Yes I have finally reached the dreaded 3-0. I'm not going to lie, it hurt, just a little but it hurt none the less. Not in so much of a physical sense like I woke up the morning of my 30th birthday with some mysterious ache but very much so in an emotional and psychological way. First off, I never imagined that I would be a single mom living in my home town again at any stage of my life but I always thought that by 30 my life would be somewhat settled and I would be comfortably ensconced in a sedate but pleasing routine life that only included the mundane events of being a working adult with a husband and children. And yes I said children as I decided long ago I would by now have my desired two children and be done with the reproductive cycle of life. I also thought that by the time I reach the ripe old age of 30 I would be further along in a career I enjoyed and be working my way up the ladder to if not the corner office than at least something a little more than a fishbowl type cubicle. I expected that my car would be at least halfway paid off and my house would be a reflection of my good taste and decorating style and have a comfortably lived in feel that was warm and inviting for all the many dinner parties I would give.
Needless to say that none of this is what my life was actually like on the 30th anniversary of my birth. And to be honest, I'm really ok with all of that. Yes my car will probably die before I actually get it paid off and my home remains in constant upheaval as I try to piece it together to reflect my champagne-and-diamond-like style on a shoestring budget and the one child I have makes me question my sanity at ever wanting more than one and I am far from actually residing in any office even if it is a short walk to the corner office. I'm also single. Did I mention that? I wasn't sure if I said that earlier. Most days I'm even ok with that. I've come to the realization that I would rather be happy and alone or even miserable and alone than with someone and miserable pretending to be happy.
So if I'm content in my life, why did it hurt to turn 30 you ask? What hurt was not the realization that my life was not as I expected it to be. It was the realization that what I thought my life should be at 30, some people don't even have a 40 or 50. It was the loss of the fantasy and the opening of my eyes to a true reality. I guess I was still holding on the idea that this wasn't really my life and that all my dreams and fantasies were magically going to come true over night and a real prince on a white horse was going to come save me from the pumpkin I mistakenly thought was my prince and on my 30th birthday I would wake to find that the past year had simply been a horrible dream and my life was ideal. Naïve I know. That's were the hurt came in. When I woke up utterly alone on that dreaded day the rose colored glasses I had tried to permanently adhere to my eyes were obliterated and I was forced to see things as they really are. There is no prince charming coming to the rescue to fix everything for me.
After I finished wallowing in my misery about what I thought I had lost, I realized that those things are really what I want anyway. I don't want a knight on white horse to come and sweep me off my feet and "fix" everything. Sometimes things are more beautiful and more valuable in their brokenness. Everything doesn't have to always have to be perfect and most of the time things end up better even if they are the exact opposite of what you thought you wanted. I can honestly say that I am happier today than I have been in longer than I can remember. Yes I still struggle and yes there are times that I feel like I'm at the bottom of the well but those pass. If my life hadn't taken the drastic turn it did, I wouldn't now have one of the best friends I have ever known and I wouldn't be seeing my baby boy blossoming into the self-dependent, curious little boy he is becoming. I wouldn't be strengthening my relationships with family that I love dearly and getting to actually participate in their lives. My life is so much fuller now that it ever was. And I finally realized that 30 isn't so bad. It isn't the resting point I always thought it was supposed to be. It isn't the end of the adventure. In fact, I have the feeling that it's just the beginning.