Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Growing older, but not up

Freaking out before turning 30 is nothing unique.  I know that this whole challenge I created was a product of the normal anxiety that many 20 somethings feel.  Looking back at the past couple of years since this project began, I can't help but find it a little silly that I started feeling melancholy about reaching this milestone years before it was happening. Now I realize that I wasn't freaking out about the age as much as I was about what that age represented.  It is time for me to grow up.  All the dumb things that you do in your 20's are viewed as cute or acceptable because you are young and naive.  That doesn't really fly in your 30's.  If you get too drunk at a party where you lose your shoes and get sick in the bathroom, people just roll their eyes. (Not that I've ever done that.)  If you do it in your 30's, people suggest you need to attend a special Thursday night meeting.  In your 20's, if you blow your entire paycheck on a pair of shoes you have to have, you can justify it because you have your whole life to save money.  In your 30's, this would mean that your mortgage payment isn't going to be made.  So there I was, having a quarter-life crisis, kicking and screaming saying, 'No!  Don't make me... I don't want to grow up!'  

As much as I prayed, rubbed lamps and wished on stars, I couldn't make time stop.  If time was going to continue on, that means I had to as well. So I embraced turning 30 with dignity, grace and enthusiasm.  And by dignity I mean petty PMS girl moments, grace I mean immaturity, and enthusiasm as crippling depression.  Okay, it wasn't that bad... but it was bad enough that I made a list of selfish accomplishments that I wanted to complete before the big day so if nothing else, I can say that I feel good about how much I was able to do in my 20's.

I can proudly share that I have done all the items off my list.  I crossed the last one off my list this month when I traveled to 'someplace fabulous to celebrate my 30th birthday.'  My friends and I hopped on a jet and flew down to the dirty south to ring in my dirty thirty.  We spent 3 nights hanging out in NOLA for the French Quarter music festival which crossed off another bucket list item for me at the same time.  The trip was filled with phenomenal local artists and incredible food.  I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time. 

Quick Fun Fact - the French Quarter Music Festival was celebrating their 30th anniversary and I was celebrating my 30th birthday.  I thought that was a fun coincidence.   

With the exception of one person, everyone in our group was in their 30's and showed me that even though we might be growing older, no one said we had to grow up.  Sure, I am going to have more responsibilities, but I don't have to stop enjoying the things that I love just because I'm now a 30 something.  I can still be silly and have moments of being immature... maybe there will just be a few less.

Logan and me at the river, listening to live jazz.
We heard many talented musicians while we roamed the streets.

I ate my weight in crawfish!

Some of the gang toasting to the weekend!

Seriously?  Only my sweet husband
would wear a shark costume for me.
I thought that my birthday celebration was over when we touched ground back in Tampa, and the vacation came to an end. However, my dear friends had a different idea.  My friends who couldn't join us in NOLA along with my loving husband were conspiring behind my back.  This past weekend I thought that I was going to listen to a friend's husband play a little afternoon jam session.  When I showed up to the venue, I was met with about 60 of my family members and friends all wearing shark hats and my husband in a shark suit.  Why sharks?  Because since I could not cross 'swim with great whites' off my bucket list, my husband wanted me to at least be able to 'swim with land sharks.'  It was the most thoughtful, creative thing that anyone has ever done for me.  I was so surprised and overwhelmed by how many people showed up to show their love for me.  

So now as I sit here, writing this blog post, a full 2 days into my 30's, I have gained a new perspective from the wisdom with my old age.  The personal dilemma I was feeling before was that I wasn't fulfilled.  What I have realized is that I needed to change my definition on what it means to have fulfillment in your life.  Fulfillment doesn't mean going on an adventure every weekend, and trying something new everyday.  Fulfillment is simply having an enriched life with purpose.  Logan reminded me of that with his beautiful gesture on Sunday.  I am surrounded by so many amazing people who selflessly love and care about me.  They are the ones who enrich my life and give me purpose.  Thank you to all of you who have supported me through this challenge and continue to support me on a daily basis.


  1. Congrats on hitting the big 30! Since you completed your list give me your thoughts on mine. I have 40 things and need to narrow it down!

    1. Thanks Meg! Good luck on your personal challenge too!