I turned 30 this past weekend. THIRTY. That’s 3-0. Wow. Even saying it out loud sounds strange. So much has changed since 2016 began. I’m not a person who hates change, by any means. But these changes in my life have been scary and overwhelming. So much of what filled my life is gone and newness has consumed me professionally, personally, and physically. In my 20s, I had things planned. Looking forward into my 30s, I sit here in a sense of wonder, excitement, and anxiousness at the unknown.
1) I became a mom.
Probably the biggest change for me was the birth of my son, Ezra in January. I was very used to coming and going as pleased. Now, and for the very long future, my calendar might as well say my son’s name in all CAPS on every evening and weekend. Getting time away feels strange and stressful. I love my son and my life now! But, the old me who went out with girlfriends and relaxed over a cup of coffee doesn’t exist anymore. I miss her. She may return, but not now, and not with a five month old. Then there’s this body that I have that feels foreign to me. But, I’m regaining my sense of self through running and strength training. That me is coming back and she is welcome to stay.
2) I graduated with my PhD.
If you know anything about graduate school, you know it consumes you. I ate, slept, and breathed my jobs at the university, research, academic conferences, publications, and my own work for five years.
I defended my dissertation in March and graduated in May. One day I was immersed in that life, then I was plucked from it. Now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and aspiring writer. No deadlines. No human contact. No email bings, reminding me that I have deadlines and tasks to complete. No, my life is dictated by this little person now. And it’s strange. And hard.
3) I turned 30.
I did a lot of reflecting on my 20s and turned that into a guest post on Sweatpants & Coffee. They published my article called “On the Eve of My 30th Birthday,” which was THRILLING! Turning 30 marked a new beginning for me in many ways. I said goodbye to my 20s and that meant saying goodbye to a decade full of tumultuous relationships: with myself, my body, friends, and partners. In doing so, I am determined to keep my 30s positive and enriching rather than toxic and draining.
4) I (re)turned to writing full time.
I have always written. Since I was a little girl, I have created characters and written stories. I got serious about writing in 2009 when my dad’s cancer returned one again and he lost his battle that November. My dad, or Poppy, is a man who should be preserved in print. It has been challenging to capture his essence and communicate the power of a look or the comfort of a laugh. But I’m doing my best to fuse his life and my creativity into the current novel I’m writing. I didn’t plan on writing for other blogs and doing guest posts, initially. But those posts capture who I am in that moment: moments of motherhood, moments of reflection, and moments of celebration. I was so frightened to say, “I’m a writer.”
But here I am, writing.