Growing up I always considered 28 to be 'the' age. Like someday when I'm 28 - I will have figured it all out - and then I never considered being any older than that. So when I turned 29, I had a little bit of a meltdown recognizing that very soon I would be 30. Which quite honestly seemed impossible for my entire life up until that point.
And its continued to feel very strange to be turning 30 next month (August 26th to be exact). Its felt surreal and weird and a little scary for almost the entire past year.
That is until a few weeks ago.
Suddenly, it's as though it had been made clear that for the past 30 years, I've been busting the pavement to arrive exactly where I am.
All the test taking, traveling, moving, and the waiting for the some-day-when. The mistakes, the heartbreak, the learning-as-I-go. The sweeping big feelings, the first times, the clarity that comes with hindsight. All of the hurry ups, the just-get-through-this, and the being patient.
It was all fun and young and wild and free.
These first 30 years were awesome.
But there has also always been this thin layer of feeling like I wasn't quite who I was supposed to be, or where I was supposed to be. I was always working towards getting somewhere other than where I was. With my eyes set on the future, it has felt like the present day has been slightly out of focus. Everyday felt vaguely like tracks whose primary purpose was to get my train to the someday-when.
And somehow the past few weeks have felt like I've finally arrived at the station.
I feel like things have come into focus. I know what I like and don't like. I know the friends that I enjoy spending time with. I have made peace with my body in all of its beautiful and unique imperfections. I enjoy snuggling on the couch with a three year old's foot in my neck and a one year old tapping my teeth - just as much as I like finishing a bottle of wine at dinner with my sisters or best friends. That very same boy that gave me butterflies when I was sixteen - just this morning kissed my mouth so tenderly after we both woke up with that three year old between us in bed - that I couldn't help the corners of my lips from turning up into a smile.
I've made it!
I've arrived at the place in my life where I feel like I am finally going to start living mindfully. Not that the hard work is over, nor is the changing, growing, or learning finished.
There will be hard times ahead and surely there will be moments that I have mistakes, and heartbreak, and learning-as-I-go. And undoubtedly there will be sweeping big feelings, and more first times, and even more clarity that comes with hindsight. And thousands of more hurry ups, and the just-get-through-this, and the being patient....but instead of feeling like I'm not who I am supposed to be yet - it will all be experienced with a confidence of knowing firmly who I am and where I stand.
With a mindful understanding that I am my own friend and this is my life; today.
The other evening, Brandon, Jon, the kids and I were sitting on our patio talking the sun to sleep. We were just chatting and laughing while Grey made ninja-fighting noises on the trampoline and our resident mourning doves sang, and Bullet and Trixie chased each other in the yard. It was a regular evening; one that we maybe have had hundreds of time before. But this time, I was present; I was mindful of the sky and the sounds and the warmth and the happiness. I was there and so very grateful for everything that had ever happened before that contributed to making this evening just as it was.
And the blue sky made a beautiful backdrop for the white, billowing clouds splashed with red, orange, and purple. And that waxing gibbous was so big and bright with just a one-eyed smile of that man on the moon. And inside my beating chest was the feeling of expansion; not feeling panicked or worried, but rather filled up; whole.
And the only thing I could think was that maybe the whole beautiful world was inside of me and it was sometimes so wonderful I could hardly bare it.
And we picked up our cool beers in the balmy evening hours and lightly clinked our glasses for a toast:
'to thirty being the beginning.'