August 11th---Thirty has arrived...and I'm honestly glad. I know I've mentioned in other posts that I feel like 30 is a good number. Twenty-five felt like an ordeal--I wasn't where I wanted to be professionally, socially, romantically, etc. Reaching thirty, I feel like I've had some great opportunities and made some great strides in life. While life isn't perfect, I'm pretty content with most areas of what I've been able to achieve and I can't sweat the small stuff TOO much over the areas that also are dependent on others.
There are a ton of unknowns in my life right now: the marriage situation, securing a second job, affording the rental long term BUT I also believe in myself and in my abilities. I've had to see my own strength in the last few years and also continually recognize how much God provides even if it's not on my time schedule, and while I still definitely have major moments of insecurity, I feel like I have to believe that all the unknowns will slowly take care of themselves--especially since they always do. Even when life is "tough," I'm cognizant of the reality that my life is not really THAT tough and that I have been incredibly fortunate and blessed throughout the thirty years I've been on this planet.
In the last month, I feel that I've really started to re-think about what I want out of my future and what I want out of this year. There were several things that I'd been wanting to do or acquire for the last several years that I went ahead and either took care of or added to my growing list of things to do THIS year. One of my most recent thoughts has been "why have I been waiting?" I've been fairly cautious about money my entire life and splurging on multiple items has always made me feel guilty, but in the last month or so, I've finally been granting myself permission to trust that finances will be provided and that it's okay to pursue more of those life wants and goals.
Case in point. I've been wanting a real dish pattern for two years and it was a request I'd put into Tall D last summer. I don't know why I'd waited for his permission/mutual desire/involvement to make that purchase, but this summer when I found that Pier 1 pattern that I fell in love with, I finally bit the bullet and bought 10 large dishes, 10 bowls, and 4 adorable mugs....plus 10 other mid-size plates I also loved.
Case in point. I got my first small tattoo when I was 18. A blue cross on my right hip region. I'd spent my high school career wearing (& ruining thanks to chlorine, etc) various cross necklaces as there was always something about a cross ON my body that made me feel safer. When I turned 15, I vowed to my Poppa that when it was legal, I'd get one tattooed....and I did four days after my 18th birthday thanks to the funds of my oldest brother. (I've also kept it covered and hidden from Dad in the last 12 years.....so family don't sell me out yet--bahaha!) For the last ten or so years, I've wanted a Christian fish tattoo somewhere or a Christian dove. In the last 5-8 years, I've desired a seagull cause I absolutely love them. So this July, I finally bit the bullet and purchased BOTH a Christian fish made of bent nails AND a seagull in flight. Both are still in coverable areas but it feels rewarding to finally have acquired something so frivolous but meaningful to me...and something that I've been waiting to do for years now.
Case in point. I love my lifetime out-of-state friends. I love to travel. I long have had desires to make the longer and more spendier trips to see my friends. I don't know how many times I've told my gal D over the years that I'd fly cross country to see her. For two years, my girls and I had discussed visiting Caitlin in Arizona. This year, I'm making trips happen. I spent the long, life altering April weekend in San Antonio. Brook and I fulfilled our amazing Arizona road trip to see our great gal Caitlin. Tickets to Savannah to spend 10 days with Deir and my other gals purchased and scheduled.
So what else is on the docket for this year? Oh, all sorts of things---some are listed on the blog sidebar, others will be edited and added or deleted as the year evolves. But two things I am banking on completing: finally fulfilling my dream of volunteering in Africa and 12 years later finally making a return trip to see my host families, friends, and additional places I'd wanted to see in Argentina. Both trips will be spendy, but both trips CAN happen. I also have added to the lifetime list some of the additional fun things I've been wanting to do for years, such as learning to surf, kayak, etc...and someday own a Great Pyrenees. I've taken the time to re-evaluate the old lifetime desires of my heart to ensure that they're still the dreams and goals that I desire...and I've only further reaffirmed my desire to continue to travel, to make a difference to the lives of others, and to someday in the next 7-8 years save enough and have life settled enough to adopt internationally. I've taken the time to reflect upon where the 16 and 20 year old versions of myself wanted to be in five, ten, fifteen years...and it's sort of funny how many of those values, goals, and ideals are still the ones that ring true in the 30 year old version of me today. In some ways, I'm beginning to again think of how to truly make those values, goals, and ideas be PUT INTO ACTION.
Thus this year of 30, I've decided is all about living out my desires in a mindful and smart fashion. It's also about keeping my word and living with intention. AND it's also about setting the foundation for the next decade to come. Thirty is still young enough to plan lofty goals for the future, to be a mover and shaker, to make alterations to my larger life plan as needed, and to continue to dream. Yet thirty is also old enough to know better, to understand a bit more how the world works, to trust more in myself and in God, to have seen that both good and bad things can happen, to understand that what's right isn't always what's the most fulfilling, to have achieved enough to recognize that professional goals do arrive, and to acknowledge that plans and goals will always need changing. While I have to see that the finances are continued to be provided, there also might be moments of my just.plain.having.to.trust, and hope, and believe. Thirty, it appears, is about being settled even further in who I am while realizing that this version of me is always slowly evolving and changing. It's about moving forward and yet remembering others. It's about forgiving myself and making myself even better. It's about creating, restoring, embracing, and challenging. But regardless of what it is....thirty feels good and thirty is going to continue to make things happen.
Here's to hoping and believing in a great year ahead...both for you and for me!!
PS....If you want to know how long I've been a (slight) control freak and maybe a (tad bit) anal retentive (especially about special events)...... I was born weighing 8lbs11oz on 8/11. Coindence? I think not.