I turn 29 today. My “golden birthday,” even. 29 on the 29th.
And I’m celebrating with a Frozen 2 Birthday Cake and Animal Crossing, because the number 29 doesn’t mean a thing.
…Or so I claim.
The truth is, I’m struggling with 29. The last year in my twenties feels a lot like the last chance to finally get it all right. I know that’s all in my head, and we spend our entire lives discovering who we are. But there’s something about the looming cloud of 30 that has me on edge. It feels so adulty, and I wonder how prepared I am to enter that decade in a year.
Really, this meme sums it up nicely:
There is drool dripping down my shoulder from the stalking decade that seems to scream adulthood in a rather dinosaur-like fashion. I have exactly 365 days to prepare for a milestone that seems to mean I’ve reached the peek of adulthood and will successfully execute all the important things responsible individuals are supposed to do.
Perhaps I’m struggling a little because I always thought I’d have a few kids in this house and a book published by 30. From an education and a career standpoint, I am exactly where I always hoped I’d be, and I couldn’t be prouder. But the rest of the fragments have yet to fall into place. I am an unfinished jigsaw with uneven pieces and thousands of colors.
One cannot put a deadline on growth. We are constantly evolving, every step of our journey guiding us toward the unpredictable and the unexpected. The adventure shapes us as we travel, and the phrase “according to plan” doesn’t carry much weight in the grand scheme of the universe. In my experience, trying to follow a tight life plan has really only lead to frustration and heartache.
And here I thought adults always had a plan.
So, there’s some dissonance here. Something not going “according to plan” brings sadness and disappointment, so I’m inclined to believe I should just go with the flow and let the world take me where I am meant to be. But simultaneously, I’ve come to expect adults to be organized and sure of themselves. These two sides are yanking me in separate directions, and I’m tearing at the center trying to figure out where I should be standing as life whisks around me.
Sometimes there’s a storm in my head. A hundred little things pick up in the wind and spin at the back of my skull. A tornado of words and ideas and ideals spins around my mind and maybe you’ve seen the lightning in my eyes. I overthink. I feel anxious. I become disoriented and am not always sure which direction to head.
I don’t know if I’ll be ready for 30 when she comes next year.
I don’t know if 52 weeks is enough time to collect my missing pieces and settle into myself.
But I do know that 30 doesn’t have to be a cap on discovery, and I’ll spend the next 12 months accepting that.
I know that if I love my hardest along the way, the journey forward will be sweet.
It won’t always be easy.
The balance is rickety.
But it will be a glorious year filled with endless surprises. Mostly because my plan just flew out the open car window as I was singing “Show Yourself” at the top of my lungs.
Step into your power
Into something new
You are the one you’ve been waiting for
All of your life
All of my life”