Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Big 3-0
Exactly ten years ago today I was in Barcelona, in an archery bar*, celebrating as I entered my 20s. At that time, when I imagined what I would be doing at 30, I felt filled to the brim with potential. I was sure that in one decade I would be the following:
1) Newly married (I wanted to get married at 28...how exactly I chose this number now eludes me.)
2) Finished with Law School at a prestigious institution.
3) Enjoying my career as a successful lawyer in public service (a career which in my mind somehow also made me well-off...hmmm.)
4) The newest up-and-coming political star likely to be the President of the United States or at the very least Governor of Oregon. (This is not a joke....I really thought this.)
5) Beautiful, fit, tan, and all that jazz.
Now, standing on that threshold (or I guess already having crossed it as it is 6am here), I find I have done very few of those things and that my life has taken a completely different direction. I was not who I thought I would be. And I realize this morning that that is okay. So it is on my list of things to do today to say goodbye of some of those goals and to embrace new ones.
I think my 20s was about "emergence," as I emerged in my adulthood, into my marriage, into my career. I realize that I could spend today asking if I had "emerged' enough...if I had accomplished enough or become enough or been enough, asking myself if I had hit the mark of what I wanted my life to be. But that's not what I'm going to do. Because now I'm 30. And 30-year-old me is focused on cultivating balance rather than calculating achievement....balance spiritually, professionally, and emotionally as well as balance in my expectations. I hope to reach 40 again aware that, sometimes, not fulfilling your expectations can be the best possible thing.
And so I'm off! (No, I actually really am. Our flight leaves in a few hours for the surprise tropical birthday vacation planned by my amazing husband who I married too early. At least this might help me work on part 5c!)
Here's to you 30!
*Yes....this is absolutely a bar where you shoot arrows in the bar while drinking (at the time) Rum and Cokes. Best idea ever.