Monday, April 22, 2013

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

Do you remember that movie called 13 Going on 30? It starred Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink, a 13 yr old girl who, after a disastrous 13th birthday party, wished to just be "30, flirty, and thriving"? With the help of some magic wishing dust given to her by her best pal Matt, Jenna gets her wish and her 30 yr old life seems beyond perfect, on the outside at least. Jenna soon realizes though that she has grown up to be a selfish, vane, greedy person who ditched her only true friend (and love) for popularity. In an instant, what seemed to be the "perfect life" she always dreamed of isn't so perfect after all and Jenna wants a do over. Lucky for her, magic wishing dust is in the picture and she goes back to being her 13 yr old self, able to do things right this time and with her true love by her side.

This movie has been on my mind for the past few days since yesterday was my 30th birthday. I know, shocker right?! Who would ever guess I'm 30???!! Yeah, it shocks me too.
Photo taken on my 30th birthday

And I can tell. I can tell  I'm officially "not young" because they no longer card me at the grocery store when I buy wine. I can tell I'm "not young" because of how my knees feel after sitting Indian-style on the floor for 30 minutes. I can tell I'm "not young" anymore because the thing I wanted most for my birthday this year was not a night out with my friends or some big party, but house and carpet cleaning. LAME.

So even though turning 30 can bring out the humdrum-ness in the best of us, it is a milestone nonetheless. A milestone that means your youth is long gone and "you should have it together by now." By 30, you should be well on your way in life, headed toward the places you wanna be with a little life under your belt to help you avoid the pot holes and speed bumps in your path. I'll have to admit though, if my 13 yr old self could see my 30 yr old self, I'm not sure what she'd think. Ha! Certainly working in ministry in North Carolina, celebrating a 3rd wedding anniversary and having a soon-to-be- 13 yr old stepdaughter would come as a big surprise! Life definitely hasn't turned out exactly as I anticipated as a teenager. It's sort of laughable to remember the things I wanted and who I wanted to be with. Lucky for me God had his hand on my life long before the age of 13 and my course in life wasn't just left up to me. He's directed my path since the beginning, letting me follow my dreams and find new ones along the way, dreams that were his dreams for me and far exceeded the pictures I had painted of my future.

I hope my 13 yr old self would be proud of the person I've become, but honestly... I'm not that interested in looking back. Don't get my wrong, I love to remember and reminisce, but that's not where I want to spend the bulk of my time. In my 30 years I've learned that life is short, much shorter than we ever let ourselves believe, and I wanna make the most of every second. 13 and 30 have been good to me, but my sights are now set on the 35 yr old and 40 yr old version of me that is yet to be. I wanna be better - wiser, more peaceful, more giving, more full of joy and less full of me and the things that so readily ensnare me. I want to be thriving- on the inside, like I never have before.

So in lieu of 13 Going on 30 and this forward glance and hope for my future, I wrote a letter to my future self yesterday, my 35 yr old self.
I will open it on my 35th birthday and compare who I am then to who I wanted to be at 30. Hopefully I will have changed. For the better. Hopefully my 35 yr old self will barely resemble my 30 yr old self. Hopefully I will still be thriving and not wish for a do over like Jenna.

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