Last week, I turned 30. While I’m not freaking out about getting “old,” I have been doing a fair amount of reflection lately. When I look back over my 20s, I see a mile-long list of major moments — studying abroad in Paris, moving to Los Angeles, getting a cat, falling in love, making lifelong friends — peppered with thousands of lovely, happy memories. So, it’s fair to say that even though I might make some different choices if given the chance to repeat the past decade, I don’t have any regrets. I feel like every year, I keep discovering more and more about myself. And as I solidify my likes/wants/needs and take charge of my path, “live purposefully” has slowly become my mantra. I’ve been explaining this sentiment to people over the last week, sharing how I want to live more fully in each moment. How I want to love deeper. How I want to do more of the things that make me happy, and less of the things that leave me frustrated and stressed. It’s simple, but not always easy. Recently, this post really inspired me, especially the sections on “make stuff,” “don’t buy processed foods,” “love your home,” “explore your community,” and “be happy now.”
In celebrating my 30th birthday, I was reminded of just how lucky I’ve been the past 29 years, and of how many good times are ahead. On my actual birthday, I got dozens of calls, emails and texts from friends and family. I opened some amazing gifts, enjoyed a great dinner and ate ice cream cake with two of my very favorite people. Last weekend, our group of ten friends headed to Lake Arrowhead. Every little detail was perfect; my friends brought fancy champagne, balloons, presents, homemade cake, and flowers; my sister even made a banner charting out my past 30 years. We ate, we drank, we braided each others’ hair, we played lots of games (Hearts, Balderdash, Cards Against Humanity, Bananagrams) and had a mini billiards tournament. In the morning, we woke up and made breakfast together before spending the day basking in the sun, playing Frisbee and bocce ball. If it sounds as though I’m describing sleep-away camp for adults, well, that’s exactly what it felt like. If this is 30, sign me up.