I turned 30.
Sheesh, that is still a little surprising to see in print.
I made a goal long ago to never complain about my age. I hate it when other people do that. Why is it taboo to say the words, with head ducked in shame, "I am 53." That's not embarrassing, it's amazing! Some people never even make it out of childhood.
And yet, I found myself feeling a tad apprehensive about the approach of a new decade. Because, let's be honest, the 20's are some pretty good years. Most people are healthy, energetic, idealist, fun, and, often, a shade irresponsible. (Sometimes more than a shade).
But once that grand threshold from 20-something to 30-something is crossed, there is no going back. You are, unequivocally, a grown-up. And there's no going back.
I have found great comfort in reminding myself that other people I know/admire have also crossed this great divide. My parents. My two older brothers. Abraham Lincoln. Charlton Heston. I am not alone.
Aside from becoming a grown-up (and by the way I really feel like I should get a certificate in the mail or something, so I feel more legit), I'm not sure why we make birthdays harder than they need to be. Is it regret over lost opportunities of the past decade? A mourning for our fleeing youth? Jealousy for people that are younger are perhaps more attractive/skinnier/boasting fewer grays? Well, they will cross the threshold too. And then they'll be jealous of the younger people. It's a vicious, pointless cycle. As for my fleeing youth, I enjoyed being young, but I'm not sure I want to go back. I'm a better person now. I've learned stuff. My younger self kind of bugs me. I'd rather cut ties and move on as Camber 3.0.
Here is a rough photo timeline of my 20's. Digital pictures from college are a little scanty, because yes, I used film back then (gasp).
|Mount Timpanogos 2008|
32 weeks pregnant
And 30 years old
As for regret for lost opportunities of the past decade, there are lots of cool things it would have been fun to do (cruise, sky-diving, African safari minus the stampeding rhinos and risking exposure to a sketchy African disease, etc.), I also feel like I packed in a lot of great things:
becoming an EMT and volunteering with BYU EMS
picking a major
studying abroad in both Mexico and Argentina
running a full marathon (without blisters!)
graduating from college and becoming an RN
marrying Isaac (awwwwwwww.....)
working as a nurse for 5 1/2 years
helping lots and lots of people in pain
causing lots and lots of people pain (usually with needles)
traveling to Hawaii, Disneyland, the beach, Washington D.C., Chicago, Nauvoo, and Boston
hiking lots of mountains
moving to the midwest
surviving a midwest blizzard
moving to Cincinnati
and, most exciting (after marrying Isaac), being pregnant
I'm not doing this to brag (although I am proud of picking a major. That was traumatizing) but to express gratitude for a chance to be alive 10 more years. Also it makes me feel like the last 10 years were productive.
Because mostly I just feel like they went too fast.