It's hard to believe that I started this blog shortly before my 26th birthday. It seems like a lifetime ago. I seem like a completely different person. Reading posts and viewing pictures shows growth that is never actually tangible until it's all out there to view from start to finish. I like it.
I've been asked by nearly everyone I know how I feel about reaching 30, about leaving my twenties and becoming something that, I want to say, is more grownup. I never have an answer. Or I usually just say, "hmm, I don't really know." I understand the connotation: it's more a question of "how are you dealing with getting old(er)?"
I guess I should respond with something like frightened. Or maybe sad. But, honestly, I'm going with thankful. Yes, I'm thankful to have reached 30, to have spent thirty years with my parents love, to have had the opportunity to witness all the world has to offer and to have occasionally gone out there and taken part, to have met a partner who complements me, to have become an aunt to four amazing kiddos, and to have finally found something I can do that generates income while also feeding my soul.
There are, of course, things I wish I had done in the years leading up to this milestone. I should have saved more, I should have spent less, I should have taken more opportunities, been out in the world instead of stuck in my little corner (hello, 22-year-old Beth), handled difficult situations better, and on and on. However, going back in time isn't a reality, so there's not much I can do except strive to do all these things moving forward. I won't say these are regrets. I've moved past the age where I let my regrets overwhelm me because there's no benefit in ruminating on something I know I could have handled better. My early twenties were terrible. I did well in college but got caught up in things and people I should have avoided from the start. I barely made it through that time, both physically and emotionally, and I can only say that I'd never choose to relive those years.
So generally, when people ask me how I feel, I honestly want to say that I'm happy about the inevitable prospect. I like thirty-year-old Beth. She's mature, isn't so self-conscience, is ready to jump into a big project and fight to get it off the ground, she's done worrying about everything, and she understands herself more than ever. And while I've made hugh improvements as a person, I still feel that my life should be led with more purpose. Less immediate gratification. More work. Less expecting things to happen. More simply. Less consumer-driven. I could go on and on. I need to work for health and happiness and living in the present, for me, right now. Those are my goals for 30 and beyond. I had dreams prior to this point of creating a great big list of 30 items before 30 and marking them off one by one. I love those lists, but just never sat myself down and did it. So instead of a list, I'm going to be more purposeful and use this written proclamation as a reminder that I need to work to get what I want and to prioritize goals that will matter when I look back 30 years from now... you know, when everyone's asking me about how I feel about turning 60.