Despite my well-intentioned plans to thwart this milestone, it seems to have crept up on me anyway. Today I am thirty. I remember turning 20 and thinking how very old I would be at 30. Well…let me tell you 20 year old, 20 lbs lighter me….30 is barely old and I only have two grey hairs (not the full head you thought I would). So there.
30. Three decades old…I can hardly believe it.
My first thought is how very lucky I am to be turning 30. Plenty (plenty) of people don’t get to live this long. How many of us have babies and children and siblings and friends that we wish, desperately, could have lived to see 30? Right? Most of us…especially those of us in the infertility community. So let me be the first to say I am so incredibly thankful to be 30 today. I am so thankful to have had 30 years on this planet, surrounded by my loved ones, and hope to have 60 more.
My second thought is holy-jeepers-how-the-hell-did-I-get-to-be-thirty-wasn’t-I-just-18-yesterday? Time passes so fast! I feel like just yesterday I was marveling at how mature and grown up I would be at 20 (!???…ya, ok) and then I blinked and now I’m 30. It’s worth noting I am not much more mature or grown up than I was at 20 – except, you know, I have a grown up job and grown up bills and a marriage and grown up thoughts about life (babies, vacations, RRSPs, pensions, benefits, healthy meals…). But really, underneath all of the grown-upness I am really just that 18 year old girl with
marriage plans a serious crush on three of the five Backstreet Boys. Ok, so perhaps I lost my love of baggy pants and short curls, but have you seen BSB lately? Hello, they’re still dreamy.
Anyway -back to the topic at hand. Today I am 30. I have been alive 3 whole decades (and 9 months if we’re getting specific). I have accomplished much of what I had hoped I would by the ripe ‘ole age of 30, and still have plenty to go along with some more mature goals (I mean, above and beyond the “buy my own bedazzler so I can look rad” goal I made for my adult self at 12). I am happily married and have a nice home with three wonderful furbabies and a hearty supply of little nephews to keep my heart full. I am a more whole person than I would have been if I had not gone through infertility, and I am truly grateful for that. I am also significantly less high maintenance than I was a decade ago, and significantly more down to earth.
Most importantly, though, I have been blessed in my 30 years to learn what really matters in life (both to me and those I love). It is not belongings or achievements or income…but loving with your whole heart and being loved, giving and receiving, laughing and crying, hoping, praying, and always (always) finding for the good. Every moment of my thirty years has been worth it because it led up to the understanding of those things. Every moment helped lay the path for where I am today – and although the greatest desire of my heart remains unfilled (motherhood) – I am so thankful for how very blessed, and how very fortunate, I have been and am.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. I hope to have two or three times the amount of life I have already had to learn and grow and blog (90 sounds like a good, solid age to die at) – and I pray the same for all of you.
Letter to my 20 year old self:
I see you there, hiding behind your clothes and friends, hoping no one sees the real you. But I do, because I was you. I see the hurt and the pain and the fear you’re feeling. I see how confused and unsure you are. I see how scary the world is, and how ill-prepared you feel.
It’s going to be OK. You are stronger than you ever thought, and you will come out on top despite the odds being stacked against you. Life is scary, there is no way to sugar coat it, but please trust that anything worth doing is scary. If it’s not scary, it’s not worth doing.
Friends come and go, so when you fall out with them (and you will), don’t beat yourself up so badly. Your whole life will be filled with friends coming and going – learn to spot the gems, and hold tight while learning to spot the pebbles and enjoy the short time they are there. Friends are either blessings or lessons…but it doesn’t make either any less important.
Love yourself. You are more beautiful and perfect than you let yourself believe. You deserve good things and good people. Love your body despite it’s shortcomings. It is the only body you will ever have, and learning to love it is both the most difficult and most gratifying thing you can do.
Enjoy this time in your life. Don’t stress about exams and parties and peer pressure. Stick to your guns, your head is on straight, and let yourself enjoy this time. It’s the easiest time of your life and later you will regret not enjoying it more.
Most importantly – let go of the things that are hurting you. Holding onto the past will only hurt you more. The only one with the power to free you from that is you, and learning this skill will serve you many, many times in your life. Let things be. It is OK for some things to remain unresolved.
Life is going to get so much better. Hang in there, get by and cling to those you love and those who love you. Down the road, they will be everything to you and you will be glad you held onto them.
All my love.
much slightly older self.
P.S: Lay off the head bands and chokers a bit…and excessive amounts of blue eye shadow = so 1980. You’ll thank
me, you, for this later.