Yesterday was my 30th birthday.
It just sounds like such a grown-up age. My husband is 31, and I have friends in their 30s, and it never seemed like a big deal to me. Yet, on the last day of being 29, I actually felt wistful and a bit emotional.
I don't personally *feel different*, as you rarely do when you age as an adult (I barely feel different than I did turning 19), but wow. I am a 30-year-old now. I'm in my 30's. It seems like it should be different.
It seems more mature. I feel like I have more authority behind my ideas and opinions. I'm happy to go back to work in September as a 30-year-old teacher. It feels as though I should be taken even more seriously now, even though I know I've been a knowledgeable and great teacher for the past six years anyway.
The fact that it's a whole new decade of life seems meaningful. Life between 0 - 10 was childhood wonder and imagination, life between 10 - 19 were teen years based on forming identity and individuality, life between 20 - 29 was about independence, career, and establishing meaningful relationships. It was also about reconnecting with family and learning to appreciate family relationships as friendships.
Now I begin 30 - 39.
My predictions: Hopefully these are the years of establishing our own family. These will be my child-bearing years, our years of snuggling our sweet babies and managing sleepless nights. Changes in our social time as we start a family... though hopefully our friends and other family members will begin to start their families too and our social activities will just shift. These are the years I've been looking forward to for a long time... I'm such a maternal person, after all. I feel like this is my decade to "shine". I'm established as a permanent contract teacher, I have a home and a husband, I am ready for the next phase.
This may be a decade with loss. It's hard as I get older not to consider those around me who are aging too. Ten more years with three living grandparents doesn't seem possible, as an example. I'm fortunate enough to have three grandparents in my life at the time of my 30th birthday. With having children later and later now, this won't be the reality of future children I'm sad to say. Loss is a part of the cycle of life, though, and to be honest... at least I feel better prepared to manage my emotions when thinking about this sort of change.
Another important point about turning 30, I have to admit that the anxiety that plagued my life for so long is currently under much better control. I'm a more flexible thinker, I handle change better. I'm able to relax and take more in stride. I feel more confident in my personal safety in many ways compared to how helpless and scared I used to feel.
Is my anxiety gone?
No. Not at all. It still lingers below the surface as a gentle buzzing across my skin... I'm just certainly better at keeping it at bay, and am better at rational thinking than when I was younger.
So, I'm thirty-years-old. I'm in my 30s. I'm a mature, independent adult. I wonder what my life story really will be in this next decade? I'm ready for it.