I was out to dinner with my good friend, Erica, a few weeks ago. During dinner, she said something rather wise. It must be because she's approaching her 30th birthday too.
She said something along the lines of when you're 16 years old, you think you know everything. Everyone else is an idiot. Your parents, your teachers, pretty much an adult in your life just doesn't get it and probably never will. At 21, with your alcohol-infused brain in the driver's seat, you realize you obviously didn't know everything at 16....because you know it all now! At 25, you start to get the sense that maybe there are things you don't know. You consider the possibility that there might still be things for you to learn. And at 30....well, at 30, you realize you actually don't know shit!
I have come to have a new appreciation for the saying "Men plan. God laughs." As life moves along, it's clear that it just doesn't unfold the way that you expect it to. Things get tossed in the way that you never would have expected. Oh, hello there, Diabetes!
If you had asked me at 16 or 21 or even 25, what I'd be doing when I was 30, I probably would have told you that I would be married with at least one or two kids while successfully running my own non-profit organization. Of course, by 30, I would be wildly successfully, completely healthy, and well on my way to financial independence!
You can stop laughing now.
If I was today what my deluded younger self thought I should be, I would married to the wrong person, with children I wasn't ready for, in a job that was over my head. I am actually really glad that I'm not any of those things.
While at times I still feel like I'm waiting for life to start, I see how much life I've already had and how really fucking good its been. Its had its ups and downs, but it has shaped me into the person I am today. And she's not too shabby. I also see how much more life there is to come and it's pretty damn exciting.
So...go ahead! Come at me, 30! I am ready for ya!