In reflecting the past few days, I have been struck by the reality that tomorrow is my 30th birthday. I was thinking about the past 30 years and everything I have done and grown to be. I was thinking about how (or if) I would change that if I could and what things I would keep the same. I came to the conclusion that what I did in my first 25 years of life pales in comparison to the growth, opportunity, and experiences I have had the last 5 years alone.
When I was a little girl, I loved to play outside. I showed leadership (or bossy) qualities at a young age as I was the oldest of four. I once told a bully at school that was teasing me because “her house was bigger than ours” that “she must be full of shit if she needs so many bathrooms.” I ran an “Earth Club” when I was 8. Yes, I held meetings in a ditch, actually. 🙂 I rode my bike most of where I went because I remember the independence I felt whizzing to the corner store or a friends house with the breeze blowing through my hair. I was a tom boy and enjoyed nothing more than keeping my “side of the room” (I shared with my sister) neat and tidy. I have always loved writing…and reading. I’ve always been a “clipper”; cutting articles from the newspaper and magazines still bring me joy today. I liked organizing everything – construction paper by color, Barbie shoes, and colored pens. I regularly was gifted craft supplies as a child. I always had super long hair and was once Pippi Longstocking for Halloween. I enjoyed structure as a child and I normally made the chore charts and family rules to distribute to my siblings. But at the same time, I was allowed to make messes and explore my surroundings because that is what kids should be doing. My first computer had DOS processing system. In highschool, I enjoyed forcing myself to run sprints in the field next to our house. I painted my own bedroom whenever I wanted and it was always different colors (like, all four walls…none of them matched) and I am thankful that my parents “allowed” me to express myself in that way. I stared “breaking the mold” when I was very young. I was a risk-taker. I cut all my hair off in late elementary because I could. I bought a $3,000 purple Chevy Caviler convertible in high school – my first lesson in “managing debt.” There was a lot in between, but from there it seems I was the first (and only) in my family to boldly move from my hometown and graduate from college. And since coming to Kalamazoo, the rest is history! Needless to say, I’m pretty glad I came!
Tomorrow is my 30th birthday and for some reason it seems like a “milestone” – like learning to walk or ride a bike. Will someone give me a skittle please? Sucker? Goodie bag? Gold star? I don’t know. I made it. The past 5 years, however, have been different from the first 25. I have learned to be a mommy, a stay-at-home-mommy, a working mommy, a wife, a homeowner, a manager, an event planner, a daughter-in-law (still working on this one), an involved community participant, a volunteer, a multi-tasker (beyond my wildest dreams), an entrepreneur, a pet-keeper, a fitted sheet folder, a gardener, a quilter, a knitter, a latte-lover, a tea drinker, a better friend, and above all, a lover of life. I love God and I love the life he has given me. His blueprint holds the truth. My truth. His blueprint holds my individualized fulfillment, success, and satisfaction. God has revealed himself to me in all the surrounds me daily – particularly my husband, our son, our church, our friends, our community and our home. We are SO blessed! Bring on the next decade because I’m ready!