanted to. I learned a new instrument. I joined Crossfit. I left my safe-zone in North Carolina and moved to a new state – my 4th one in as many years – where I knew almost no one.
It was the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. I finally let myself be a little bit more of who I wanted to be.
I broke my foot and spent 3 months trapped in my house. What I took away from it is that I have surrounded myself with some of the most amazing people in the world. People who would fly halfway across the country to sit through surgery with me. People who drove 7 hours each way to bring me home and take care of me when I couldn’t fly. People who cooked for me, drove me to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopped for me, and dragged my crippled self to Charleston so I wasn’t totally housebound and miserable.
Almost exactly a year ago, I sat on a beach in Santa Monica and made a decision to change everything. My little world was miserable post 2012, and I needed to fix it. I’m not there yet, but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was.
I woke up this morning in a new decade. I wasn’t any grayer, wrinklier, or fatter than I was yesterday.
So, here’s to 30. Here’s to learning more new things, more experiences, more confidence, better health, and a decade that hopefully kicks the last one’s ass.