My friend Margaret Jacobsen took this photo of me right around my 30th birthday. I consider it my official year 30 portrait.
I am 30 years old. I have only been 30 for a little over one month, but I can tell you that being this age is much different than I expected it would be years ago. To someone in their teens, 30 is SO OLD. I still kind of think it sounds old, but it doesn't feel old. I don't feel like a grown-up. I'm not sure when that will settle in. I already have two kids and I thought it would come by this point.
What I do feel is confidence. I'm much more confident than I have ever been in my life. I feel comfortable in my work and no longer have a high stress level when branching out to work on projects that are new. My last three freelance jobs came to me, I didn't seek them out. It is great to be at a point where opportunities are coming my way and I'm not having to awkwardly attempt to sell myself on limited merit.
I am also much more confident as a parent. Taking the kids to the grocery store by myself isn't a big deal anymore. If Pearl decides to throw a fit in the middle of Ikea, it barely phases me. I don't worry about what people around me are going to think of my parenting as a result of the situation. Kids are unpredictable, and even the calmest ones have their moments. I also generally don't care as much about what people think which is quite liberating.
With young kids, I still don't have a lot of freedom to take much time for myself. I have so many things that I would like to do. I want to work-out regularly, read more, and build more quality relationships with friends. I want to become more involved when it comes to social justice, make more art, and find my niche within my church. I'm making steps to do some of these things now. And as my kids age, I will have more time for myself. When I look ahead to 40, I now think it sounds pretty exciting. I wonder how many of these things I will be able to accomplish by then and what other twists and turns my life will take in that time.
Aging is scary. I see my grandparents as their bodies and minds are deteriorating. My parents are beginning to have health issues as well. It is frightening to know that is eventually on the horizon for me, too (if I'm lucky enough to make it to old age). But, at this point, I am able to recognize all of the amazing things that come along with getting older. With age, I am learning more about who I am and sensing that I am capable of so many more things.