Upon realizing life was speeding by me faster than ever, I decided to cook up a list of 30 things I absolutely must do before I turn 30 and I am happy to report that I have recently accomplished them all!
I moved to Oakland two years ago on the cusp of my 28th birthday. Like so many spindly-rooted transplants before me, I was ready to leave NYC -- Brooklyn to be exact -- but knew New York was a hard act to follow.
In theory, we were all very creative. In reality, we mostly just went to brunch. We existed in a perpetual post-college phase; even though we logically knew our parents were settled into careers and families by our age, we still considered ourselves firmly within our salad days.
Maybe at 20 you still take the very notion of a lifelong friendship for granted. A grand statement that is meaningless when you're barely out of your teens. But now, a few years later, we seem to know better.
And so it is: I am officially 30 years young. Yes, I use the word young instead of old, contrary to my previous belief that once I turned the big 3-0, life as I had known it prior to this milestone would never be the same again. Period.
It is the age when you accept that going through your 20s with too steely a resolve and determined a course would have made you much less interesting than you are today. It is where, unconsidered change behind you, you can see more clearly the grander choices ahead.
Things to do, places to travel, life bench-markers to have attained (this one tends to be a short, but ambitious mental list). On my 30th birthday, I find myself searching for a different kind of "list."
Maybe it isn't turning 30 that bothers me. Maybe it's losing myself in motherhood. Maybe it's the fear that I'm already gone, replaced by this ghost whose voice will soothe my children's memories, long after I've died.
I counted the days after cancer surgery until I could eat Cinnabon and wear my favorite yellow Adidas pants. I sometimes counted how much of my life was stolen by cancer, how far behind I was and how fast I'd have to catch up.