As I pictured this day in my head, many years past, I always pictured turning 30 with wide eyes, and a racing pulse. 30 years old was OLD to me, when I was younger. 30 year olds had families, mortgages, never-ending jobs… I didn’t want to be 30!
Here, on the eve of my 30th birthday, I feel calm and satisfied. I feel like my 29th year on this earth has taught me a great deal. A great deal about myself, about life, and about living. I feel as though my 29th year has shown me who I am, and who I’m going to be for many years to come.
One year ago, on the eve of my 29th birthday, I was in Hays, with my family. I was 3 days away from my divorce being finalized. I was less than 2 months into my new lease, living in my own apartment, by myself. I was working at a job I wasn’t too fond of, but hadn’t found anything better. I had lost my grandpa to cancer 6 months prior. I cried a lot at many of the changes happening in my life, and they were not all sad tears.
Fast forward to today. I am spending my last day of my 29th year at a job I truly love, and am excited to go to every day. I am about to go running with my best friend, like I do many times per week. I have been single for over a year, and could honestly not be happier. I realized how unhappy I was in my marriage, and though I would have fought to save it, I have grown stronger and happier and more myself because of the divorce.
I have learned about myself over these last 12 months. I’ve learned that I like my apartment tidy and organized. I’ve learned that I won’t get tired of pizza, even if I have it every Friday night. I’ve learned that I like to go to bed in the 9s and that I like my routine, but also like exploring and trying new things. I have learned to let go of relationships that do me no favors and weigh me down. I have learned to cultivate relationships that lift me up and help me grow.
I’ve grown up in my 29th year, and in my 20s in general. I am not the same person I was a decade ago. I don’t think I would recognize that person I was from a decade ago, I have grown much more confident, self assured, stronger, and mature. I’ve become myself, defined by me, not by others.
I am who I am today, turning 30 years old tomorrow and full of happiness in my life, because I fought hard to become me. Happy birthday to me, I’m looking forward to this new decade. Cheers!