Posted by: Josey | August 6, 2007

Turning 30: What a Difference a Decade Makes

by Josey Miller

Today, August 6th, is my thirtieth birthday. The big 3-0. The big 3-oh-my-lord-where-did-my-twenties-go. Today is a milestone.

For the past three months, I’ve been switching gears from wedding planning on the brain to turning thirty on the brain, and it’s made me feel emotionally restless. I have patted myself on the back for the things I checked off my list of goals, and fought off regret for the things I didn’t accomplish. (Like most nerdy overachievers, I actually wrote down several very aggressive goals―a life’s to-do list―when I was in my early twenties. I believe that was Oprah’s suggestion, and who am I to argue with Oprah?)

I’m not one of those people who fears her thirties. My twenties were more thrilling than I could have ever imagined, but they were confusing and exhausting. While I would never say, Phew! Glad that decade’s over!, I think my thirties will bring me a refined sense of security and stability and increased confidence in my own skin. And, speaking of which, I’m now comfortable saying no when I don’t feel like doing something, a valuable skill I learned in my twenties. I intend to say yes to adventure and laughter and late nights in my thirties, but on my own terms.

In 1997, the year I turned twenty, I suddenly lost two grandparents and endured my first heartbreak, all of which shook me to the core. But I also took a deep breath and signed up to study in Barcelona, an experience that enlightened me, changed me, opened my eyes in ways I didn’t expect and took my life in an entirely new direction. While my parents, like most parents, told me I could do whatever I could dream, I didn’t quite believe it until then.

Since that year, I’ve lived in three out of the five places on my to-do list: the Midwest (Chicago), the West Coast (San Diego) and now the East Coast (New York City). I didn’t make it to Denver or San Fran. I did not write a one-hit wonder (hey, a girl can dream!), but I did sing my first ever gig at the legendary Bitter End, where Joni Mitchell got her start; and I’ve sung there several times since. I did not adopt a dog, but I did adopt a cat…

I went Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef…

…I saw Machu Picchu at sunrise…

And I married my dream guy, someone who my grandparents would have―may have―hand-selected. He proposed in Barcelona, my favorite city in the world.

I’m proud of my twenties. I wouldn’t live them any differently, nor would I choose to re-live them if given the chance.

What will I accomplish between now and forty? What will I cross off my life’s to-do list, chapter two?

I’ll let you know on August 6th, 2017.

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