“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” (Abraham Lincoln)
I used to dread turning thirty. I imagined myself acting like Rachel Green from Friends, sulking about. But then, the nearer I got to that milestone the more I wanted it. I feel like I should be in my thirties. I’m an old soul, after all, so thirty is actually still quite young. I felt ready to move out of the twenties. They were fun, but those days are behind me.
I’ve experienced a lot in my short life, joys and heart ache, adventures and trudging on. Yet the more I reflect on my experiences, the more hopeful I become for the future. Because most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be, right?
This year alone has been rough, those postpartum hormones and lingering depression led me on a rocky road. Like I needed a freakin’ ATV to navigate through my head and heart. It took me almost a year to navigate what was really bothering me, and even now I’m not 100%. All I know is, for a time in my life when I felt so sure of myself, my age, my place, I also felt so entirely unsure. Is this what I want for my life?
The answer varies by day. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the “what-ifs.” Usually I can see the downward spiral and steer clear. But what if it isn’t so easy sometimes? What if you do want something more or something different? Well that’s okay, too. Or it better be! But it is important to be realistic. So what if I’m still trying to discern what my career calling is? (Or I’m still trying to be brave enough to embrace it.) So what if I want to be happier, more carefree, and laid back? (Even if it goes against my nature.) So what if I don’t want to be a stay-at-home-mom? (Or maybe just part-time?) So what if I thought by thirty I would have my life a little more figured out than I do? (I might feel this way when I’m sixty!)
I have a great distaste for starting things and not finishing them. When I commit to something, I’m all in. But this too has been a bit of road block for me; because sometimes you just have to give things a try. Maybe they work out, maybe they don’t. Who cares!
Truth talk: I’ve had a major identity crisis since becoming a mom. (No surprise there, I knew it would be hard for me: Identity Crisis). And while I adore my son, he’s completely altered who I was. “That’s natural,” you say. “Well that’s hard,” I reply. All the things I did before — travel, write, sit in silence, dictate my own day — they’re all gone. And all my many imperfections — obsessive-compulsive tendencies, impatience, selfishness, easily irritable — they’re all amplified. So you can see my predicament?
“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” (said by Bilbo, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring)
I have about six more months left of my thirtieth year, and one of my main focuses will be building on friendships. Although I relate with old Bilbo Baggins (much more than one should relate to a Hobbit), I don’t want to be like him on my next birthday — knowing my community and those placed in my life half as well as I should like.