I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time, but I wanted to wait until 30 was knocking at my door with it’s Cheshire cat grin. With less than a month to go, it’s almost here. I guess it is really just a number, and that there will be no discernible difference between waking up on August 31st and September 1st, but I’ve built it up into this grand life-changing event. I felt it start the anxiety start creeping in with around six months to go, and it’s been either at the back of my mind or the forefront ever since.
What worries me the most is that once you turn 30, it’s such an adult age; you should be pretty grown up by now. It seems like when you turn 30, that you’re no longer allowed to mess up or experiment. After all, that’s what your twenties are for. When you turn 30, you should be hitting your stride in life, like a show that’s in its third season. Everything should be pretty firmly established, and you should know what it is you want out of life.
I was a lost soul during my twenties. If I boiled it down to the three most important things that happened in my twenties, it would be that I got my Master’s degree and bachelor’s degree (could lump those two together), and I lost my father. I’ll not harp on the latter. I’ve written before about floating out in space, and for years on end I just felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I knew that I wanted to be someone, to accomplish something, but when you don’t know who you want to be, or what you want to accomplish, it’s hard to get too far in any given direction.
When I moved home in January of 2016, although my twenties were nearing their end, I knew that I had things I wanted to accomplish. I’d spent so much of my twenties in mourning and just muddling through, and I wanted to make sure that when I turned 30, that I’d be ready to hit the ground running. I didn’t want to be stretching out for the big run; I wanted to be at a full sprint when the clock struck 12.
With just about a month two go, I was offered a job that I’m very excited about. I also wake up every day excited to write and read, to get better at the hobby that I love. The most important thing is that I wake up every day just happy to be alive, and I mean that sincerely. I’ve lost too many people not to have an appreciation for life and every day as its own unique and individual entity. I wake up knowing that today is another day to get it right, another day to progress, another day to further myself both personally and professionally. For so much of my twenties, there were days that were a slog to get through, where I was just trying to kill time, just trying to pass the hours until I could get back to sleep. So many days were spent feeling sorry for myself or hollowed out.
The way I look at it may be dramatic, but to me it rings true: I feel like I’ve already died once. I feel like I lost everything about half way through my twenties, and was blessed with the chance to start over, to continue living, to right the proverbial ship. Now that I have a better idea of the goals and dreams I’m pursuing, I want more time. I want time to make things right, time to follow my dreams, time to do some good for people who need it.
My grandmother (Oma) told me that she enjoyed every year of her life. There’s something to be said for that, for not longing for the past, but being able to enjoy what each year of your life can bring you, even though life only seems to get more difficult. She made it until one day shy of her 96th birthday, and lived a damn good life in the process. I still can’t help but feel that she was taken from me too soon. Our relationship had started to shift from Grandmother-Grandson to more of a peer-to-peer relationship, and since I’ve never known my mother, I was hoping to have her around a little bit. I miss her every day, but the lessons she gave to me, the memories of my mother, those are things I’ll never forget. I tried to write down and commit to memory as many of these lessons and memories as I could.
I can’t really explain the feeling of peace that I get when I’m in the ocean, especially when I’m by myself. I went on a trip with some friends to Cuba this past May, and on the day before I left, we all went to the beach. The water was several shades of the purest blue, and the waves rhythmically crashed on the shore with destructive force. I swam out by myself and into the waves, letting myself float and just be surrounded by the beauty. The sun was beaming down with potent force, and we all got a little more sunburned than we meant to, but in that moment, I was free from everything, free to think my thoughts and just be at peace.
I looked up into the sky and spoke to my father, spoke to god. I thanked god for the blessings he’s bestowed upon me, and I probably asked him for more time; I almost always do. I hope that I make my father proud, and that I honor his memory with whatever I do in life. More than anything, I was thankful that after all the things I’ve endured, that my future was still mine. I’m still free to do whatever I want for the rest of my life, and is the greatest gift of all.