Why I’m actually happy to be turning 30

I never thought I’d actually say I am happy to be turning 30. But here I am, days away, and I can’t help but feeling at peace about the number.

I’d always imagined what my 30 would look like. A couple kids that weren’t under the age of 1, successful career, and a big house with lots of money (can you tell I was a little materialistic in my teenage years?). Once I turned 21, however, I started dreading the next decade marker. Thirty meant old. Thirty meant my days of partying were over. I was so in love with my 20’s and being young that I couldn’t foresee anything good from getting older. The years crept on, as they tend to do, and 30 was getting closer, and my apprehension grew.

I spent my 20’s with my loving husband by my side, partying, traveling, and trying to figure out who I thought I was, and what I thought I wanted to be. I just couldn’t capture that all-important (at the time) career I was lusting after. Still, I loved 20’s and didn’t want him to leave, so I clung to him desperately.

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But then something miraculous happened. I had a baby. Much later than I thought, I might add. I say miraculous because conceiving, growing a human, and birthing him is truly a miracle. I didn’t realize all of these things until I was in the midst of it and reading everything I could get my hands on. The timing had to be just right, the bodily conditions perfect, and then the 8 weeks after conception were a time of prayers of please please stay. The “oops” baby mothers made it look so easy to achieve; I didn’t know that it wasn’t. As it turns out, all my husband had to do was sneeze and I was pregnant. Okay, the second sneeze worked. We were #blessed that way (did I really just #? Ugh okay I did).

Now that my little guy isn’t so little anymore—I mean he is, but growing so fast!—and I have almost completed my 30th trip around the sun, I’ve made a few realizations I wasn’t expecting, like that

I am much more able to live in the present. When I was in my 20’s, I loved myself. My anthem was that little known song that goes kinda like “I’m a badass bitch, bitch, bitch.” But for some reason, I was still insecure. I longed for the past. I couldn’t live in the present, let alone create my future. All of that has changed. That girl in her 20’s was still good, but this woman is great. Mostly because

I know who I am and I like her. A lot. The anthem may not have changed, but my self-confidence sure has. And not just in my view of my new mom body (rolls anyone?) but also who I am as a person. I like who I am. I like that I am strong. I like that I don’t take any shit anymore. I like that I am done with making excuses. This is who I am, and I’m happy to report that people seem to be responding (positively!) to her. It’s not just that, but there is also this brand new part of me that was birthed with my son. It turns out that

I love that I am a mother. Motherhood was never really on my career agenda. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted kids. Maybe getting closer to 30 also activated that little ticking clock that some women have—baby baby baby BABY. Now that I’m a mama, I’m a little obsessed! I’ve written about how motherhood has changed me, and how I get a little lost in motherhood. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I love who I found there. Motherhood has a way of changing people. For me,

I’m a kinder, gentler, and more patient woman. And that’s not half bad! I think it allows for better bonds with everyone in my life. I’m also able to see a lot more clearly. If someone or something isn’t worth the time and energy, I am prepared to put some distance there, whereas before, I just held on and couldn’t let go. I’m just realizing as I’m writing this, that that statement is a pretty good metaphor for my 20’s. I just couldn’t let go. The past, the old friends who I’ve since outgrown (and vice versa), the relationships, and most importantly, the ideals of what I thought my life would be. As it turns out, my life isn’t at all what I imagined it would be,

My life is better than I’d ever imagined. I didn’t know I could be capable of so much love—I’m basically shooting rainbows and sparkly hearts out of my eyeballs! I didn’t know I would find my passion for helping women in my experience of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and motherhood. I didn’t know I could be this happy. I didn’t know I could just be. But I still realize that

I’m still not perfect. Life is about growing and changing and getting stronger, much like the maple in my back yard. It’s not much fun to be like the rocks that are always the same shape, color, and hardness (bor-ing!). But I’m okay with that. I can now look forward to the changes instead of trying to keep everything the same.

I’m turning 30, but that doesn’t mean anything does it? It’s more about turning into the person I’d always dreamed I could be but didn’t know how to find. Hello, you, you’re a badass bitch….

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