Sunday, January 6, 2013

In Regards to Turning 30

I decided that during this month-long stint of lists, that I would gather some thoughts from people I love about turning 30. I've asked for stories, anecdotes, quotes, etc. I've received some and thought I'd take Sundays to share list form of course.

Four Views on Turning 30:
1. Lore — Someone told me on the eve of my 30th birthday that the 20s were spent trying to figure yourself out and the 30s were when you finally knew and just were who you were. I thought he was lying to me, but I'm 32 now and there's been hardly a question of who I am for two years. This is who I am. I know where most of my blindspots are, I know what my strengths are, I know where my ruts are, and I know what gives me the greatest joy. I know what's in my hand and it's a joy to now go and BE.

2. Ben — “I was alive when my dad turned 30.” Those were the thoughts running through my head on the morning of my 30th birthday. I wasn’t sad or in any crisis mode, I was in love with my father. My father was 28 when I was born. My brain could not comprehend that I knew my father when he was in his twenties, I mean, hasn’t he always been 50? My daughter knew me when I was in my twenties, will she always think of me as a 50 year old? Probably. I don’t remember my father’s 30th birthday, but I was there, probably sitting in his arms and basking in his love. My grandfather wasn’t able to share this milestone with my father, for he was already gone, but as I crossed this milestone, I was so grateful to have my dad with me and still surrounding me with his love. 

3. Keila — When I was 14, I remember hanging out in my bedroom with my best friend just talking about life and the future. We talked about being the ancient age of 30. In our minds, we would have accomplished so much by then that we weren't sure what else could there possibly be after 30. Right? We were so, so wrong! We had no clue life is only just beginning when you turn 30! Then again, we forget all we have is really just today, regardless of our age. I got married and became pregnant for the first time at the age of 30. That same year I moved the distance of a whole country to join my new husband and start our life together. My family began when I turned 30. We can dread the passage of time as we reach milestone ages, or we can embrace each day for the how amazing it is and then look in hindsight at the stores of treasure each year leaves behind!

4. Brian — My twenty-ninth birthday was the hardest I’d ever had. It symbolized the last gasp of my youth and I felt a crushing pressure to fulfill the promise I had as a young man before yet another disappointing year would pass. Before I turned … *30*.

The mere thought of thirty oppressed me because of one simple fact: I knew I would fail. There was too much to do, too much road to travel, and too many questions to be answered in a single year.

While thinking of thirty was oppressive, turning thirty was a revelation. Just as anticipating a shot dwarfs the sting of a needle, so was twenty-nine to thirty. As I blew out the candles, I extinguished the tyrannical expectations and plans that had enslaved me. My life was no longer the plan of an energetic, naïve and hormone addled sixteen year-old; I was free.

I hope that last concept liberates you as it liberated me. Your whole life to this point is the plan of a child. It began as series of good wishes, plans and dreams. As you conceived each one, you placed them in the hope chest of your future. But now you carry that chest upon your back and, if you were like me, it is heavy with the sorrow of a child’s dream unrealized. You cannot measure your success by those expectations anymore than a bird measures its ability to soar against an egg. 

Let thirty be monumental because of what you let go. Shed your burden and walk lively into your future. Have the presence of mind to live in the moment and when you make plans, let that plan grow and change as you do. The sixty-year old you will someday be will thank you for it. 

(More coming next Sunday!)

#30daysoflists so far:
1. Things I Would Tell Someone Turning 20
2. Movies for a Wintry Saturday

1 comment:

  1. those are awesome! especially the fourth one, Brian. I can relate to that right now :)