(This particularly raw and honest post was written on Sunday, October 1, just a week out from my 30th birthday)
I’m sitting outside at a cafe, under the shade with a pot of coffee at my right. There’s a baby crying and the wind is cool. I’m in a sweaty post-workout outfit with my hair scooped into a tight ponytail. I hear a mariachi band at the corner Mexican restaurant playing music for guests. This is where I’m at today on a Sunday by myself.
In one week, I’ll be 30.
My life, in its current state, is really so many things “good.” This year I married my best friend. I’ve continued to write for a living. I’ve been able to put a roof over my head in the sunniest of lands. I’ve worked hard. I’ve played hard. I’ve eaten. I’ve drank. I’ve laughed. I’ve made connections and memories. I’ve lived a good life so far.
As I sit here and look around at the families and friends at these tables, I wonder what their lives look like. Some of them look 30. Some of them have kids and shiny watches. Some of them look busy. Some others, bored, stressed, unamused.
So then, what does 30 look like? Just one day separates 29 from 30, so if I’m being realistic, it’ll look quite the same. But, how will it feel? Will I figuratively be turning a page.
I think I’m ready to.
I’m blabbering on, but this is how my mind works. I think I’m ready for a new decade—whatever that means.
Anyway… I’ll carry on to what I want to write about. I want to look back and reflect on my twenties. The good, mostly, which is most of it.
I was always a girl with a dream. That’s what brought me to California at 25 (almost 26). Sam and I recently talked about what it felt like to pack our bags and come out here, and we both said we didn’t feel nervous really, just excited. I remember that feeling. There was a fire in me to do well, see new things, and live my best life.
I will always be a dreamer and I’ll encourage those around me to do the same. No matter your age, your job, your beliefs—try and dream a little bigger.
It’s so funny when we moved. I remember thinking… man, I’m 25, why did we wait til we were 25 to move? Why not at 21? But, we did it the right way. We saved up and had a plan. I guess that’s always been my way…
That was four years ago.
In those four years, I’ve felt a really wide range of emotions here. I’ve been proud, scared, happy, bummed, uneasy, motivated, discouraged, stressed, content… the list goes on.
I don’t know if it’s my location that brought on those feelings—especially being so far from home—but I’ve felt them all, strongly.
It’s always been funny to me when people say that they never see me unhappy. It happens. How could it not? I think I just do a really good job of masking it and “snapping out of it.”
For me, choosing happiness has always been key. I wake up and choose it. I’ve done this day after day. It’s worked for me so far.
Anyway, the twenties brought with it a ton of feelings. I’m happy that I went through the emotions of those chapters in my life.
The standouts have been, of course, getting married to Sam, moving to LA, buying a car, graduating college, moving into our own place, working in the entertainment industry, traveling here and there, getting even closer with my family, making fitness/healthy living a priority, making new friends and staying in touch with old friends, realizing the importance of self-care, communication, and discipline… once again, the list goes on.
I’ve heard a lot about what’s in store for my thirties. For one, I’ve heard it’s a great time to be alive. You finally “come into your own,” you care way less about what people think, you leave the bad and welcome the good, and you just have more of the life “stuff” figured out?
Well, heyyyy, I like the sound of that.
I think I’m always trying to figure myself out and keep the fire that was in me at 25 still brightly lit. Sometimes it flickers and other times it’s steady. I’m working on keeping it fully ignited as I cross into a new decade. I’m sort of ready to make a leap. To fall, maybe. To get back up, definitely.
As easy-going as I am, I’m layered… in a way that I like to describe as multi-faceted and always continuing to blossom. My interests are wide. I like rain but I like sun. I love coffee, tea, beer, and wine. I like to write and explore, but I like to stand still and breathe in. I really am the Libra of Libras.
We’ll have a lot to figure out in this decade. Where will we put down roots? When will we start a family? What will our life look like?
And, all that starts within.
This is a time of rediscovery. Who is 30-year-old Ari? What makes her tick? What inspires her? What makes her… go? It could change with the days.
Though it’s easy for me to get ahead of myself with these questions, today, and this week, I’m going to just be 30.
30 sounds good. 30 feels good. I’m not the complete version of myself quite yet. Are we ever? But, today, I am the best I can be.
I am open to what I will learn about myself this decade. It’s not so scary after all.
In fact, I think I was ready all along.
Here we go,
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