Doug: What would you like to do for your birthday?
Me: Not celebrating it actually.
Doug: Yes we are. 30 is the new 20. And, it's your golden birthday...that's fun.
Me: I think you mean old...that's old.
This conversation has happened multiple times over the last few months. Me in denial about my birthday coming up, Doug saying we need to celebrate. Me having an attitude, Doug being patient. I'm lucky to have spent such a significant part of my life with this caring individual. Him cheering me up about my birthday is just a little blip on the Dougisalove radar.
Not sure why I am having a tough time with this birthday. I have never cared about the number I am turning before so I am a bit thrown off. I was reading a devotional this morning that talked about the phenomenon of how your relationship changes with birthday as you get older...how you start your life excited by the prospect (#parties) but that as you age, it becomes a more begrudging annual event. Even though the author was older and wiser than me, I totally understood his point (know that I'm fully aware 30 isn't 'old'...for the earth...for life even but man, does it feel old to me).
People who have found out I'm turning 30 have kindly shared that their 30s were their favorite. That they really came into their stride in different ways and found themselves whether that was in their personal life, career, or beyond. I am grateful for these encouraging and hopeful sentiments. Many of them sweetly pointed out that they also had a mini-freak out before their 30th birthday which made me feel less nuts. It made me wonder if 30 is difficult for some people to digest because your 20s seem so exciting; it feels like the ending of an era (#friends) in a lot of ways...as if you are kissing goodbye this period of time where you can be both mature and reckless, independent and dependent. A lot of change often happens in this span of time and even if it's rocky, it still feels more like an adventure than anything else.
GO FOR THE GOLD.
Since it's my golden birthday, I was doing some research on gold...how it works and what it represents. The characteristic that I kept coming across is that it's malleable-it easily changes in the hands of skilled metalsmiths to become the beautiful objects they envision. It's high in luster and reflective. It doesn't corrode or tarnish easily. It's true chemical makeup is a rich substance that's regarded for it's quality.
The attributes of gold have really guided my thoughts on turning 30. I would like to be malleable...open to what God's plan is for my life so that I can be refined into the person he is shaping me to be. I want to be reflective of the people and communities around me...a holder of the lustrous light of positivity. I want to stand true and brave when the world caves in and attempts to weaken. And like gold, I want to exemplify thoughtful quality...in my relationships, my work, my approach.
Thanks to the golden-ness of it, I am finding fresh perspective on this 30 situation. I'm looking forward to a new decade of the journey. My prayer for it is that I can be a better person that loves harder; that I can bring dignity to the people and world around me in whatever form that takes.
Most importantly: thank you to every single person who helped shaped my 30 years of life. You are the gold stars in this crazy universe. I love you.