28 has been one of the best years of my life thus far, but also the toughest, most growing, and humbling one.
In my 28th year, we had the most profitable year of our business.
In my 28th year, I became friends with a solid group of women who love God.
In my 28th year, I stopped running away from family and embraced the dysfunction.
In my 28th year, I discovered Sufjan Stevens and J. Tillman (I know, I’m a little behind), and I’m obsessed.
In my 28th year, I learned to appreciate good coffee, good beer, good bourbon, good food, and good conversation. (Separately and in any combination.)
In my 28th year, my husband and I went through re|engage, a group marriage counseling class at our church. We learned to push through conflict, communicate with each other, and love each other well.
In my 28th year, I joined a gym and learned to use the barbell. I can deadlift, hang clean, front and back squat, lunge, and press all of the presses. I am not the skinniest I’ve ever been but am in the best shape of my life with muscles in places I never thought I’d have.
In my 28th year, I learned to have a healthier relationship with food and I am slowly starting to love my body, to fuel and feed it instead of starve it, to take care of it instead of obsessing over the number on the scale.
In my 28th year, more friends than I have fingers and toes to count on were/are still pregnant and/or had babies. The births and births-to-come are all amazing and miracles, but I struggled with the fact that I don’t want motherhood for myself. I felt guilty and ashamed for not desiring children but I learned that everything is God-given, including my desires.
In my 28th year, I was confronted with so many of my shortcomings and had to face them. I learned that I operate on fear of the unknown, that I’m not very good at recognizing my emotions nor expressing them, and that I used my introverted personality as an excuse to isolate myself.
In my 28th year, I became more discontent with my circumstances than I’d like to admit. In my discontentment, I searched for contentment in places apart from my faith. I slowly, and in denial of it, walked away from God and decided I didn’t need Him, that I didn’t want to trust Him. And now, exhausted and broken, unable to even walk, I’m slowly crawling my way back to the Lord, crying out to Him, begging Him to move my soul to love Him more, to allow me to yearn for Him, that He may be my everything.
Tomorrow, I turn 29. I have exactly a year left in my twenties.
And I have no regrets about 28.
Like lots of teens in the early 2000s, I grew up watching reruns of Friends on the WB in the evenings after dinner with my brother. We would finish up dinner and put away our dishes in the sink just in time to watch. I remember the episode on Rachel’s 30th birthday and how depressed she was about it. I thought I would feel that way as I approached the end of the first three decades of my life, but now I find myself wishing I was already 30. I don’t know what it is about the age, but I associate it with having more confidence, being more sure of myself, feeling more stable and more settled, being wiser, and not giving a shit about what anyone else thinks.
But why do I have to wait until 30 for that? Why is 29 any different than 30?
I won’t wake up tomorrow morning and feel 29. I won’t wake up next year on my 30th birthday and feel 30. I don’t need to be 30 to feel more confident, to be more sure of myself, to feel more stability and settled, be wiser, and not care about others’ opinions.
I can do that now. I can do that tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and so on.
Tomorrow I’ll be 29.
Instead of lamenting over how I only have a year left in my twenties, I am so excited for being only a year away from 30.