In the days leading up to my birthday, my Mom asked if I was doing alright with the inevitable. I reassured her that I was completely ok with it all. After all, how would going to bed 29 and waking up 30 feel any differently?
The truth is: it did. 30 felt completely different.
I suppose I can compare it to my 12 year old self on the eve of my 13th birthday. It was time for bed, but I didn’t dare turn off the bedside lamp; because if I did, I’d fall asleep and wake up a teenager! Just the thought gave me butterflies. Anxious, reluctant butterflies, that I wished would fly away and never return. My mom came to say good-night; but to my surprise, climbed right into bed with me! Instinctively, she just knew. She knew I was struggling to transition from childhood into young womanhood. Wrapping her arms around me, she held me tight — just she and I on my little twin bed. I looked at her and began to cry, “But Mom, I don’t want to be 13! I want to stay a little girl, forever.” She smiled and said, “But don’t you see? You’ll always be my little girl. Even when you’re my age, you’ll still be my little girl.”
Fast forward to the next decade: my 20s. For the most part my 20s can be summed up as a decade of love and learning experiences: college graduate, turned new wife, living in a far away state, teaching my first class of 22 first graders.
Then what seemed like overnight, time chose to pick up the pace.
We bought our first home, traveled to new places, got an adorable dog, started a blog, and worked through our fair share of unexpected hardships. These past 10 years have had some indescribable ups and some unfortunate downs. But through it all I’ve fallen in love, on three different occassions, with three different boys. And for that I can say, I’m incredibly blessed.
Which brings me to today: my 30-and-4-days-old self. I do feel different. I am different; but in the very best way. All of the years past, have made me into the person I am now. And I like who she’s becoming, for the most part. Yet, somehow I still feel like I’m 13 going on 30, fluttering butterflies included. But I’m choosing to embrace this new chapter of life with my dancing shoes on, having an open heart, dressed with an optimistic outlook, and ready to push myself to new heights — to learn new things, to do more good, and gracefully endure the bumps that will surely come. For if there’s one thing that time has taught me, it’s that life continues to get better with time.