Friday, June 23, 2017

coming into 31

No, this is not a post about Thiry One bags which I have a love/hate relationship with and could be another blog post on it's own, but I would never bore you with my feelings on that. This is about *gulp* my 31st birthday, which slipped by earlier this week. While I really adore my birthday and typically like celebrating my entire birth-week, this year I've become less enthused. Any other 30-somethings out there feeling the same way? There's just something about being "in my 30's" that feels a little icky to me.

Mostly I feel pretty proud of the things I've accomplished in my life and, mostly, I consider myself a confident person. Through my career I've gained experiences that I never imagined, including a bit of travel, really interesting aspects to construction and design, and the pleasure of working with phenomenal people I've grown to call friends. Now, working in a job I can see myself in for the long-haul (which I think is really saying something at my age), I feel a nice balance with my work life and personal life. In my personal life, KJB and I celebrated five years of marriage and in that time we have learned so much about who we are together and discovered our goals for union. One struggle that I've always had that I finally feel like I have a handle on is my introverted-ness and mental health. Accepting that and finding ways to live with it has become one of my greatest achievements, because I now understand my boundaries. Becoming confident in my decisions to protect those things took time, but it is now also in a good balance. Lastly, I allowed myself to release the pressure of this blog, by dramatically relaxing the schedule, and social media, by removing myself from Facebook (except the occasional video of my nephews and niece), Snapchat, and Twitter. Instagram is easy and non-threatening for me, so it's the only place I'm really active.

Unfortunately the insecurities sometimes still sneak in. Regular questioning from others like, "when are you going to have children?" or "are you happy with that job?" can sometimes make me question the decisions I've made. As a young girl, I would often daydream about my adult life, and my current life looks so different from that daydream. It makes me wonder if I did something wrong along the way. These things create huge doubts, tug at my fears, and isolate me into loneliness. It is these things that leave me hesitant to celebrate my birthday loud and proud.

This past week was spent with a gaggle of fifth graders at the church Vacation Bible School. These soon-to-be middle schoolers left me a bit inspired. If you have been around my blog for any length of time you've picked up on the fact that I'm a Jesus-lover, an advocate of love, peace, and hope. Having the opportunity to listen to the questions of young believers can be so refreshing, because generally the answers are so simple. I, and most other adults, tend to over-complicate things. But the simple clarifications were stimulating.

"No one was made to be perfect. Jesus came to be that. Strive to love like He did in every aspect of your life and know that makes you enough."

In my 31st year on Earth, I hope I learn to take my own advice.