Last weekend I entered the last year of my thirties and spent the week looking ahead to what many dread. As I’ve pondered the last nine years, I can’t help but marvel at the changes the last decade has brought.
I’m not exactly where I thought I would be. Being childless at thirty-nine was not part of my plan, but I never thought I would actually sit down and write a book and then edit it for two years, only to self publish it in upcoming months – even though it was my dream since I was thirteen.
I didn’t think I would be a divorcee. I didn’t think I would remarry again so soon. And I particularly didn’t think it would be to an old friend. But I should have known after our lives intersected many times over the last decade that fate would throw us back together one last time and seal the deal. As much as I want to at times, I can’t regret the time we never had together because without it, I wouldn’t be the individual I am today. And I’m kind of pleased with her. I’d never give her back.
I remember watching a talk show in my mid twenties with an actress who, on the brink of forty, stated her thirties were the best years of her life. She mentioned how much she had grown as person, how much she had learned, and how comfortable she now was in her own skin. At the time I had wrinkled my nose and thought she was crazy. I knew everything in my twenties.
I knew nothing.
I learned more about myself in my thirties than I ever have. I didn’t think it was possible to grow so much as a person as I have in the last near-decade. My newfound strength and determination astounds me each and every day as I push through my goals, as I do more in a day than has been possible for me in years, as I become more and more comfortable with who I am and who I am meant to be.
She was right. The third decade has been an incredible ride.
Not every day is perfect, which is good because growth would stagnate and decay would set in. I am grateful for every day, including the less pleasant ones, because – like negative feedback on my manuscript – it brings new challenges and spurs on growth.
I am grateful.