You’ve been 29 years and 364 days in the making and the anticipation has built to this very day, the day you and I meet. Nice to meet you, my name is Lauren, and I couldn’t be happier to finally come face-to-face with the age that many hate to become. Not me, I’m excited! I’m over my twenties, they have no more to offer me and it is time to say goodbye. I’m grateful for never creating expectations for you. I never saw myself as anything more than happy at this age. I didn’t expect to be married or with kids, I had no idea where I would be or WHO I would be for that matter. I came to you, 30, on a road that was created whim after whim, impulsive decision after impulsive decision. As Robert Frost said:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I have loved the surprise of each new day and each new year. I have loved the surprise of each new soul that has crossed my path and I continue to look forward to tomorrow in awe and in wonder of what it may bring me.
I feel great today and, unlike many may think, I actually do feel different. It’s hard to explain, but something about turning yesterday’s page to today feels refreshing and liberating. My twenties were filled with love and heartache, hundreds of new beautiful friendships and the closing of doors to others, the birth of precious babies and the loss of the most important man in my life, a Bachelor’s degree and then a Master’s degree, the adoption of my baby girl (my dog and companion), weight gain and loss (and, well, let’s be honest, gain lol), the purchase of my first home and my first car, a love affair with travel that included a year in Spain teaching others while actually learning more from them than I could ever teach anyone and, the most important of all, the continual growth and discovery of who I am as a woman and discovering what this wonderful world has to offer me!
As I start this new chapter in my life I can only hope to continue to love and lose, to meet amazing new friends and to welcome more precious babies into this world while saying goodbye to special souls that move on, but, most of all, I can only hope to continue to LEARN! As Gandhi says, ““Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Not only was he a brilliant man and beautiful soul, but I happen to also share his day of birth. Happy birthday to you too, Gandhi, and thank you for always being the wisdom in my ear to get me through the day. I want to learn until I can’t learn anymore. I want to learn about myself and about others, about my culture and the cultures of the world, I want to learn languages and patience and I want to learn how the woman of my 20s can grow throughout my 30s to be the best woman of my 40s, the wisest woman of my 50s, the most inspiring woman of my 60s, the kindest woman of my 70s, the accomplished woman of my 80s and the content woman of my 90s.
Welcome, 30, with open opens! Let’s do this!
(Please enjoy “Humble Me” by Norah Jones linked above. It’s one of my favorites and truly expresses how I feel today. And, Dad, I wish you were here. I sure as hell didn’t get to 30 without you and owe much of the woman I have become to you. As you ALWAYS said, I know you’re “still along for the ride.” GOOD! Because I can’t do this without you!)