I turned 30 this month. We had a party, and invited a crazy amount of people into our little house, and a crazy amount of people came. It was joyful and happy and at one point my sister said “You have a lot of friends!” and she’s right. I felt loved and celebrated and was given some beautiful and generous gifts.
I’ve always thought it was silly when people (usually women) made a big deal about lamenting milestone birthdays, but as I approached 30, I started to get it a little bit. I didn’t freak out, but there was a certain something about approaching 30…it just sounded so very adult. Being a twenty-something is still connected in my mind to youthful things, a time of figuring it out, still some pliability. 30 just seemed to have a bit of weight to it. “This is your life, are you who you want to be.…?” You know?
All of my mulling about what it means to turn 30 got me thinking about what happened in my twenties. And you know what? A LOT HAPPENED. I think it’s important to reflect and consider our stories. So, I’m going to attempt to consolidate the past 10 years into 10 of the most significant things about the decade. In my master plan I was going to write and post this “10 Things About the Past 10 Years” on the last day of being 29…but that didn’t happen. And then I was going to try to do it the day after my birthday. But that didn’t happen either. And since I still think it’s valuable, and I still haven’t done any more writing since then, I’m going to break each thing up and post one at a time, ’cause then I can actually spend more time reflecting on and considering those things, rather than just rattling off a list.
And so. Here is the Part 1 of 10 in my “10 Things About the Past 10 Years”:
1. Marrying James
James and I got engaged December of 2004. I was 20, and had just finished my first semester of my undergrad degree (more on that later). We got were married October 15, 2005. I was 21. I don’t think it was until I watched friends get married at the other end of their 20s that I realized how young we were.
James’ presence in my life has been such a blessing – he is an incredibly kind and giving person, who serves me and our family with so much sacrificial love. Our marriage is one of incredible equality, balance, and communication that I believe is really unique and special. In our marriage I feel valued, appreciated and supported. In our marriage I am challenged and stretched.
Marriage has been such a stabilizing and balancing force. While there are certainly moments when I have twinges of longing for a life that is unfettered by things like marriage and home and kids, and wonder what it would have been like to be unattached through my 20s, I can’t really imagine surviving much of anything without James by my side.
This picture is my favourite picture from our wedding. My father-in-law had arranged, unbeknownst to us, to have the marching band from James’ cadet squadron come out at the end of our ceremony and lead us and our guests parade-style down the street to our reception. We had no idea. While the pictures of us gazing into each others’ eyes or walking hand-in-hand down a pretty path are lovely and heart-warming, marriage has looked a whole lot more like “We never expected THIS!” Standing with my best friend laughing through the unexpected has been one of the best things about the past 10 years.
That’s us this past summer at the end of the Warrior Dash. If I was going to go on, I could make all kinds of comparisons about slogging through mud and climbing over things together, about sacrificing ambitions to go at another person’s pace, but, I’m sure you get the gist. We got muddy. We were tired. We finished together – still smiling.
Let’s dash through all our decades together, shall we?