Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On turning 30

I've been trying to blog about this particular topic for the past three days, but nothing has sounded quite right. 

I'm not upset about turning 30, per say...but I'm not supposed to be that old yet.  Can it be possible that it's been a full 10 years since I protested turning 20?!  How is it possible that time has moved this quickly when it took a full 10 years to get from 15 to 16?

A benefit of adulthood, I suppose.

I guess I thought things would be different at this point in my life--but then, who doesn't expect that?  When I think about all of the things people I know have accomplished at this point in life, I feel behind somehow.  My mom pointed out that I will likely feel that way at every stage of life, and that's probably true.  The funny part of those feelings is the fact that I'm not really jealous; I don't want all of those things at this point.  I just didn't think I would have so far to go when I reached this point. 

That's probably funny to say.  I'm sure I'll be 60 and saying the exact same thing.  Prepare for a blog about that in another 30 years.

But despite the fact that there are things I haven't accomplished, there are so many things that are wonderful in this season of my life.

For instance, there's this guy.  I have a hundred pictures of him in funny hats, and I can imagine that I'll have a hundred more before we meet Jesus face to face.  At his funeral, I fully intend to put them all together on one board so people can experience the man I've known over the course of my marriage.

He is my supporter.  He encourages me and knows my weaknesses and strengths.

He's always willing to participate in activities (even when it means he ends up in some silly get-up), and he makes me laugh like nobody's business.

We've been married for seven years, and, as he likes to point out, some days it feels like seven days and some days it feels like seven decades.  But, for better or worse, I can't imagine what kind of person I would be without him.  He was with me through almost ALL of my twenties (we started dating right before I turned 22 and married when I was almost 23), and has allowed me the opportunity to grow and change in those seven years. 

When I was interviewed at A-J, one of the pricipals asked me what I felt was my greatest accomplishment outside the professional world.  I thought for a minute, then I responded, "My relationship with my brothers."

Maybe it doesn't sound important to a lot of people, but I'm thankful, at 30, to have, not just a functioning relationship with my brothers, but a close relationship with both of them.

Ronnie (top) is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met, and I've learned a lot of random things from him over the years (though math isn't on that list).

Tim ( this super-awesome coat) knows how to have a good time and shares my love of karaoke.  He also shares my mutual interest in Shakespeare...or he's at least willing to discuss it with me.

Although, I will believe that I have truly arrived when I manage to make Ronnie read The Kite Runner.  So far, I'm at a loss...but your day is coming, Big Brother.

There's also these two people.  At 30, I'm grateful to have an awesome relationship with both of my parents.  I was actually thinking recently about how much I've needed them in my 20s.  You would think that you'd need them less and less as you get older, but I'm finding the opposite is true.

My dad still stops by my classroom to check up on me, and it's not difficult to see that he gets a little proud when students hug me at graduation.

My mom has become my confidant and sounding-board.  I never would have believed it when I was a kid, but she and I are a lot alike.

And there's nothing like having a couple of people who have been there/done that to talk you through the building process.

I've been a part of the same singing group since I was 19.  That's right, we've been singing together for 11 years (ELEVEN. YEARS. OH. MY. GRACIOUS.).  But after 11 years, we still can't agree on a name so we're not called anything.  We are simply "The Girls" and we sing together because we love Jesus.  It's really that easy.  Our harmony is probably a little nicer this far down the road, but we aren't nearly as interested in that as we are in giving people the opportunity to praise their Lord and Savior.

And, while I don't have a picture of them, I feel it's necessary to mention my Bible Study Women.  Their impact on my life has been phenomenal--and humbling.

I discovered teaching.  I made friends with some awesome people at school (Looking at you, Morgan, Kerry and Schmeig!).  I learned that I love my job, and I really appreciate co-workers who are willing to hang out outside of the classroom.

I still haven't gone to grad school (and I'm not sure I plan to in the near future).  I don't have children.  I feel like my Deliverer is having to teach me the same lessons I should have learned at 23 (even though I feel like I'm in a different place with him).  My goal of becoming the Proverbs 31 woman is probably more than 50 years from being realized.  I still can't play the guitar.  I'm not at my ideal weight, and I have never managed to shave my legs with any sort of regularity.  So when I say I feel behind, I mean it in a lot of respects.

But it turns out that 30 isn't so bad.  I'm a little older (but I think I look really good--thanks for those genes, Mom & Dad!); I may not be wise, but I've certainly learned things to this point:  mostly that it's not all about me and what I want. 

In the past few years, I feel that I HAVE managed to learn that I am not my own.  I have been bought with a price.  God is gracious enough to allow me all of these things.  He has been gracious enough to give me 30 years. 

As I trek into the next stage of my life, I hope I'll stop feeling behind and start realizing that there will always be so much more to learn and/or accomplish...that He will direct my path...that the Proverbs 31 woman probably never had to wiggle into spanx...

But I digress...

Thirty isn't just another day for me.  But it doesn't scare me anymore, either.


CaseyRhea said...

I wish your blog had a super-like button!

ktjane said...

Well said, and beautifully at that!

Anonymous said...

Crystal, I am so proud of you for all that you me a special Angel that God put in my life at the right time!!! I love you very much and at 30 you GLOW!!!!! I miss hearing your Angelic voice on Sunday...I miss your hugs, I miss your smile, I miss your laughter, I miss our small talk...I just MISS YOU!!!! I hope when I grow up I can be like you!!! You are Nanny's girl...ALWAYS!!!! Kisses and Hugs...thanks for the tears of Joy you bring me!!! So proud of YOU!!

Anonymous said...

Knowing all of the ones above that have helped mold your life into what it is at the age of do have Angels all around!!! You are soooooooo Blessed!!!! xoxoxo to each of them as well!!!! (really I wanted to say....I can't believe you made it this far) lol...that dad of yours.....hahaha