On Turning 30
Well, this is the last day of my 20s. (Meaning I turn 30 tomorrow, in case that wasn't apparent enough 😉) These past few weeks of my 20s have been so fun-filled (hence the lack of LunaVida posts 😳). Two of my best friends since grade school flew to San Diego to celebrate us all entering a new decade together. Then my mom visited from Ohio right after, and we went up to LA for a tour de vegan food. This past weekend, Matt and I took a road trip with the dogs up to a cabin in Big Bear for my birthday. And today, on the final day of my 29th year, I began a brand new job. Today is the last day of my 20s but the first day of working for my dream organization (!!!).
People have been asking me in the months leading up to March 19th, "Aren't you scared to be turning 30?" Honestly, I'm not nervous at all. Oddly enough, this lack of negative emotions has shocked me for the past few weeks leading up to today, because all your life you grow up with people telling you how terrifying the "Dirty Thirty" bday is. I just haven't experienced that anxiety of aging at all yet though. (Minus the wrinkles and white hairs that have popped up. Those? Those have been a bummer.).
I just feel lucky. Really, really, really lucky to be right where I am. Living in San Diego in a teensy tiny house by the beach with Matt and our four [nonhuman] babies. Working from home for one of my very favorite animal protection organizations, The Humane League. Being able to do the exact work I've dreamt of doing since I was a kid, which has always been to work for animals. Planning a trip to Europe this summer to see two of our best friends get married in Santorini. Having healthy and loving relationships with friends and family (and, as of last month, a brand new niece too!). Simply getting the opportunity to do all of these things so early on in life. The very things that I grew up fantasizing about one day happening, but never being quite sure of the path it'd take to get there.
If I am being 100% truthful though, it was far from an easy journey the past decade. That said, however, I'm fortunate enough to finally be exactly where I imagined I'd be at 30. Reaching this place took a lot of risks and years of hard work. I say this not to be boastful, but because as I've become an adult I've realized it is okay to be proud of your accomplishments. We all work so hard to get where we want to be and, just like we'd congratulate our friends' on their successes, we should be proud of our own too!
It takes a lot of dedication and some real fearlessness to get what we really want out of our lives. And at times, for me personally at least, this meant I even had to accept that by defying people's [outdated] expectations of a "typical" 30-year-old (ya know the one - married, with a mortgage for a house in the suburbs that has 2+ guest bedrooms, and pregnant with my second child), some people just simply will never understand the choices we make. Again, that is okay. Just like the whole "white-picket-fence-American-Dream" lifestyle that many grow up hearing about is a great goal to have in life, so is the flip side.
(Side note: If you didn't already know, Matt and I met when we were 18. Over the past 11+ years together, I can't even begin to count the number of times people have told Matt and me how we have chosen to live our lives together isn't acceptable/appropriate/sustainable. Just because we don't have a "traditional" lifestyle or plan to have a wedding ceremony doesn't mean we aren't in a deeply loving, committed, supportive, lifelong partnership. Throughout all of our years together, we have never let public opinion sway us. And for that, I am so grateful. I never forget how fortunate I am to have a strong partner in Matt who is always on the same page at the end of the day, despite what some may say about relationships like ours. And while many people may judge our choices, we also have many family members and friends who are very understanding of Matt and I deciding not to get married and have kids. We do, however, know lots of other couples and single people who are also constantly plagued by the same extremely personal questions about marriage and having kids -- and that sh*t really needs to stop. It's time we let people make their own life decisions without always feeling the need to include our input. End of rant. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk 😜)
Whew. I seemingly got way off topic there! But it all comes back to this one vital theme I've learned throughout my 20s: It is okay not to want the same things that "everyone else" seems to want. Because truth be told, the most important expectations we need to live up to are our own -- not the standards set by our friends, partners, moms, dads, grandparents, in-laws, neighbors, etc. After all, when we are on our death beds do we really want to look back and regret never having made our own decisions because we were too afraid of what others may have said? No thanks. I want to go out knowing that even though I fell (and will most certainly continue to fall) on my face hundreds of times trying, at least I didn't give up on the life I always dreamed of.
Here's to the best that's still to come.
[These photos were taken off the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere during our road trip from Denver last summer. Matt and I simply couldn't drive safely while simultaneously trying to enjoy the view of this post-storm sunset. Sometimes ya just have to pull over and get out of the car on the side of a desolate road.]
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Thanks for reading and supporting this little blog o' mine. On to the next ten years 😊
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am so proud of you...and your choices. Plus, I get to go to San Diego twice a year and enjoy beautiful beaches and great vegan food! Life is great, and I know your future holds awesome new adventures. Love you!!! XXXOOOReplyDelete
This is a topic that is near to my heart...ReplyDelete
Cheers! Where are your contact details though?