On turning 30

I’ve been 30 for a whole week.

Thirty. Years. Old. 


There’s something about the number 30 in relation to years lived that makes a lot of people squirm (mostly people under the age of 30). It is a milestone that feels significant and insignificant all at once.

It feels insignficant in perspective. I understand now that three decades isn’t as long a time as it seemed when I was 10. It is, in theory, only a small portion of one person’s life. On a larger scale, 30 years barely registers as a drop in the bucket of history. 

On the counter, turning 30 feels significant because of all the things I learned in the last decade. The best way to describe my 20’s is: it was a process. A process of learning, experiencing, and knowing. It was mostly a process of figuring myself out. Parts of that process were ugly, miserable, and downright lonely. They were also painfully necessary. It was like going on a Bear Hunt:

Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
Can’t go around it
Got to go through it

Now that I’m through, the difference between who I was at 20 and who I am at 30 is surprisingly huge — and yet, in all the best (and a few of the worst) ways, I am still me. Thanks to all of the mistakes and failures, small victories and major triumphs, I am more myself today than I ever have been.

Better yet, I like who I am. Flawed, yes. But accepting of the fact that I’m still changing and growing. That was not true at 15, when I desperately wished to be anyone other than myself. It wasn’t even half true at 25.

With all of this context, you’ll understand why I’m kind of thrilled to be 30. Here’s to taking on a new decade of adventures armed with some hard earned confidence, and the boldness to live well.

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