There are so many things that are a part of life, part of having a human body, part of my story that I could spend the decades to come fighting against it and becoming consumed with resentment, or I can learn to be gentle with myself. So I can give my strength and fight to the things that matter.

Hi everyone!!!! Happy Springtime!

So I turned 29 this week, that magical age that so many women joke about “freezing at” and never growing any older. This is my last year in my twenties and I plan to make the most of it in so many ways.

It’s also kind of surreal and funny to think about turning 30 next year. I’m not dreading it at all. It only feels conceptually odd to say, just like it feels weird to say that I’ve been at my current job for 8 years or that my husband and I started dating my husband 10 years ago this fall. Those feel like big, grown-up numbers and significant amounts of time. So sometimes my initial reaction is that those accomplishments or relationships sound more mature or significant than I actually feel.

And then I think about it some more and realize…. No, I’ve earned my 20s.

As I’m 90% complete with this decade, I feel like I am qualified to label them as the “Tumultuous 20s.” My best friend from college and I were chatting about this a few weeks ago over a glass of wine and we both laughed at the truth of it. It has been QUITE the ride. College, a serious relationship turned engagement turned marriage, a career,  my parents’ divorce, a Master’s degree, multiple career changes for my husband which has resulted in him going back to school for a 2nddegree in something completely different, counseling (so much counseling), new siblings via marriage, new nieces and nephews, my father’s remarriage, the coming out processes of so many I love in the LGBTQ+ community, countless friendships & students I’ve mentored, a TEDx talk, a deconstruction/reconstruction of my faith that’s still very much in progress, etc. etc. etc. So much joy, so much laughter, so much pain, so much grief, so much learning.

As I celebrated my birthday this past week, I first asked my mom, then my dad & stepmom, if they would go back to their 20s. They all said no, which I think is so telling. Our culture promotes the concept that your 20s are the best time of your life, because you’re finally an adult but young & beautiful, and that it’s all downhill from there. And yet, these people that I love & trust (and many more, I suspect, if I asked might respond similarly) said they wouldn’t go back to that decade. They all said there were seasons in their 30s and 40s they would revisit, but that their 20s while wild and fun and exciting in some ways, were also really stressful, chaotic, and yes, tumultuous. They’re thankful for their 20s and what they learned and who it shaped them into, but they said that there is so much goodness waiting for me in the years ahead.