Today marks the first day of my thirtieth journey around the sun. (Read: I just turned twenty-nine.) To be honest the thought of turning thirty in 364 days is pretty unnerving. For one, I just feel too young to be thirty. (In spirit, I’ll always be twenty-six.) But in a very real sense, it’s unnerving because I’m just not where I expected or wanted to be at this point in my life. I’m single, I’m technically not formally qualified for any job, I’ve lived in six different cities in the last decade, and I have no investments (car, house, or otherwise) to speak of.
Maybe you’re similar. You might be in a different decade or life stage, but perhaps you’re intimate with a familiar sense of dread towards an upcoming milestone. “I’m just not where I wanted or expected to be in life.”
And that’s it, isn’t it? Life is full of unmet expectations. We can order our lives all we want, but we’ll constantly be faced with disorder. Sometimes unexpected chaos arrives and ruins our well-formed plans and hopes. Other times life just plods along and turns out to be very dissimilar from what we’d planned. It’s hard and disappointing, and sometimes good. But ultimately we’re forced to reckon the world of reality with the world of our expectations.
In all this, I think what I’m coming to see is that real living happens when we face that disorder, embrace it, and begin to let our lives be reordered. When we soften we hurt, but we also heal.
For me, part of the order, disorder, reorder journey happens when I write. I haven’t written much in the last two years. But with the approach of thirty, I’ve decided to pick it up again. Specifically, I want to reflect on this disorienting and glorious decade - fears, lessons, wonderings, wanderings. I’m calling it #thirtybeforethirty - thirty reflections before I turn thirty. This is my story, but my hope is that wherever you are in your journey, these ideas might connect with you and your story and somehow make you feel more connected, more human, and more found.