I entered my thirties last spring— a time of flowers, happiness, and new life.
“Thirty, flirty and thriving!” are the words that accompanied a few of my birthday wishes. If that phrase doesn’t ring a bell, we can’t be friends.
I’m KIDDING— we can totally be friends!
It’s from the movie 13 Going On 30, in which Jennifer Garner plays a thirteen-year-old girl wishing herself into adulthood. “Thirty, flirty and thriving!” was the mantra she kept repeating to herself while hoping her wish would come true (it did— and needless to say, adulting wasn’t what she expected).
Let’s rewind to last April… when I turned thirty. Am I flirty? Not in the slightest. I don’t think I even remember how to flirt. Thriving? Not so much. More like… surviving.
My younger self pictured my thirty-year-old self as a fit, happily married, successful super-mom who was a writer and recording musician… but on the contrary, I’m actually an overweight, heartbroken, penny-pinching exhausted mom who writes to herself and has a book full of heartfelt original song lyrics tucked away somewhere. I’m not saying my life sucks. I’m blessed. I truly am. I just had higher expectations for myself.
I have come to realize, though, that where some things are missing, there have been other blessings seamlessly replacing them.
I thought I wanted the perfect body, but I am blessed with a body that created and carried two beautiful daughters. I thought I wanted the perfect wedding and perfect marriage, but I am blessed with the awareness to see my own worth and the strength to overcome heartbreak. I thought I wanted endless amounts of money, but I am blessed with a job where I am surrounded by endless love, which is the real meaning of “rich” to me. I thought I wanted constant energy, but I am blessed with two adorable reasons to be constantly tired. I thought I wanted my creativity to make me famous or something, but I am blessed with the rest of my life to enjoy creating… and to enjoy motherhood at my own pace.
We can piece together our ideal future all we want, but we don’t know what was destined to be on those pieces until we actually finish the puzzle. It’s like one of those mirror puzzles— no exact image is really on them but a reflection of the environment that you complete it in.
It’s safe to say that, after awhile, I rolled out of my turning-thirty slump and into a state of optimism.
I orchestrated my hand back into the creative arts again. I picked up my guitar again. I started applying my usual thin (but noticeably there) layer of mascara again. “This is THIRTY, baby!” I exclaimed in a Broadway-like manner to myself in the mirror one day.
I began to really dig deep into my daily emotions and habits, labeling each one and learning more about my mental health. I’ve even used my newfound knowledge to help others. Thirty hasn’t been so bad.
I’ll be turning thirty-one this spring— a time of flowers, happiness, and new life… and I’m looking forward to it.