Goodbye to My Thirties
This is the last post I’ll write in my thirties.
All eight years of blogging have been in my thirties. I started this blog a little after my 32nd birthday. The twins were not yet two.
When I started this blog, I had no idea that eight years down the road, I would still be writing it on a daily basis. I wasn’t the most confident writer. Actually, I’m still not the most confident writer, but I know my voice better. Yes, I can say that. I know my voice better. I know what sort of topics I can write about and which ones I can’t do justice. I’m still nervous before I hit publish sometimes, but overall, I am more comfortable in my writing skin on the other end of thirty.
All my niches on the Internet were carved out in my thirties. I joined Twitter and Facebook. I started writing for BlogHer.
I was massively pregnant when I left my twenties and entered my thirties. I gave birth to the twins that summer. I left my teaching job soon after that. And now I am leaving my thirties with two almost-ten-year-olds and four published books on my bookshelf.
My thirties were amazing, mostly because I had finally reached this huge goal that I had spent most of my twenties trying to reach. I’m sort of ashamed as a feminist to admit that it wasn’t the four books despite getting that MFA. It’s those two kids. I wanted to be a mother so badly. I wanted kids specifically with Josh, but I also just… there was this overwhelming pulse inside my heart that kept throbbing out this message: you want to be a mother you want to be a mother you want to be a mother.
I wanted to be a mother.
And in my thirties, I got to be a mother. I got to do all of my parenting thus far inside that decade. Their life began as that decade in my life began, and now we’re moving into a new decade together — their tens and my forties. They are so amazing. They are funny and creative and sensitive and cuddly and independent and stubborn and intelligent and they make huge mistakes and they get some things so completely right. They are messy and wonderful, and we are so lucky to have them in our lives. To get a front row seat to watching them grow up.
[On a side note, I told the twins that I wrote a paragraph about them since I always give them a heads up and ask permission before I mention them. The ChickieNob pursed her lips and looked at me owlishly as she said, “you could only come up with one paragraph of things to say about me?”]
When I was little, I watched the show Thirtysomething, and I thought about how thirty was sort of this drab little decade where you weren’t cool like a twenty-something and you weren’t an adult like a forty-something. I’m not sure how I overlooked including thirty in adulthood, but it didn’t carry the weight of middle age like forty. It felt a bit like a balloon, bobbing between the shininess of twenty and the settled feel of forty. The cast was lovely and talented, but I always felt a little badly for them. I mean, who thought about their thirties? It was just a tube of years on the way from this place to that place.
I just walked that tube of years. And I loved it.
My thirties taught me who I am. What I can’t change. What doesn’t really need to be changed. What I should probably work to change. I discovered what I like and don’t like and how to say what I need to say emphatically and without apology. I became more flexible with yoga, and I became less flexible with compromising my needs to make someone else happy.
And in the end, I grew and I grew and I grew.
Thank you, thirties, for treating me well. For leaving me in a better place than when I entered. Thank you for Josh who continues to hold my heart with care and do most of the laundry. Thank you for the twins who blow my mind on a daily basis. Thank you for my parents and siblings and siblings-in-law-who-are-really-more-like-siblings, and nieces and nephews. Thank you for my wonderful friends: the ones that I see in my face-to-face world, the ones I keep in touch with over the phone, and the ones that I email through the computer. Thank you for my work, for my books, for helping me find my writing voice. Thank you for our little house. Thank you, thirties, for being the decade when all of this happened.
May my forties go just as well.
No birthday wishes yet, please. I want a chance to say goodbye properly before I sigh, close the door, and say hello to the next decade.