The Big Three-Oh

March 14, 2011

Its not new news that I am recently 30. The news is over 30 days old, in fact.

On my 29th birthday, I promised myself that I would celebrate in epic proportions on the 30th – I planned to practice yoga for 365 days straight and cap off my streak with a month-long trip to India to study yoga, reconnect with myself, and celebrate young life and an adventerous spirit. There was nothing standing in my way and the feeling was glorious….until November, just months before departure.

A new job. A grown-up job, in an office, with a title and responsibilities was given to me for my 29 3/4 birthday. And I took it. Because traveling to India and enjoying the experience is all the more rich when you know your pockets are full enough to

a.) make it home safely now that you have gotten yourself all the way over there and

b.) know that even though its is a once in a lifetime trip, its not the last time in your lifetime that you will go.

So, I celebrated here in California – for 30 days straight – instead.

I don’t think that anyone watching me noticed that I was having a personal party. I did little things like hang my favorite pictures, enjoyed two pastries for breakfast instead of one. Bought myself a new dress and shoes to match from a favorite boutique, drank bottomless mimosas with my siblings, and toasted breakfast for dinner with my husband.

Went running long and hard on legs that have spent the better part of a decade becoming invincible.

Took Gunner on long walks so that we could catch up, and chat about life in general.

Did whatever I wanted, and enjoyed every minute.  But the biggest acts of celebrating were the peeks that all offered into me, to all that my 20’s were, and all that my 30’s and beyond were to become.

And, the result was surprising. In fact, I found things out about myself that I don’t think I would have been able to see if I was in India wrapped in sari and henna, currying my brains out and all melty from days spent practicing yoga and meditating. Being at home, I had the chance to look my actual life in the face which, I dare say, was quite a bit more existential in this moment than being resident at an ashram.

My 20’s were pretty amazing. I traveled a good proportion of the world, gained my sea legs, and managed to strengthen them more than I ever could have imagined possible when I was 19. I build a helluva lotta confidence. Tried on many hats. Learned what I was good at, and what I wasn’t so good at. Was dissilusioned and troubled by relationships, but also enlightened and contented with them. I was frustrated with my place in the world, and at the same time completely comfortable in it. And somehow, as the clock ticked over and I became the Big 3-0, I made peace with all of these counterbalances in my past.

This old lady is no longer chomping at the bit to see the world, or to try to comprehend it – doing both is part of the everyday now.

I am convinced that I am an expat at heart once and for all now, and the feeling of living life in a foreign place is one that I crave now and will always. It is the color for the rest of my life, the rest of our lives. As such, a simple life well lived gracefully, and with reckless abandon is the one that I want.

I don’t anticipate having and “should have’s” in my 30’s, or “should not haves.” No matter what should befall me in this next decade, I don’t anticipate there will be any feelings that I am “sucking it up,” or “putting things on the backburner,” because its all happening right now.

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