Thoughts on Thirty

I’ve been looking forward to turning 30 for a few years now.  I’ve always felt older than my age, so in my head I’ve been 30 for awhile.  I’ve always thought it would be the best compliment for someone to call me an “old soul”.  But now it’s less than a week until that number is official.  And somehow, all the sudden, I don’t feel ready.

Maybe it’s because growing up I always made my favorite Barbie (named my favorite name–Stacey) be 19 (the perfect, mature age), and she was married to Ken and had baby triplets!  If my life had gone as Stacey’s did, I’d have three 10 year olds by now!  Triplets aside, 30 still feels like you should have at least one kid.  But I don’t.

30 feels like your house should be decorated just like the cute hip magazines, you’re passing on your wisdom to those young folks in their 20s, and you don’t wonder what you’re here for anymore.  But none of that is my life.  So how am I turning 30?!?

On the other hand, I don’t want to be the dramatic girl who completely has a crisis over turning 30 and afterwards tells everyone who is 29 how awful it is to turn 30.  I want to be a graceful, thankful 30.

So instead of dwelling on the “should”s and lamenting how my existence is pointless, I’ve started making lists.  The first is a list of 30 major happenings in my life.  It includes trips I’ve taken (Egypt, Myrtle Beach, etc.), major life events (getting married), and things I’ve done to make a difference (donated a kidney, etc.).  It’s really helped me to see how full my 30 years have been.  I’ve been on exciting adventures, and also haven’t wasted all of the time and resources God has given to me.  I like that list.  The second list is a list of 30 people in my life who have helped me to grow spiritually.  This includes pastors I’ve had over the years, youth leaders, friends, older women who would let me hang out with their families while they showed me what it meant to live as a follower of Christ, people I had one-time life-changing conversations with, and others.  This list has shown me how loved I am, how I value my relationship with Christ and the bit of theology I’ve studied, and how certain people have come along at just the right time when I’ve needed what they had to offer over the past 30 years.

I’m still contemplating more lists.  Maybe a list of 30 people I have loved with my life, to remind me that my 30 years haven’t been all about me.

30 still seems a little daunting, but it also has a friendly smile to it.  I may still freak out on the actual day.  But one thing I know for certain: Christ was enough for me at 29, and He will be enough for me at 30.  (Whether I have kids or not.)

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