I used this image for my Evite and I'm a little frightened at how well their graphic design department has my style aesthetic pegged. I guess I'm a little whimsical and different just like everybody else.
Anyway, I turned 30 on Thursday. It was there on my to-do list right between "coordinate the next up/rooted meeting" and "laundry."
I have to say it feels pretty good. I felt sparkly all day on Thursday and still feel pretty good today.
I woke up naturally around 5:30 and spent about an hour luxuriating in bed, which is my favorite thing to do of all time. I can never remember what time I was born but when I talked to my mom, she reminded me by pointing out that she didn't call at 5:30. I got out of bed, put on my red, maroon, black and lime green striped tights with my sexy black pencil skirt and a demure black 3/4 length cardigan. I know I'm in big dork school because I answered a question about the outfit by saying that bright colors were a function of my birthday. And it's true. I've always wanted to wear rainbows on my birthday as a teenager and an adult. My father called a little before 8:00 and told me that about that time 30 years earlier, he had pulled off the expressway at the Dempster exit to call my grandmother and tell her that she had a beautiful granddaughter. He did not cry. However, when I called my mother at work and left a voice mail for her thanking her for going through the trouble and inconvenience of my birth, I got to the end of telling her that the effort was worth it because it's been a pretty good 30 years overall, I cried. I guess I am definitely my father's daughter.
I bopped through the rest of the morning and as the bus pulled up to school, Natalie Merchant's "Wonder" rotated into my iPod. I love this song. Especially on my birthday morning, I felt like she was singing with my mouth. Her description of the miracle of birth for every child gives me a deep feeling of joy and I recognize the feeling of being special just like everyone else as absolute truth.
Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me. Stand over my bed, disbelieving what they're seeing.
They say I must be one of the wonders of god's own creation. And as far as they can see they can offer no explanation.
O, I believe Fate smiled and Destiny laughed as she came to my cradle, "Know this child will be able." Laughed as she came to my mother, "Know this child will not suffer." Laughed as my body she lifted, "Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience and with faith. She'll make her way."
With love, with patience and with faith.
Now, goodness knows that I have not always been the most patient of people. But people have been patient with me. And that is a gift greater than almost any of the others because it gave me room to grow without having too much of my growth clipped off by overzealous gardeners.
Anyway, class was good. My friends didn't show up until 5 minutes before class so there was no one to shout "Happy Birthday!" as I sat there but they more than made up for it once they got there. In the TA session for econ later in the afternoon, I turned a corner and it no longer sounded like a foreign language. Maybe it was because this was the 4th or 5th time I've seen the material or maybe it was cute and nerdy Yuri the TA who carries his own colored chalk in his backpack to illustrate the optimal consumer bundle on the budget constraint. Regardless, right now, econ no longer scares and does not leave me in a puddle of despair. I will still have to work my ass off to pass my mid-term, but it's no longer impossible to do so. After that, I had a great meeting with my mentor with some really hopeful implications for my professional future.
Then, on to my friend Jake's condo for aforementioned Evited party. About 15 of my friends from all different aspects of my life showed up for Lou Malnati's pizza and Coca-Cola. Because it was my party, there was no diet Coke and no mushrooms. I loved it. My friends don't tend to know many of the others. There were a couple from junior high, one from college, one from my first teaching job, several from my last church, one guy that I went on three dates with off Match.com but decided we'd be better friends, my brother Daniel, and my friends from school. I love it that they're all willing to just put themselves out there and ask each other how they know me, then let the conversation go from there. It was delightful to be able to just bop around conversations.
Erika brought me a rediculous crown that said, "Birthday Princess" that I wore all night. It had pink tinsel and was totally awesome. Shiny pink zebra stripes was certainly a reflection of how good I feel being thirty. As I said in the invitation: "My 20s were slightly tumultuous but also full of joy and learning. I'll be happy to leave them behind and see what my 30s bring me. Join me in saying hello to them,will you?"
I extend the same invitation to you.