i'm thirty. like, as in minutes ago.
and i am happily thirty.
i took all the twenties and kissed them good-bye tonight...tucked them away in boxes with all their sweet memories and sorrows.
twenty-three was easy to box up...went in there without a fight. me and twenty-three never got along that great, so the good-bye was easy. twenty-eight was another story. i held it in my arms for a long time before i packed it up...stared at it and remembered just how special it was. and then i thanked it for changing my life, kissed it and told it i'd come visit when i could.
and once the twenties were safely stored and a proper farewell was said, i brought out the new box. i can't see in it yet, but i can tell just by the outside that there is beauty inside. sorrow too...yes, i'm sure. but there is in every box, and this one seems to come with more coping skills. more growth. more experiences. more challenges. more love.
i can't wait.
and so, what does one write when one is turning such a page in one's life?
i'm not sure, but it seems fitting to write a bit about what i've learned about myself. it's taken me a long time, but here's a few things i've finally grasped, at just-minutes-into-this-big-three-oh...
(and a quick tangent to declare my love & adoration for the song playing. i've been waiting for it to land on playlist, and perhaps...a little birthday present...it arrived. it is beautiful. it is moving.)
i've learned...that looks aren't everything but feeling good is. and yes, feeling pretty is oh-so-important...but i think i'm finally gettin' the hang of what makes me feel pretty. and i've found it in...sure, some lipsticks, a good hair-cut, eating somewhat healthy, finding a pair of jeans that make my butt look like a million bucks...but the bulk of it? in motherhood. in love. in confidence. in family. in rocking my baby to sleep in an old nightgown and disheveled hair.
...but i found it. and that's what matters.
i've learned...the power of a good, long bath. on a bad day. on a tired body.
i've learned...that, despite feeling the need to hide it or justify it, i'm okay with admitting i'm rootin' for britney spears. i can admit that, although trash-ily dressed and falling slightly short of motherhood's standards, i like her music. and, synthesized or not, i like to dance to it. i can even come clean with the fact that gimme more once came on in the car, and i damn near crashed my car into a guardrail because i let go of the steering wheel to boogie down.
i've learned...that once and awhile, a little "damn" never hurt anybody.
i've learned...that i like my meat medium-rare.
i've learned...that i'm perfectly okay with the fact that i have laugh lines around my mouth. because i earned them. ...from being happy.
i've learned...that it's okay to need to be loved. i've always hated that about myself...fought the fact that i like hugs and e-mails and letters and phone calls and want to know i'm loved. i never wanted to need to be told i'm loved...thought it was tough to pretend i didn't. but i can't fight it. it's my language. i'm a good lover (as in one-who-loves, mind you), and i think, in return, i can't help but want it back. i love to be loved...and it took me thirty years to say that.
i've learned...that there are women in the world who are wonderful...not catty or cutting or jealous or competitive. there are women who love and support. there are women who fill all the little nooks of your soul with goodness and kindness. there are women who really want you to succeed and be the best you can possibly be. ...and i have found them.
i've learned...to appreciate good food and drink...and to make memorable experiences from them.
i've learned...that you are the author of your own happiness.
i've learned...that you cannot write your past...but you can certainly write your present and your future.
i've learned...there is a secret nook on the right side of brett's neck that i can fit into...and it's safe and calm and happy...right there.
i've learned...that I believe in God, but that I have the liberty to explore who he is on my own...and that he wants me to. I've learned that God is oh-so-much bigger and more beautiful than the books written about him. ...and that he can be found, most prominent, in places away from church. I've learned that I will never know everything about him, but that I will learn more every day.
i've learned...that i love babies...very, very much.
i've learned...that the best music, you'll never hear on the radio.
i've learned...that in-laws are worth the wait. and, if you're lucky, this awesome little family lands in your lap, half-way into your life.
i've learned...that family is everything. and never to be taken for granted. and that i wouldn't be the same without mine.
i've learned...a kind of love that has no words. an all-consuming, life-changing kind of love.
...and that i feel so much more responsibility to be confident, to love, to give...because she will learn from me. and with that responsibility comes this profound happiness.
i've learned...that i'd rather have a closet full of a few valuable favorites than a bunch of cheap stuff i found on sale. ...because quality is always better than quantity.
i've learned...that sandlewood is my signature scent.
i've learned...that additives are bad and there's nothing wrong with real butter, real sugar, and real fat.
i've learned...that i love sushi.
i've learned...that killing me softly is my never-fail karaoke song.
i've learned...that snail mail kicks e-mail's butt.
i've learned...that taking photographs is a spiritual experience for me.
i've learned...that there is good in everyone.
i've learned...that picking up everything and moving to florida in three days on a whim can reap beautiful, beautiful rewards.
...and that's all in thirty years.
...and there's so much more to learn.
...and i will. in good time.
but for now...on this, my thirtieth birthday...i can say that i've learned how to be truly happy.
and for that i'm thankful.
...enjoying the it's-my-birthday things. ~k