Sep 6, 2014

On Turning 30

"I am not young enough to know everything." 
— Oscar Wilde

When I turned 29, it felt like a such a sudden, big milestone. All the years before were instantly condensed into "my 20s", and I was standing on the edge of a new decade. It seemed a whole lot more monumental than turning 10 or 20 did.

In twelve short days, my 20s will officially be a thing of the past. When I think about the girl I am now, I can't help but be amazed at all the girls I have been before. I thought I would share a few of the things I've learned these past ten years, along with some photos of my journey so far.

{first day of kindergarten. minnie mouse backpack.}
1. I've learned that being alone is good for me. I used to assume I was a failure because I am never surrounded by 50 friends or because I don't attend parties every weekend. I've realized that the company of my own thoughts is what I crave much of the time. Solitary drives are beautiful. Walks alone are sacred. I am not the kind of girl who needs the noise of others. I need the quiet. I love the quiet.

2. My parents were right. Especially the times I didn't think they were right. (There you go, Mom and Dad.)

3. My self esteem has never been particularly high, but it's a lot higher now than it was when I was 15. I'm thankful for that. I'd hug that beanpole girl if I could.

{bonnet baby.}
4. On the whole, if I get the chance to do something, I should do it. And if I don't, I shouldn't beat myself up about not doing it.

5. I don't have time for relationships that constantly disrupt my happiness. I've learned to value peace above pretending to like someone who doesn't like me. It's okay to have some distance from toxic acquaintances.

6. I like old things. I always have, so this is not a new discovery, but when I wrote that I wanted to do more with my hands, I really meant it. It's important to me that Millie and Walter have a mom who can do things like plant something, embroider something, bake something, read something for pleasure, and fold an origami crane.

7. I had an amazing body when I was 20. And even though I could tell you dozens of things about myself that I wish I could change, I'm trying to appreciate that I probably look better now than I will when I'm 70, so I might as well enjoy it. And enjoying it can mean wearing something that isn't always from the juniors section. I realize the 'grown up section' is actually okay now. I like being a grown up sometimes.

{angelic in saddle shoes.}
8. I have a blog, I only take online college courses, and I use Google with the best of them. But if I could choose, I would go back to the world before the internet. Truly.

9. I've learned that it's stupid to order the largest drink at the movie theater if I want to sit through the whole movie, and I've also learned that it's usually stupid to pay $9 to see a movie when I hate 95% of the ones I see. Spend a dollar at Redbox, wear pajamas at home, pause the movie 50 times, and eat all the snacks I want.
{sitting on the porch with my brother, wearing clear glitter jellies. NBD.}
10. I've learned that I have to prioritize. I don't get a chance to read for pleasure when I'm taking full time college classes. I don't get to clean as much if Millie and I are baking something together. I don't get to bake as much if Walter is having a rough day. Everything has a time and a place, and figuring those out makes everyone a lot happier.

{Christmas presents after my dad's shift at the firehouse.}
11. I will never like math, I will never be great at public speaking, I will never enjoy science, and I should never say never. Except about those things, because yuck.

12. When I think about Millie and Walter turning 30, it makes me a nervous wreck to think about all they will have to go through to get there. But it makes me happy that they will probably arrive in a similar spot as I am, with experiences that taught them the good and the bad in life, and the comfort of knowing that life really does get better with each year- not necessarily the circumstances, but the outlook.

{I like your sleeves. They're real big.}
13. I should always set my standards high. So high. And then give grace when they aren't met, because I've never met everyone's either.

14. I still don't have a clue about what I'm doing when it comes to being a mother, but I am figuring it out a day at a time, and that's all I can do. Millie and Walter unknowingly teach me every day, and those lessons slowly make me a better parent. Sometimes I look in the mirror, and see such an unqualified, too young, foolish girl to be in charge of two little souls. But they love me and I am over the moon for them and, somehow, that is enough to get us where we're supposed to be.

{hugging my brother, which looks like a carbon copy of Walter.}

15. I am much more okay with turning 30 than I thought I would be. Because I wouldn't have learned these things any other way. And because, like the rest of the 30 year olds, I see how young 30 really is, and how I still have so much more to learn. And because I can be 30 years old and still wear cute boots or sparkly nail polish or non-mom-jeans.

30 is not the new 20. Instead, I am the new 30. So out with the old, in with the new, and here's to a new decade of blank pages.


  1. all of these are so good! love #5 especially.

  2. Happy birthday, girl! Hope it's a great day!

  3. Amazing lessons learned. I loved them all. Also, I thought that was Millie in the pic with your clear jellies.

  4. I definitely think both of your kiddos look very similar to you and your brother as babies! I am so glad 30 doesn't look so scary these days!

  5. happy birthday, sweet internet friend :)

  6. Happy Birthday! What a great lessons learned. xox

  7. 30 is coming up for me in June. I loved reading all your life lessons, especially #2. How true!

  8. In light of eternity, 30 is barely a drop in the bucket. Enjoy and savor each day! May your every birthday reflect a life well lived, and full of the joy of having another year's wisdom. Beautiful post! (As always.) You are so loved.

  9. Love this. Happy Birthday! (When it gets here.)

  10. Thirty is good. Happy belated birthday!


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