Updated: Mar 22, 2021
This morning I woke up in the most peculiar way. It is the last day that I am 29, for starters. But mostly, it was that my son was unintentionally (can’t be sure about this one) trying to suffocate me. I opened my eyes slowly to see a blurry fuzz of blue and white. I coughed, and something rolled off my head. As I sat up Levi began to scream, because apparently I had wrecked his genius way of not smelling my breath in the morning: by barricading my face with his blanket and all his stuffed animals. Like, all of them. Two emotions swept through me simultaneously. The first being, that’s hysterical, son. The second being rage. Good old fashioned rage that it was 5:42am and Levi was screaming and why am I so tired and oh no he’s going to wake my dad up. So I flipped. I didn’t breathe. I didn’t take a second to just pause. Instead, I started this day by yelling at my 4 year old son.
So that is what got me thinking about all this 30 hype. Why do we have to measure our accomplishments by the big things? Why can’t we add up all the small things and call it a good life? Why does it have to be grand and outward and by someone else’s standard? Why does it feel so final? We’re told that if we haven’t accomplished the big things in life by this age then heck, throw the towel in and kiss hope goodbye. I call bullshit.
My life could be strung together by failures. And looking at it still, it’s the perfect example of someone who simply doesn’t have their shit together. I’m a single mother. I don’t have a job that I love. I don’t even have a job that is moving in the direction that I love. I don’t have a lot of money. Did I say a lot? I meant any. I don’t have any money. I haven’t finished the book I’ve written so many times. I haven’t lost the weight I’ve said I was going to lose. Heck, I still live with my parents. And motherhood? I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on that one yet. It’s…hard.
But ah, what does it even mean to be successful? The older I get, the more it seems to be about the smallness in life. I’ve been stretching a lot lately, trying to connect to the body that God gave me, and understand how it’s all supposed to work better. In a way, learning how to make space within me for the good, while clearing out the bad and unnecessary. What I’ve found is that everything is ok. Everything is always ok. Good or bad. Grief or ecstasy, it’s all ok. Turning 30, that’s ok too.
Because I will drag my wild beating heart into my 30’s. I’ll carry this heart underneath my bones until my last breath. And it’s the heart that counts. It’s the space within it to feel. To learn and to pour out for other people. To connect. To break bread. To laugh.
If I am laughing then I am alive.
As I move away from the 20’s, where so many of my dreams died, and yet so many more were born, my goals for my life do not become more extravagant. I don’t feel the pressure to find my dream job or perfect husband or amazing house in some rushed time frame. But rather, I want to keep making space in me for the things that are real in this world. For patience. For charity. For calm. For quiet. For foolishness. For rowdiness. For love. For love. For love.
So the next time my son tries to kill me before 6am, I can take a deep breath and laugh, because heck, I’m only 30.
Wake up and Laugh.