Today, I am thirty years old.
I am in my thirties.
I am entering a new decade of my life.
And, truth be told, I have vacillated between excitement and dread as October 17th approached this year. In many respects, I am a deeply old soul whose 10PM personal curfew and proclivity for crossword puzzles have always been entrance passes for this particular stage of life. Yet (and I do not like to admit it), I hear the word thirty and think of the proverbial ‘checklist’ that has been perpetuated by stereotypes of all the things one should have completed by the time this age comes a-knockin’. The rational and emotional hemispheres of my brain are clearly dueling this one out…
Yet in the weeks leading up to this particular birthday, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on the person I was when I last entered a new decade. When I turned twenty years old, I was a junior in college. I smile as I think back at the groundwork that was being laid for who I would become from a professional standpoint, from starting my education courses to running around New York collecting books for charity (another story for another time) to blogging back in my study abroad days. I also smile (and cringe slightly) at the more personal elements that I… um…. stumbled through, whether it was discovering a flat iron, learning to take the dryer sheets out of the laundry, navigating online dating (success rate TBD), or finding out that thin pita bread should not go in the toaster. I do love that birthdays provide an opportunity for you to look back at where you’ve been while simultaneously pushing you towards something new.
For today, however, I’ll do my best to remain in the present. I’m going to go enjoy family time and the beautiful autumn, apple picking weather in Boston. Meanwhile, you can enjoy these four titles that honor birthdays and their milestones at any particular age.