Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Getting Older, But Certainly Not Old

Next week I turn 30. I think I’m supposed to be experiencing some sort of conflicted feelings about this, but honestly, I’m not.  People keep saying things like, “Oh. How are you dealing with that?” in a tone that indicates I’ve just shared that I have a terrible illness instead of that I’m turning 30. Maybe the freaked out feelings will come, but so far they haven’t. Maybe it’s because I feel good about the things that happened in my 20’s and for where I am in life in general. I feel immensely thankful for this to be the case. However, it does feel strange to think of being such an age. How did this happen?

I was grocery shopping a couple of days ago at my local Kroger. All the college kids are back in town and they just look so young. Like children, really. Which is strange, because I’m supposed to be their age. Like in my heart, I’m supposed to be 22 still. I saw a group of girls standing in a circle, obviously seeing each other for the first time since getting back to town.  They were so young and tan too, probably because they just returned from some grand summer adventure. And I felt like saying, “Hey! You girls! I just wanted you to know that I used to be young and fun! I had this group of best friends when I went to MC and we were so fun! And I had the most fun summers! Just wanted you to know!” But I didn’t, because turning 30 doesn’t mean I have to turn into a creeper too.

During my senior year at Mississippi College I was a part of this group of students called the Executive Council.  We did all sorts of things on campus, and I still feel lucky that I had the chance to belong to that group.  We would meet for hours on Monday nights, and I would always walk part of the way back to my dorm with my three good guys friends. We would part ways in front of the cafeteria and I would walk the rest of the way back by myself. Because I was a very sentimental 22 year old, I would spend the rest of the walk thinking about how much I loved going to school at MC and how I’d better live it up because I knew it wouldn’t last forever. 

It didn’t last forever, and I was sad when it was over. But more good times came, then I was sad when those were over too. But then even more good times came. That’s the thing about happy seasons—they don’t last forever, but we can always be sure another good one is just around the corner. When I think about it, I guess I’ve always been pretty good about trying to enjoy today and not chasing tomorrow or yesterday. Maybe that’s why I’m ok with turning 30.

To commemorate this big day I’ve rounded up some pictures of past birthdays. I do hope you enjoy them.

This is a birthday beach trip that we took during our senior year of college. I had only just met Will and we weren't quite dating yet, but somehow us girls came to the conclusion that the fate of our relationship rested solely upon whether or not he had the foresight to call me at exactly midnight on my birthday. I know you'll be relieved to hear that he called. Whew. 

This is a special surprise Mexican fiesta birthday during which my friend Megan read a delightful card in an unidentified Latino accent. I located this card during my garage clean out, but no worries I saved it. It's available for viewing in my garage closet. 

Imagine coming home to find yourself in icing on a cake, dressed up as a cowgirl. I really think this speaks for itself. 

To wrap things up, here is a pre-birthday confession. People have always thought I am  younger than I really am, but it seems never so much as they do now. And just in time too, because I really can't think of a better time to speak to a lady about her youthful appearance than upon the approach of her 30th birthday. It's not at all uncommon for a client to find out my age and say, "Oh, I thought you were like 22." And I think to myself Bless you precious child  and put a happy face by their name in my head. So here is my birthday prayer-Dear Lord, please let me grow as much and have as many happy times and friends in my 30's as I did in my 20's. Please help me look to you in everything that I do and in every decision I make. Please, PLEASE don't ever let me lose my counseling license because the licensing process is not something I can survive twice in a lifetime. And please let me look 22 forever and ever--or at least until I turn 35. At that point I feel it will be reasonable to increase it to maybe 26.  Amen. 


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