30 seems like yesterday...and 30 years ago. My actual birth day was unmemorable but the celebration went on for weeks and perhaps has continued for the past six years. 30 is when I came into my own as a person, woman, and professional. To say there was some sort of hocus-pocus which occurred suddenly allowing me not care what others thought or said would be censure but what did occur is I finally felt the respect of society, as if the due-diligence I put in working and proving myself the years since college graduation some how allowed others to finally take me seriously. It was a remarkable transformation to watch. During that time I gained courage, independence and took control over my destiny. It was a lifetime ago and it was yesterday! Yet today, a few weeks from turning 36, I look in the mirror and the person staring back is someone completely unfamiliar. Gone is the strong, independent woman who was taking on the world one day at a time and what remains is someone broken and scared of what the future holds...irony at it's best!
This week, 30 has a whole new meaning in our lives. It's not the amount of years I've been alive and thankfully not the amount of cupcakes I've devoured in New York City (only 3 so far, thank you very much). This week we celebrate being pregnant for 30 weeks. I can hardly believe it! 23 weeks and 5 days with only doom and gloom ahead of us seems like yesterday...and 30 years ago. And yet, we are only 3 weeks away from kissing our beloved New York goodbye and re-acclimating to Texas. My heart and soul are filled with extreme sadness when thinking about what we'll leave behind. Though our time has been difficult here, it has also been rewarding, enlightening, inspiring, loving and overwhelming. It has dropped me to my knees in prayer, taken the life out of me (almost literally) caused me to become dependent on a man for the first time, made me value the life growing inside of me that I once took for granted and helped me realize there is so much more good in this big 'ole world than bad.
I found myself buried nose deep in Gayland's left shoulder this morning boo-hooing my eyes out over a miscommunication that occurred yesterday. I told him, "I just want to go home" to which he responded, "I know. But once we get there we're going to think it's so boring." It made us laugh because New York has brought, ironically enough, so much joy to our lives in the midst of a traumatic situation. When returning to Texas, I have a feeling our lives will never be the same again, just like it changed for me six years ago on my 30th birthday. I'm conflicted with desire...on one hand, I want to have a big party at Guero's (my favorite Austin Mexican Food joint) to celebrate the friendships and family we perhaps took for granted before leaving Texas yet on the other hand, I don't want to be around anyone for weeks so I can work through what we've just emotionally endured. It's quite strange actually. When I said I don't recognize the girl in the mirror, this is a prime example of what I'm talking about. I've become somewhat reclusive, fearing what the outside world holds for us. Not literally, per se, but fearful that too many steps in our weekly outing will cause me to go into labor again, fearful someone will hit my belly and hurt the baby, fearful we won't be able to catch a cab in time to get to the hospital if my water breaks, fear, fear, fear. I know, fear is the opposite of faith, right? This brings me back to 30.... the 30th year of my life when I had no fear because I was free from the things that burdened me for the six years prior and this week, the 30th week of a pregnancy I thought was not to be. In-and-of-itself, these are two reasons to celebrate the number 30!
To end, a wise and beautiful friend of mine, Linda Koehl, once said, "Your 30's will be the best years of your life so enjoy every minute of them." Perhaps this week instead of fearing the "what-if's" I'll try to enjoy being 30 again...
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss