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Susan R. Hatten Headshot

Baptism and Birthday Candles

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I was baptized by font in a small Catholic church in Nebraska as a baby; a decision made in tandem by my parents, but no doubt forged mainly by my mother. I was held coolly by my Godparents and our priest for several photographs, and -- if memory serves me correctly -- I was perfectly poised, my mouth curling into a smile during every opportune moment.

Okay, so even if I don't remember my baptism, I do have a great memory of my years as a toddler -- I can even recall peering through the oak slats of my nursery crib.

Recently, while on a walk with a very dear girlfriend (we both needed a sounding-board after recent meltdowns), I discovered something that recalled my baptism. The trail we were on -- which doubled as our psychologists office -- surrounded a small lake, offering a bit of white noise, ambient lighting and a beautiful summer afternoon backdrop to our conversation.

Our discussion was about family, relationships, careers, sex, religion, politics and the usual drama that surrounds any busy 29-year-old woman's life.

As I approach my thirtieth birthday in the coming weeks, I have chosen to review my life in detail, to reflect on my past as that lake reflected the light; to dissect each layer of my being to discover what I am comprised of. We are constantly being assessed, questioned, interviewed, surveyed, tabulated and tallied. Truly, how often can you say that you offer your own self a 360 degree personal review? In doing so, the idea is to start with a clean-slate; baptism at 30, if you will.

If my good genes and Karma goddess can work together, I may be encroaching on the second-third segment of my life. I'd be okay with living to 90 years. That gives me 60 more years to fulfill everything which I had predicted for myself in my 8th grade middle school time capsule. Tick-tock...

When I Googled "Turning 30," I found this lovely piece via the Huffington Post and Glamour magazine. Although the original Glamour article was written in 1997, I found many of the points listed to remain relevant today.

Reviewing myself and categorizing my life in a "By 30 You Should Have" and "By 30 You Should Know," allowed me to better assess various categories of my life. I can safely say that 75% of the items listed have been accomplished by 29.9, and the remaining will undoubtedly be fulfilled by the closure of my 30th year.

While the token benchmarks called out in my 8th grade time capsule may be relatively untouched; marriage, children, owning my own company, luxury vehicle, white picket fence... blah, blah, blah, I am not disgruntled.

I feel an incredible spark inside of me that oftentimes makes me distracted and a bit uneasy, Almost unsettled. I shared this feeling with my girlfriend as a view of my excitement for turning 30, and being baptized into a new chapter of my life.

I see this feeling as a renewed baptismal passion -- a driver towards what I Have, Know and Wish for myself at thirty... and beyond.