(let’s just all pretend we’re reading this last Friday on my actual birthday, shall we?)
Turning 30 is supposed to be a big deal – the kind that justifies a minor (or major) freak out. It’s the end of your twenties! What are you doing with your life? Why do you still have (and wear) clothes from college? The time for “just figuring it out” is gone – you’re an adult now! Pull it together!
Thirty is supposed to be the end of an era. But, last time I checked, when you turn thirty, you’re actually beginning something new. It’s the first year of a new decade.
So today, on my 29th birthday, I’m really embarking on my last year as a twenty-something. It’s hard to remember the 20-year-old girl I was, and even harder to imagine the woman God will grow me into as I get older. So many choices and consequences lay behind, yet so many life stages lie ahead.
Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on living a more intentional life. I know that a “good life” doesn’t just happen, just like we don’t suddenly “get closer” to God. We make choices every day that either bring us closer to or further from the abundant life God has for us. I’ve learned a lot in the last decade. So as I embark on the last leg of my twenties, here some things my 30-year-old self hopes I’ll keep in mind this year:
- Stop worrying. Just stop. Very little that you’ve worried about this decade ever actually happened. But you did miss out on some great things. Worry less – participate more.
- Show up. Speaking of participating, start saying ‘yes’ more often than you say ‘no.’ You want community. Community does not come by turning down invitations to be with other people, even when you’re tired. It also doesn’t come by “meaning to call” your close friends and family, but never actually getting around to it. Did it really take you 27 years to learn that?
- Listen. Do yourself a favor and really tune in when people are talking. It’s the best way you’ll come into those deeper relationships you crave.
- Don’t give voice to your insecurities. Sometimes you do need to talk things out. Other times, you need to ignore the feelings of inadequacy and move on. Saying it out loud makes you more likely to get stuck there.
- Work hard. Yes, you didn’t have to work very hard in school to get good grades, but now you’re an adult. Work hard because the Lord calls you to work for Him. Work hard because you sleep better at night. Work hard because you’re a hard worker.
- Fight for peace. Not your fault? Misunderstood? Doesn’t matter. When things get heated, stop defending yourself and start searching for what will bring peace.
- Savor and dwell. Let go of what you thought something would be/should be like, and savor what it is. Dwell in that early morning sunshine before rushing to start your day. Make the dishes wait while you spend just another moment on the couch with your husband. Be more aware of your present moment than you are of all things past and future.
I rang in my 29th birthday over a fantastically fun dinner with my favorite person in the world. In six months, he’ll turn 30. We’re both in our second jobs, living in our seventh town. We may still feel like goofy kids sometimes, but we’re adults. Luckily though, we’re still children of God with a lot to learn from our Father. Even better, He’s waiting to teach us more about Himself every moment.