Wednesday, June 1, 2011

They say it's your birthday...

Well, this is it. I turned the big 3-0 on Friday.

For those of you who know me, you understand that birthdays are a major ordeal to me, and should be treated as such. I was a middle child and growing up, this was the one, single day a year where I got to choose things. Where we went out to eat, what kind of cake we had (always marble with chocolate icing, always) and what kind of things we did. It was great. The 364 other days of the year, I had to simply go with the flow.

When Andrew and I first got married, he had no idea what he was getting into when it came to b-days. My mom always had a themed party that she threw, it was a big ordeal and I loved it. One year it was circus themed and we made hot air balloon cupcakes. Another year, our back porch was transformed into Candy Land. We're talkin' some serious stuff here. So Andrew's really had to step up his game over the years and I've been impressed with what he's come up with. It's one day a year that's all about me and I take it pretty seriously.

That being said, this year I have been absolutely, positively dreading my birthday. Highly unlike me. Last year when I turned 29, I thought "Well, I have a whole year until I have to really freak out."

Time's up!

So here's where I am with this: I don't feel 30. I don't feel the least bit 30 years old. I don't look it, that's for sure (although I feel like that has something to do with my being 5'2") and I just don't feel like it's real - at all.

It's not that 30 seems super old to me or anything, it's just that I feel like I should have accomplished more by now, or that I should have more to show for 30 years. This is me being completely honest.

For starters, my biological clock is screaming at me. My brain and my heart are doing a pretty good job of not paying any attention to it. Translation: I'm not ready for kids. I do not posess an internal, maternal instinct. Shouldn't I, by age 30? Most of my friends have kids, or are currently prego. Why not me? I just don't have any desire yet. I love kids, I enjoy my friends' kids - but I'm not in a place yet where I have any stirring or remotely any desire for one of my own. Maybe something's wrong with me, I don't know.

Then there's my career. I earned my M.Ed in School Counseling in 2009. Two years later, I've had a hodge podge of jobs semi-related to counseling but haven't even really started my career. Loooo-ser. That's what it feels like. I get it - the economy is in the crapper and there are budget cuts all across the nation in the realm of education, but doesn't do much for the ol' self-esteem that I'll turned 30 on Friday, and then file for unemployment the following week when I'm officially laid off. Awesome...

I'm not going to apologize if this is super depressing, it's just where I am at this station in life.

Then I talked to my mom. She had some great words of wisdom for me, and in a very mom-like fashion, she made me feel a little better about myself. She reminded me of how much I accomplished during my 20's (graduated from college, got married, bought a house, figured out what I want to do with my life and pursued my M.Ed for 3 years, and graduated with the aforementioned M.Ed) and then said that that was a very productive decade - now, I get to enjoy those accomplishments. A strong, firm and blessed marriage, and two degrees.

I'd like to believe her that the hardest years are over. I guess we'll see...!

So as I was gloomily dreading this monumental and depressing day - my husband took it upon himself to plan a surprise weekend for me to ring in the new decade.

I had no clue what was going on.

He didn't budge, either. I had absolutely no idea if we were staying here, travelling some place, or what. He kept telling me that I would find out the day before my actual birthday, but I went absolutely insane trying to figure this out!

I realized that even if it turned out to just be pizza in the basement with a movie, I couldn't care less. He'd done the impossible - he made me excited about this birthday that I've been fearing for a while now. God bless him.

Thursday night, Andrew revealed the big surprise to me and it far exceeded my expectations. He and my dear friend Kelli had been plotting for a couple of weeks to have him fly her and her darling little miss ZJ down to VA to visit for a long weekend.

Joy of all joys!

Kelli and I lived together for 2 years in college, worked together for 2 years in Columbus and talk/email all the time about how we miss those days. The idea of sipping coffee with her, going to Panera for lunch like we used to (on a very consistent basis when we were co-workers) and simply sitting together once more in the same room was absolutely perfect.

So we spent the weekend eating great food, sipping coffee, getting pedicures, strolling around downtown, shopping, having lunch at good ol' Panera, and just enjoying one another's company. It was wonderful and enriching to be with Kelli, one of the most sincere and genuine people I've ever met.

And so now I am 30.

Having a great friend and a wonderful husband by my side made the transition from one decade to the next much smoother and more enjoyable.

Thank you, Kelli and Andrew for making my weekend splendid!

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