Today’s post is about me. Which of course means it is also tangentially about Jacob.
I woke up this morning into a new decade. That’s right, I turned 30. And for a brief moment I panicked. Where did my 20s go? What have I done? And does any of it matter? Is my circuitous path actually leading anywhere?
As I was having this existential crisis, this picture came up on my timehop:
It’s from three years ago, on my 27th birthday. We were getting ready to move to New York City, where I would earn a masters degree in education leadership. Before leaving Florida (we thought permanently), we decided to finally visit Weeki Wachee state park and see the mermaid show. I remember that I had just gotten my nose pierced (a short-lived piercing, as I had to apply for jobs less than a year later) and I was worried that the little diamond would come out on the water slide. I went anyway. It was nuclear hot outside but the spring water was icy cold. I also remember watching a silly reptile (or bird?) show, and my husband and two wonderful friends unquestioningly indulging my enthusiasm about it.
And then I realized that my 20s were full of beautiful little moments like that, punctuated by a series of big moments. I graduated college. I traveled to at least seven countries. I walked multiple miles to buy almond croissants from my favorite New York bakery. I married the love of my life. I bought and sold a house. I challenged my husband to ping pong tournaments over craft beers. I ran a triathalon. I marched in a parade. I grieved over senseless loss. I visited the Louvre. I made and developed precious friendships. I started a career. I walked through fresh snow in Central Park. I threw a punch. I earned a masters degree. I hunted for seashells on Sarasota beaches. I made mistakes. I learned from them. (mostly). And, pivotally, in the waning moments of the decade, I brought a life into the world.
I am struggling to express the sensation I have, but here, after many false starts, is my best effort: Each person, each relationship, each moment of my thirty years is a tiny, invisible anchor, keeping me from drifting off, giving me a place. I feel connected, like I belong a little bit to each of you, and a lot to some of you. And that is maybe the greatest birthday gift of all.