Saturday, March 9, 2013

I think I like {normal}

I'm celebrating the big 3-0 today...leaving the twenties and joining the world of "thirty-somethings". I've been anticipating this day for a while now, trying to comfort myself with the old adage that "everything is better with age". It's a tough sell unless you consider sagging boobs, wrinkling skin and thinning hair {better}, which I don't particularly. But more on that in a moment.

I rarely sit down and give myself the mental space to process life. It usually just happens at a rapid pace and I do my best to keep all balls spinning properly in the air as we go. I decided one of my thirtieth birthday gifts should be a moment of stillness to reflect on what has been and what's to come. So here goes...

I have a vivid memory of myself sitting in a friends' room during my Senior year of high school lamenting the thought of ourselves in our thirties, married with children, living a "normal" American life. At that age and stage of my life, such a reality was almost nauseating. I had way too many dreams; bigger, better things to do with my life than to consider {normal} an acceptable adjective. I wanted to change the world, exceed expectations, be radical. I definitely didn't want a house in the suburbs or a white picket fence (oh the irony!).

I have lived in multiple cities since that senior year conversation, both out-of-state and international, learned two languages, made new friends and lost some old ones, married an incredibly generous and kind man, paid my way through college, fostered an amazing child, started that "world changing" journey then came back to {normal}, gave birth to two gorgeous children, started a career then switched it, opened my own business...and now I'm turning thirty. Like many of you, the past 12 years have had lots of laughs and lots of tears, but mostly lots of change and unexpected twists and turns in the road. I never could have dreamed up all the good and bad that has taken place or where it's led me today.

I think one of the biggest unexpected twists along the way has been within myself. I'm not who I was at 18, hopefully largely in positive ways. I'm not nearly so idealistic, not so black-and-white or sure of the world. I expect the unexpected and bow to the uncertainties of life with the reverence a mortal human should. I'm more flexible, a little more patient. I love myself a lot more. I acknowledge my short-comings way more. I'm more authentic and real and less willing to be around people who are not. I'm content. I'm growing and learning everyday. 

And perhaps the biggest twist of all: I'm thankful for my {normal} American life. I absolutely love being a stay-at-home mom of two and a wife to a high school English teacher. I like running a little business out of my basement, getting together with a couple close friends on the weekend and blogging about {normal} life here and there. Nothing world changing, nothing radical. Just me and my little family quietly living life. 

And frankly, {normal} is not as bad as it once sounded. It's secure. It's relatable. It's real. Thank you age for that perspective! I think I'll stick with {normal} for a while...

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