A new friend texted me today to say, “Happy last day of your 20s!” and it got me thinking. I am happy it’s the last day of my 20s. And I’m happy about what I’ve done in my 20s, especially in the last year, and–even though it’s not as easy–I’m happy for the lessons I’ve learned from all the hard parts of my 20s. Focusing on the positive memories, though, I wanted to look back at some favorite moments of the last 12 months.
February: getting friends from various parts of Wisconsin together to celebrate my 29th birthday. If I were the kind of person to say #blessed, I would do that here.
March: climbing Machu Picchu. Painful, sweaty, mentally taxing, and life-changing. The same adjectives could be used to describe my time trekking many miles around beautiful Lima, Peru as well. 🙂
April: completing my 2nd duathlon (and cutting a bit of time) after singing the national anthem at the race.
May: visiting the Grand Canyon in all its rainbow-colored glory.
June: surviving a Half-Ironman and then a 100-mile bike ride the following week. Still not sure how I pulled those two off without hospitalization…
July: traveling through 17 European countries for a month and making friends with the most fun Aussies and Kiwis.
August: making another album. (http://www.fasterthansane.bandcamp.com)
September: hanging out with Aussie friends and also solo traveling around Australia–and holding a koala!
October: finally finishing the draft of a memoir I’ve been working on for over a decade. And somehow–who knows how–surviving my longest race yet: a 50km trail run.
November: spending the beginning of winter in sunny South Africa, climbing Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.
December: coming home for the holidays and relaxing to the max. After petting and feeding elephants in South Africa and going on a safari. 😀
January: playing my last show with Shakedown and having a total blast. And then flying to New Zealand!
So here we are. I’m saying goodbye to my 20s, and especially to some things that are not invited to my 30s. Goodbye to: caring about others’ expectations of me, whether expressed or just through my own observations. Goodbye to any future people I meet who don’t appreciate me for exactly who I am. Goodbye to the urge to mold opinions and words to fit others’ perspectives. My voice is my voice. My experiences are mine and mine alone.
My biggest goal for this decade is (cliche alert, but incredibly true): facing fears. Doing all (or at least most) of the things, big or small, that scare me. Saying goodbye to the fears that are holding me back from being everything I want to be. I want to fully experience life this decade, and not waste time on anything not serving me well, or that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
It’s tempting to groan about turning another number older. But like many say, it’s a privilege to be alive. And I’m privileged to be alive and turning 30. (Especially in New Zealand! Which is why there will be a Part II to this post so I can share about my weekend in the South Island!)