Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The beginning of the thirties

I kept starting this post in my head and never quite got it going...until today. I kept telling the gals on the run this morning that I had things to say that I want to write a post about, but hadn't yet.  Ooops.

So...I'm now thirty years old.  It's seem surreal to me.  I had a teacher in eighth grade who turned thirty, and I remember thinking back then (at age 14) that thirty sounded so old.  This teacher was unmarried and had no kids, which I thought that was weird.  She seemed on her way "downhill," and hadn't even done major things yet!  Why did she seem so cool with her aging and impending decline?

Fast forward 16 years and my perspective on thirty has changed for the better. (If I still believed what I believed when I was 14...well, we'd have other problems).  I no longer see thirty as the beginning of the end or anything silly like that--in fact, it seems like there's so much still ahead of me.  I'm in this wonderful phase of life where I've accomplished a lot, but I still have so much yet to do.  I'm young.  I really am--and I generally still get carded when I go to the bars (yes, I know they card everyone under 40. But I can still feel happy about it).

I still can't quite wrap my head around being 30, though.  I mean, when I turned 20, I might have felt the same way, like whoa, I'm no longer a teenager.  Being in my twenties defined me for, well, ten years, so it's strange to take on the new identity of being in the thirties.  Perhaps it's also a little anticlimactic: I heard tales of those who freaked out a little upon hitting thirty, but I felt strangely disconnected from any sense of panic.  Instead, I felt weird because I didn't feel any alarm about entering my thirties, but I thought maybe I should.

Today, I assisted with graduate student orientation, and one of the newbies made a comment about not reminding him that he was about to turn 24.  Ha, I thought, 24 is nothing.  The twenties were a great part of my life--especially my mid to late-twenties--and I won't forget them.  But now that I'm into the thirties, I believe I'm entering a new, perhaps even richer, stage, and I can't wait to see what's in store for me.

My mom baked me a chocolate Kahlua cake, shaped like a cupcake. Yum.
Actual birthday: So how'd it go, you might ask?  Well, it was low key.  I had kicked around an idea to go somewhere or do something cool, but it turns out that my lack of income this summer put a bit of a damper on that.  I didn't want a big party because I did that last year--and it was too hot to do what I really wanted to go do, which was to hang out at the lake/river and have a summer picnic.

Instead, I spent a lot of Saturday with my parents, which I enjoyed.  It'd be a while since my birthday had been celebrated with them, and it made me remember back to my childhood birthdays.  With five kids in the family, I didn't often get to do what I wanted, and birthdays were the one day that we got to be the center of attention and pick what we wanted to eat and do.  It was marvelous, and I was happy to have a reminder of those happy childhood memories.

My dad made me this awesome airplane from "Drank" cans.

Yes, I baked my own cake. Isn't it lovely?
On my actual birthday, we had breakfast out and a generally relaxed day. We hosted potluck, and I baked my own cake.  Most people were appalled at first when I told them this.  I love birthday cakes, though, and I love baking them. L is usually in charge of my birthday dessert, though, and he likes to make crazy, creative, awesome treats--but rarely a birthday cake.  I love what he makes, but I always miss having a cake, so I decided this year, I would make my own.  And make bunting to put on top of it because, bunting is totally in right now.

I thought about it all week, carefully selected the recipe...and baked it, using fancy chocolate and everything.  It was a vanilla date triple layer cake with a chocolate sour cream frosting.  Everyone who ate it loved it, and I was happy.

Overall, a relaxed and quiet birthday.  I might have to make up for it next year and celebrate 31 with a BANG.

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