Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Twilight of My Youth

I'm 30. That happened. Just a few weeks ago, I crossed over into MY THIRTIES. Honestly, I'd been dreading it so badly since the second I turned 29 that it almost felt like a relief to get it over with. I wasn't prepared to really feel a difference, though. On the eve of my 30th birthday, the last day of my 20s, I opted to stay in, watch some Dawson's Creek (my latest Netflix undertaking), and get into bed early. Start my 30s off right, ya know? (Plus the weekend before was busy with celebrations, and Halloween night was sure to be a good night out.) But per my usual, "one more episode" after the next of Dawson ensued, and I was up at around 12:30 when Sara Beth came in to say "hey - you know you're 30 now, right?" I actually felt WEIRD. Older. Changed. Dramatic? Probably. (Hence, the title of this post, a line from a Ryan Adams song... "I am in the twilight of my youth, not that I'm going to remember...")

Someone call the fire department! And yes, that's a Harry Potter scarf. And glow sticks. I celebrated 30 in style.

So in keeping with the Thanksgiving holiday and the past two years of reflecting around my birthday, I give you: 15 Reasons I'm Thankful at 30. (Some of them may repeat from 2011 and 2010, but that just means I'm consistent, right?)
  1. I got to grow up in the 90s. I feel sorry for the kids who grew up in the 2000s. They never will know what it's like to not have a cell phone and to wait at home for a phone call. And while we have our moments of ridiculousness and excess, my generation was truly the last to get to appreciate Disney movies before CGI. And we got to live through 90s grunge and 90s country and not just appreciate it in retrospect. Can you imagine how hard it must be to please kids these days? My poor children are going to hate me some day when I tell them to play outside and listen to some records and not play games all day.
  2. In that same token, I'm grateful I got to live out my high school and college years without them being documented completely by social media. Yikes.
  3. I'm not gonna lie - we don't wrinkle that badly in my family. Plus, I grew up slathering on sunscreen (whereas my mom and grandma sunned wearing pure baby oil for most of their lives). Add to that the fact that I've been using creams and such to ward off aging for years now, and I get a lot of "You look more like you're 25 than 30!" comments. They may be lying or buttering me up, but I'll take it.
  4. I have the best friends in the world. No, seriously. They are better than yours. When you reach my age and some friendships span double decades, you know how to pick 'em and keep 'em. (And that also means that you know the right kind of new people to let in your life and call them true friends, as well.)
  5. I live a mile down the street from my sister. When you live 6 hours away from your family and hours away from most of your best friends, having your sister (who happens to be my favorite person most days) just down the road is quite the perk.
  6. I have a great job that allows me to learn and grow, gives me the flexibility to play (and sleep in), and that challenges me daily.
  7. My family may not be perfect, but they're wonderful. And I never once have to worry that I'm not loved or that I can't fall back on them if the need arises.
  8. I get to be Auntie Lala! So many of my friends are having babies, and I am just loving having these little things to love on (and then give back when they start hollerin').
  9. Auntie Lala and Cameron Rose
  10. Instagram. Without it, I would continue to feel like a big fat failure in the photography realm. Thanks, instant filters and blurs! (I'm sure many actual photographers will cringe at this. Get over it.)
    Thanks, Instagram! (Taken at the Station Inn in Nashville.)
  11. As much as I complain about constant connectiveness and social media (and lack of privacy), I'm so thankful for my iPhone. I love it. It makes my life easier. (For the most part. iMessage certainly can up the anxiety factor when you're waiting on someone to text you back.) I'm also especially thankful for iPhone's voicemail feature. I absolutely LOATHE calling in to check voicemails.
  12. You know the whole "put on your big girl panties and deal with it" phrase? My big girl panties are ON. And I like 'em.
  13. I realize how lucky and blessed I am to have my grandma around (and quite kickin') at the age of 30.  I made her cry a few weeks ago because she called me when I was driving (between Birmingham and Nashville, hardly a scary drive or one I'm not used to), and when I didn't call her back in a couple of hours (I was on the phone!), she was QUITE upset. Called my sister. Got everyone else all worried about me. I got quite an earful about "worrying ole grandma," to say the least. And I could have been annoyed, but gosh darn it, it's nice to be loved.
  14. I don't feel 30. Well, I do feel older. But I don't feel this rush to be settled, married with babies, all that jazz, like I assumed I would. Trust me, I feel it when I, oh, fracture a bone in my leg doing backyard gymnastics. Or when I realize that after a few days of staying up too late, I just really need to catch up on sleep. And don't get me started about how infinitely worse hangovers get year by year. But all in all, I'm a big kid. (And kind of a big weirdo.) I don't think I'll ever lose that.
    I lost my Rocky Horror Picture Show Virginity.
  15. I don't have to apologize or make excuses for what I enjoy, what I believe, what I value, or what want out of life. Not that I should have to begin with, but I feel like there's something about being in your 30s that gives you more authority over your life. There's a great article here about the "Millennials," as they're calling my generation, and what our values are. 
  16. Turning 30 means I've survived my 20s. And let me tell  ya, they were hell. They were fun, but everyone keeps saying that your 30s are the best decade. And I'm starting to believe them. Because by now, I've figured so much more of life out than I had at 20. Figured myself out (for the most part). I've lived independently for a long time now, and I'm really owning it these days. 

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