September 17, 2012

Thirty.

me, aged 2 and 1/2ish
So, the time has come.

Wednesday I will become 30.

It's something I've been worrying about for a few years, but feel surprisingly peaceful about now that my 20s are in the books.

I feel good about what happened in my 20s. I spent the entire decade with Nekos, graduated from UT Knoxville, got my first paid writing job and lots of subsequent ones, moved home to Nashville, got married, bought a 1920s bungalow I'm crazy about, made great friends, lost great friends, made mistakes, made love, had a baby girl, fell in love with Nashville all over again, fell in love with Nekos all over again, became a mother, took some time finding my way as a mother, and promptly made another baby girl (still in the works). I took some trips that changed me, too--the born and raised in Tennessee me. Trips to Amsterdam and Barcelona, to Arizona with its cacti and Los Angeles with its Chateau Marmont, to Las Vegas and New York City. I read a lot of good books, started a blog, nearly fainted once while speaking in public, wrote a book proposal that went nowhere, experimented with things I had no business experimenting with, and even once or twice left the house wearing a moomoo. I learned a lot about how to be a "good wife" and how sometimes that means just getting by until a bad day passes, how marriage can sometimes mean crying in the bathtub at night and waking up and wrapping my arms tight around my husband the next morning, grateful that another day has come for us to learn to love better. I've learned to be less judgmental and I've learned that gossiping almost never helps anything, least of all friendships. I've learned lots about forgiveness. I learned that some things will kill me if I don't forgive them and others will kill me if I try to forgive them before I'm ready.

Having Tessa has made me appreciate the present and anticipate the future in a way that nothing else ever has. Soon I'll be the mother of two girls, and this is such a gift. I am so, so, so thankful. But I know the coming year is going to be hard, that I'll be up all night and up early. That my undereye area will look like hell. That I'll put on cartoons more than I should and microwave hotdogs more than I should and say "goddammit" more than I should. I'll have a newborn and a near three year old, I'll be looking for work, I'll be trying to hold it all together, including my housekeeping and the friendships I hold so dear. I also would like to fit back into my blue jeans at some point if possible. For all of these reasons, I'm not going to draft any ambitious list of goals this particular year but instead will be proud of myself if I can stay at least a little bit sane and in the present and honest. I want to fully know and appreciate the joy of my newborn sleeping in my arms and smiling into my eyes for the first time because I know it all goes so fast, fast, fast. And it's all so good.  

5 comments:

  1. Ellen, you are wise beyond your years.... you have done and learned way more than i did in my 20's. you will be great in your 30's. GREAT!!!
    i will be 40 in december. 40!!!!!!!
    let's keep on keepin' on.
    one thing i learned.... get new jeans to fit the you whenever. ;)
    much love mama. much love!!

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  2. Happy birthday! I feel compelled to break my silence as a reader but not commenter to say that I really love your blog. My 30th birthday is at the end of the month, so from one September '82 baby to another, wishing you the best.

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  3. Hi! I heard about your blog from my cousin Kimberly, and have thoroughly enjoyed looking through your old posts on what you've worn, made, and so on. Great writing, and great projects. Thank you!

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  4. I turned 30 this year and loved this! The part about marriage really hit home. Sometimes marriage is about crying in the bathtub... and trying again the next day... and that is okay. Thank you! And Happy Birthday!!!

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