I had a milestone birthday last month
I turned thirty.
The big 3-0.
It was good.
Now, if 18-to-25-plus-year-old me knew I would hit this ripe old age and still be a single cat lady, she would be horrified and depressed.
That is, more horrified and depressed than adolescent and young adult me was already.
30-year-old me, however, is okay with it. In fact, 30-year-old me feels good about the next decade.
It is something, isn’t it, how we tend to think of age in intervals. We compare “the 20s” to “the 30s” to “the 40s”. But at some point, we understand that age happens on a continuum, not in blocks. At some point in the transition to adulthood, we realize that no great shift happens on a birthday. Being 15 years, 364 days, 23 hours, and 59 minutes old feels no different than 16 years, 0 days, and 0 minutes. The person that we are doesn’t undergo any fundamental adjustment just because the earth made another revolution around good old Sol.
Yet people continue to create celebrations, and those celebrations center around transitions. Baby showers, birthdays, coming of age, graduations, weddings, leaving the office parties, and even funerals are founded on transition from one stage of life to the next. We seem driven to create compartments for what in reality is a seamless and gradual experience. I suppose it helps our minds handle what might otherwise become one great blurred mess.
At any rate, 30-year-old me looks forward to what life has to offer.
I’m blessed with a stable, loving family… both immediate and extended. I’ve got ten niblings, all of whom are growing and changing. It truly has been a privilege being a part of each of their unique unfolding personalities. I’ve gotten to experience those relationships in ways not every aunt and uncle can.
When I’m not working or doing school, I also get walked by my cat, make some effort to look after the other cat and two lizards, pound down caffeine and carbs, hang with family, go to church, and attend the occasional social event. I don’t make art as intensely as I did back in my high school days, but I’ve managed some sketches, homemade cards, and even a couple official projects.
Writing remains a part of my life. I’m working on a book with a friend and have another novel project that wonders how I expect it to write itself. I have several ideas for blog posts but apparently prefer mindless internet consumption to, you know, actually writing.
I’ve also done more cooking. I been impressed and pleased by the nutritious versatility of squash.
As for the career, working as a nurse has helped me develop confidence and some much-needed people skills. See, it turns out animals and infants may not care about the awkwardness factor, but adult humans do UGH.
I’ve also survived additional schooling and continue work on that. After this nice light summer semester with a single statistics course I will begin clinicals, in which I’ll be seeing patients as a student midwife with the guidance of less clueless preceptors. I know this stage of my schooling will be demanding, and I’m not sure what to expect. There will be traditional scholarly work on top of those clinical hours on top of work. But people have managed with more responsibilities and more work hours, so I can get through the upcoming three semesters with both my sanity and my finances intact.
Assuming I make it all the way through to next summer alive, I should then be qualified to sit for boards and, Lord willing, become a true certified nurse midwife. That’s been a thing several years in the works.
Where I’ll go after that is uncertain. The nice thing about this line of work is that it’s useful in a wide range of places. The less nice thing about that is I am only one body and I cannot actually be in all of the places at once. I’ll leave such shenanigans to the electrons and other quantum particles.
I like to think I’ve also grown in my faith, though I’ve got an obscenely long way to go before I’m the Apostle Pauline. Learning to embrace grace for myself has been a freeing experience, and I want to use that freedom to become more Christlike. At least in theory. That stuff is hard.
I had a good birthday, and I’m positive about the future.
Onward and upward, I suppose.