The other night Mike and I laid in bed. I had tucked myself right under his arm, just as we always cuddle in bed. That nook right under his arm is a place I have come to find comfort and refuge in in the last 7 years we have been together. We chatted with only the glow of the moon filling our room. Outside the window, the snow covered trees sat facing the lapping water only a short distance away. Mike asked me how I felt as I approached my 30th birthday and I said, “I feel very ready for it.”
This last year has been a year of in-betweens. I don’t know if it is true for everyone, but I know I need in-between years. I need the awkward stage of fumbling my way to make the transition properly and for me, that was 29. I felt I was no longer a 20-something and not yet a 30-something. I find that in-betweens allow us the time to discard the things we need to let go of in order to move forward and I spent a lot of this last year doing just that.
Motherhood was a huge piece of the last year. It was a clarifying identity for me to take on in my 29th year. It felt as if it took my whole life and dumped it upside down. In the process of putting things back together, I discovered what I really wanted to put back in the box and move forward with and what no longer served me. What resulted has been knowing without hesitation who I am and who I am not. Though at times it hasn’t been easy to figure out what would fit in that box and some things are still trying to find their place, it seems the awkwardness has finally fallen away.
I wrote a post this summer about the importance of your 20’s and as I thinking about this last decade of my life I see how every bit of the last 10 years has played a part in placing me here. My 20’s were full of so much life. As I flip through the pages of the blog (nearly 7 years of content) I see a woman who has grown and changed so significantly. I can see a shift in my confidence, my writing, my voice, my purpose, and my passions. All key indications of the transformation these 10 years have had on me. I see a shift from late drunken nights out with friends to Friday evenings in enjoying a glass of wine and lettering while listening to music as my son sleeps. I see a shift from a desire to do it all to a desire to do what fills me up to the brim instead. I see a woman who knows without a shadow of a doubt what she wants out of her life. Most importantly I see a woman who has learned the importance of patience, humility, kindness, an open heart, love, and the joy of simplicity.
As I begin today, the first day of my 30’s, I am looking more than ever at the future. As a mom, I have had to define very clearly what makes me the best I can be for Hayes and for Mike. This means I have had to make decisions about doing a few things great instead of a lot of things well. These decisions drove our plans to move back to Michigan and build our home and farm. My heart feels so full as we think towards this year of moving into our home and reaping our first small harvest from our land. Some days it consumes me with so much joy I get all teary eyed. I have narrowed my life to simply focus on only the things I love. Meaning I spend my days focusing on doing lettering and type, blogging, being a mom, being a wife, and planning our home and garden. All these things are what bring me joy and they take great work and diligence to keep at the forefront, but after spending much of my 20’s working so hard in so many directions trying to find the right path, I am finding such joy in working hard at only a few very distinct things in the coming years.
Though I am sad to let go of those years of freedom, I feel I have respectfully mourned and boxed them up over this last year. I feel so thankful for those years of wildness, trying so many things, traveling to so many places, and the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes. In those years I learned the bounds of my life and exactly where I am intended to be, which is the greatest gift my 20’s could have ever given to me. The last decade has been a wonderful and exciting ride of learning and growth, but I am so excited to begin this next chapter of my 30’s and take on all the challenges it presents. Life will be simpler. Life will be intentional. Life will be slower. Life will be more focused on the present. Life will be ever more about living fully and loving deeply.
Laying there that night with Mike and the moon filling the room, I continued my chattering about the last year and the year ahead. I remember mentioning how lucky I felt to share these moments of growing with him and how much I am excited for what lies ahead. Then I laid there silent for a second thinking of how I feel right now, in this moment verging on my 30’s. Without thinking beyond the moment I was in, I turned to him and I said “You know… I am very content. That is what I am. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”