I've read many lists recently about what someone should have experienced by the time they turn 30. I've decided I'd rather create my own "list" about what I myself have learned as my 30th birthday approaches. I don't like the idea of having to accomplish what others have expected me to accomplish by now, but I'd rather celebrate those things I have found important in my own life... Here is what I have discovered about life in 30 years.
Mom was almost always right. I say almost because I can't quite give her permission to be right about everything from here on out just yet ;) Mom always told me that I would miss "this." She always said that I would want to come back to different ages, and when I was in high school, and I was wishing my life away - she knew one day I'd miss it.
And, I do. I miss the simplicity of life back then. In finding my own diaries and reading the entries from 1996 recently, I realize now how much fun it would be to be able to go back. At the time I hated it, I felt like there was so much more out there in the world to experience and I was stuck. I couldn't wait for life to happen. What I failed to realize was, life was happening. My girlfriends and I used to talk all the time, we would spend Saturday nights getting dressed up and go dancing and to carnivals and fairs, and then we'd have sleepovers. 30 years has taught me to not take things for granted. Even if I think what's happening in my life at a given moment isn't enough, one day I'll miss it and realize how great it really was. 30 years has taught me to live in the moment.
Mom was right about what boys wanted back then, and she was right when she told me to focus more on me. I spent many years trying to find the right person, and mom spent many years worrying about my never ending search for the perfect person. It wasn't until I lived alone with my girlfriends and tried being single that I realized that searching for the perfect person is senseless, nurturing your own soul and becoming the best you can be is purposeful. That is when I was able to meet the right person. 30 has taught me that I am responsible for my own happiness, I can't depend on someone else to do that for me. I know I've found the right person because he has seen me at my worst and he still loves me unconditionally. This is the right relationship to nurture.
God will always give me the right friends in my life at just the right time. I've lost touch with many people over the years, but I will always love them. I see clearly what our purpose was for knowing each other during that season of our lives. 30 has taught me that I need to be more present in my friendships and tell them what they mean to me because there is no way of knowing when we may lose touch.
God's timing is perfect. It's useless to expect things to happen in my time frame because God has a plan for me. When he knows I am ready to experience something or have something, He will bring it to my life. 30 has taught me to be patient and trust God's will, because He has NEVER let me down.
My family has been tested through the years. We are a family that hugs, says I love you every time we speak, cries together, and laughs together. 30 has taught me that my family will be there for each other through anything and everything, no matter what it is, and I am lucky, because not every family is this way.
Time flies by. It goes too fast. Be happy that it's Monday, don't wait for the weekend to get here. 30 has taught me not to wish my life away.
Pets don't live long enough. 30 has taught me to take a break from my daily to do list, and lay on the floor with my dogs.
Growing up, I couldn't wait to leave my small town. Now that I've moved away I am sad thinking of what and who I left, knowing my kids won't know exactly where I've come from... 30 has taught me to appreciate my roots, and get back to them as often as I can.
There is no one else in the world exactly like me. My purpose in life is to inspire others and live my life so that those who may not know how to express their emotions will be moved to do so. 30 has taught me to live on purpose and be who I am, not who I am expected to be.
I've learned amazing things in the last 30 years in addition to what I've listed here. Quite frankly, turning 30 scares me. Getting older always scared me. But, if what I have learned in the last 30 years can inspire me to live the next 30 better than I did the last, than I suppose life is going to be pretty great!