Everyone is full of advice, ranging from how your thirties are the best years of your life, to how I should have babies soon because I'm getting old, to how I should really be using sunscreen daily because serious wrinkles are right around the corner.
I'm excited, not really feeling any of the crisis OH MY GOD I'M OLD stuff at all.
I am happily married and living in a house and community that I love. I am near family. I am in the best shape of my entire life, having become a Runner about a year ago. I am in art school perfecting my skills as a metalsmith. I'm a working jeweler. I have friends. I love our cats. I am happy and excited to be turning thirty, but not sappily idealistic about what the next decade might hold.
If anything, the one poignant lesson that I've become more aware of at this age is that we really don't have that much time. I can imagine that those of you reading this who are in your sixties are just shaking your heads, thinking Oh, she has no idea. But I do have an idea, if only a small one.
In my twenties and teenage years, I was privileged to travel a lot. I always had the feeling that those places, those people I connected with on my travels would be part of my life again. I went to Roraima and felt like it was no big deal to go back. I went to Greece and had no doubt I'd visit again. Same thing with Cuba, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Argentina. It seemed so easy to just hop on a plane and go. Time seemed infinite, and travel was one of a select few ways to use my resources.
I was sure I'd see them again, the people that touched my heart over the years. Hannah, Lambros, Gaby, Angel, the Yamamotos, Perry. The list expanded exponentially with living in Mozambique. I felt certain I'd reconnect at some point with all of these special people. Jenny, Kelly, Zahra, Anel, Claudia, Helen, Marcos, Bruno. There are too many to name, really, and now I wonder when, realistically, we'll ever cross paths again.
Time is short, energy fleeting, resources divided amongst many worthwhile dreams and goals (not to mention practical obligations). It is challenging at best to connect face-to-face with those we love. We are lucky to visit twice the places that make our hearts skip a beat. We are envious of those who do what they truly love because we recognize the risks that often go into those decisions.
We must make choices, many choices.
I hope that I choose wisely in the decade to come.