It's here. Today is the day. Thirty (some short, some long) years ago my incredible parents (who I haven't mentioned much here but really are The Best) welcomed me into the world. According to my family's well-worn copy of The Birthday Book, I was born on the day of The Persuasive Presence and am on the Path of Introspection which means my fulfillment is "discovering the endless fascination of their own and others' inner workings." Which about sums up the theme of this blog, I think. Plus the quirky gelatin stuff. Not sure where that comes from.
The lead-up to this day hasn't been tortured by the panicked clock-ticking that many media outlets would predict (nay, prefer?) I would feel as an unmarried woman turning 30 - the absence of which I've puzzled over given my proclivity for existential crises - but there is, admittedly, a certain degree of groundedness that comes from having developed deep and loving relationships with not only a chosen partner but also dear friends and biological family. Before I met my partner, I had built an incredibly full life with relationships that I will forever be grateful for. But I can say that my life is made all the better for his presence in it and that gives me some sense of peace about embarking into the unknown of the next decade.
I enjoy the process of what some call "self-improvement." I'm sure some of this is fed by the Perfectionist in me. But I prefer to think of it as growth. I can't say for certain that I am an improved version of my 20 year-old self, but I have grown and changed over the past decade in ways that I'm pretty into.
I've sought more grace, more gentleness, and more truth in my choices. I've looked out into the world around me and sought, in small ways, to leave it better than I found it. I continue to have ambitions too great to achieve in my lifetime. I am sometimes overwhelmed by my own insignificant trails and lose sight of my purpose. This is something I am working to both ease and forgive.
I sometimes make choices and later wonder why. This applies to past boyfriends, hairstyles, and graduate degrees. I am often too hard on myself and others. I have an unreasonably high standard for cleanliness. I am working on learning from (or simply marveling at) the questionable choices, being more generous with others, and letting the dust pile up.
I hope that the years ahead hold meaningful work, just the right amount of navel-gazing, and a lot of love.