I've been thinking about writing this post for some time now. I'll readily admit - I'm not one of those women who wants to stay forever at 29. I am embracing 30 wholeheartedly. Honest. And it's not turning 30 and getting older that's weighing on my mind, it's looking back over the last 30 years of my life, and wondering -like the great Talking Heads song, Once in a Lifetime - How did I get here?!
When I was a kid, and someone asked me about my future, I probably would have said something really kind of trite (I was sort of an obnoxious, sarcastic kid) like that I was going to "Be a lawyer, but not a criminal lawyer, a business lawyer, so I won't have to represent real criminals". Shows what I knew then, huh?
Later on, I would have said that I was going to be a teacher (nope, don't like kids that much), a musician (who really makes it in the music business anyway? not me!), a youth minister (well that lasted about 2 years), a writer (well.... maybe....), and hey - I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. ;) But I don't think, when growing up, I ever - EVER - mentioned being married, having kids, volunteering at my church in many forms, driving a school bus, being a crafts person, an artist. I didn't know what it meant to "grow up".
High school was... normal for me. Looking back, I say normal. At the time I would have said horrible (my mother used to say everything was such a MELODRAMA with me, hey - maybe I should've been an actor?... nah) - but it wasn't. I wasn't terribly popular, but I certainly had friends. I was most definitely the outspoken Christian kid - some kids at school used to call me "Rev."... awesome.
Some of the best friends, and times I had growing up were in a group called P.Y.P.S. (Presbyterian Young People's Society) where I was involved for 11years, and where I met my husband. I wouldn't trade those times for anything.
University years were pretty interesting, aside from spending 1 semester at Tyndale College (back when I was still labouring under the delusion that I'd be a youth minister someday) and then going to North Carolina for 2 summers to work at a seriously awesome place called Montreat for PCUSA. I then went to University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus for 3 years to fast-track a degree in... Music & Culture. Yup, that's right, an arts degree.... an arts degree that was pretty much going to get me nowhere, but at least I was in school, right?
It was during that time that the Hubs and I started dating (even though we had known each other since we were teenagers), and when he drove down to visit me in North Carolina for like 4 days (literally, he left work, and drove straight from Burlington to NC) I think I knew that he was a keeper... but somewhere in my mind, I never believed that he'd actually marry me. I just wasn't that confident.
Surprisingly enough, he did want to marry me. Proposed on my birthday at my cottage, and married me in the same place a year and a half later. :) So here I was - married at 24. I wouldn't have seen that coming when I was a teen. 2 years after that we had our first kiddo. Having the big'un was LIFE CHANGING for me in more ways that I sometimes care to admit.
Now, let me be clear: I. LOVE. MY. KIDS. I really do. I do the best that I can by them. But I never, ever ever EVER thought I was going to be a Mom... and sometimes, I wonder if I'm cut out for the job. Family and friends assure me I'm doing well, but sometimes... well, y'know.
2 years later we welcomed little'un into our lives and our house became a beacon of domestic bliss....
Not so much... But we are happily a family of 4, and though we've had some heartache recently we are moving forward with our lives.
And now... NOW, I'm staring 30 in the face. Here it is. The big 3-0... and you know what?
I'm not scared; I'm hopeful.
I look back over the past 30 years of life that I've had, and even with some major dips and some major highs, in retrospect I see so many blessings. I see just how much God's hand has been in my life... sometimes gently leading me, sometimes giving me a much needed shove in the right direction, and always being there to lift me up when I'm down. I still ride that roller coaster that is my life: it's both at times terrifying and exhilarating, but I know it's the people who ride it with me that make it worth my while.
So hello 30.
I've got friends who say their 30s were the best years of their lives. I'm looking forward to it. Bring it on. Let's party. :)
And going back to the very wise words of the Talking Heads I realize:
Time isn't holding us, time isn't after us
Time isn't holding us, time doesn't hold you back
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