I never really understood the whole bemoaning birthdays and making a big deal about "big" birthdays. To me, they've always been just another day, the day after the day before, the day you just happen to turn the page on one age and enter the next. With the exception of 16, 18 and 21, not much changes on birthdays.
But. Today I'm 30.
Has it sunk in yet for you? Because it's been at the forefront of my mind for a while now, and it still hasn't sunk in.
I think it's because 30 is just so grown up. When you're in your thirties, you can't pretend to be a "young adult" and you can't pretend to be a "recent college graduate" and you can't pretend to not know better when you make certain mistakes, or treat people in certain ways, or any of that. When you're a kid, you look at someone who is 30, and make no mistakes, that person is a grown up.
Despite grappling with the fact that I'm going to be 30 soon, and being in disbelief that growing up has actually happened TO ME, I can say with certainty that I've never felt so grown up in all my life. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've done some serious aging recently and I'm starting to show it. You can be young and have one kid, but a mother of two kids is a definite grown up. I haven't slept soundly in years, and my body and face feel it right now. A friend of mine suggested we go out and maybe even go dancing for my birthday. There's almost nothing I'd rather do less. Dancing means even less sleep, an almost certain hangover (even if I've only had two drinks), engorgement and/or pumping in the car and worse - dressing myself to "go out". Uh - no thanks. Heels? Not here!
Despite perhaps sounding a bit down in the dumps about entering this new era, I promise I'm not. In fact, I'm pretty darn happy about it - albeit in a bit of disbelief. I made a lot of mistakes in my 20s. I wasn't always responsible, and wasn't always a good friend. I acted in a way that I'm actually ashamed of on several occasions, and truthfully, for the first 4 1/2 years, wasn't that happy. In fact, at a certain point, I was a very depressed person, masking it in all sorts of unhealthy ways. I hit a personal bottom, but - but - things thankfully changed for me.
I think most people probably grow up wondering what their lives will look like. I always wondered if I'd get married and get to have babies. My 20s brought both those things to my life. My 30s will be the first decade of my life where I don't have to wonder about that piece of the puzzle. I will be able to enjoy the best choices I've ever made fully, because I finally have confidence in who I am, thanks to the journey of the last decade. For the first time in my life, I really have a sense of total understanding of who I am, what I stand for, what my likes and dislikes are, and an appreciation for me I haven't had before. So, bring it on, I say.
(disclaimer: my appreciation for this new decade could be slightly elevated due to the FULL night sleep I got last night. Thanks, little friend!)