Here it comes, my 30th Birthday!

Though I haven’t had as much time as some, I have thought about getting older and what it means to me.

Adulthood-wise turning 30 feels very much like turning 10. It’s a big new number, turning 10 was exciting because you finally got to be double-digits old, and 30 is equally monumental as you’re finally out of childhood, teenagerhood, and young-adulthood. Finally, a full-blown adult.

I mostly feel like I am at my prime. Sure my body was maybe stronger a few years back, but there’s nothing I can’t do without warming up a little. In fact, besides some emotional growth [details will continue], physically I have already seen a lot of changes in my body.

I feel the annoyance of having to warm up my body. This awareness began the night I turned 20. At 19 I could easily juggle two plates of munchies, kick my foot up into the air and turn off the light switch with my feet. The night of my 20th I tore my groin trying to do so. At 27 I tore my hamstring drunk aerial-silking one night with friends which required a year recovery. At 29 I attempted a 50% effort sprint, after a long warmup mind you, and fell to the ground crying from my first leg cramp.

Yes, my body is requiring more care and attention, but I can still easily lift my 80lb golden retriever and carry all three of my nieces and nephews on my back at once. I just need to warm up.

For this physical reason, I am happy that I steered away from “working out” and towards yoga and body appreciation. Now seeing my body change, I appreciate it deeply for when I ask it to be strong and am compassionate with myself when I need help opening a pickle jar. This last part is false, I still open all the jars in my home.

What is it about turning 30 that makes people go a little nuts? My girlfriend is obsessed with the idea of turning 30. “Dirty Thirty” she calls it, a birthday with a name. Like “Sweet 16”, except I can relate much more to a dirty 30 than being sweet. For her, and my oldest sister, turning 30 seems important to them. They want a big party, some big gesture to mark this momentous day even though they will probably celebrate their birthday on a random weekend day anyways. I don’t intend to sound mean and heartless, but with the emotional turmoil my last day of being 29 has brought me, I would much rather just sip some tea and have my husband rub my feet. What I mean to say even more clearly is that I would love big gestures at any birthday year because I think I’m awesome, but turning 30 doesn’t seem like the big year to me.

What I have enjoyed about getting older is embracing the zero bullshit no fluff up the ass part of this world. If you like me cool, if you don’t that’s just dandy, just stay out of my way. I have been observing the people in my life. Those that are dear to me, and those that are new to me and those that have been dear to me in the past but something has changed.

When we are kids we only have a few options as far as making friends go. There are only so many people in your class or on the playground as you so you choose a couple and you run with them, literally and figuratively. As you get older and bolder you may become friends with someone because they interest you or you have some sort of mutual attraction but you are still very bound by the limits of your school or town. 

When I was vaulting for WVU my closest friends were the other vaulters. In times of great need, one girl decided to spread nasty rumors and the others, apart from 3 awesome women, fell in line with the lying fake-tan-fart-face. I had decided that at 20 I was too old for fake friends and for fake environments and so I quit Division 1 Athletics in my junior year of Track & Field. [This is not to be reflected negatively in any way about WVU, WVU athletics or its coaches. Just nasty bitches that are somehow chosen to be on the team]

I had done very well for myself since then. I found my hippie nature-loving friends, I found a partner who loves me, even when I’m myself. I have strengthened loving relationships in my life; I have strengthened my own self-love and confidence in who I am. Owning up to the parts of me I want to improve and embrace the parts of me that will be no matter how I evolve.

This last statement has been so true and close to my everyday process as of late. This past summer I went on a vacation with some old friends and in a drunken stupor, some not so nice words were delivered to me. Yes, I took it deeply to my heart instead of recognizing that we were all drunk and should have shrugged it off. That moment came and went and all is forgiven, what I carry still is the reminder of what is a good friend in my eyes. Even more importantly, how I want to be treated by those that I choose to spend my precious time with.

Unfortunately for my friends, I have been observing them, their words, their actions, and who they are to their core. What kind of people am I with? Do they like me? Love me? Or am I just there because we are all on the same playground?

What I see for myself when I am older is a cozy group of friends. We are all comfortable in conversation, in quietness, in drunkenness, in sobriety. We just exist together without pain and fear of each other. I know this is possible because I already have it, now it’s time to grow more.

If you know me you know I love to garden and to be with the plants. If you know me well you know that my garden is mostly full of what others would call weeds, I call them friends. I’ve even been known to take out “precious to others, plants” so that my friends could be more successful. It may not look logical to the average person, but I’ve never considered anything I do as normal. Rather my mom’s favorite word for me, unique. 

I have some beautiful unique lovely people in my world and effortlessly we work on our relationships together.

As I grow older I recognize that not all plants are meant for me. That even though I love them for who they are and who they have been to me in the past does not mean that I have to tend to them tediously–– like roses. In fact, I hate roses. They require so much time and attention and nurture and fertilizer and constant pruning that I never came to understand who would want a rose in their garden. 

I prefer a species that can be innocently neglected, though not unloved, and who will be there when the season is right. Sometimes it hurts to pull a rose bush out of the garden, there may even be blood, but tomorrow that thorn in my side will heal and the bush will be much happier in a garden where it can get all its needs and constant pruning.

This emotional growth is what has made me become different as I approach my 30th birthday. The reminder that I gave up false feelings and friendships long ago and that from time to time a thinning of the garden may be required.

This is especially true for old relationships. The easiest way to describe it is by viewing the relationship that I had with my ex. We were both good people, we were both cool people, and we both cared very much about each other, but we did not actually love each other. It was difficult and messy ending that relationship because it was hard to let go of something familiar. If we could only see and feel that it’s not hate that separates us, but just a different view of the world and who we want to be in it. That it’s okay to have been closer to each other, and that it’s okay to grow apart. 

You can still love deeply and more genuinely if that particular relationship can find evolution. Instead of the alternative; beating the dead horse into the ground until the horse comes back to life and stomps all over your heart and your garden bed. How about skipping that part altogether and just be okay that life and relationships change. 

Other than deciding who gets to be in the closest circle of my heart, I have had the pain/pleasure of embracing myself.

After closing DaisyMoon’s brick and mortar I took a break from conventional work. My partner and I decided to work together along with starting some new passion projects of my own. I’ve got to say that this has been the hardest, and most challenging stage of my career. It’s not the work or working with my husband that creates tension and barriers, it’s believing in myself. 

I spent my twenties showing the world angrily that I have something to offer, that I have skills that I can accomplish great things. Now on the brink of my 30’s I find myself in turmoil of showing myself that I am worth all those things. 

I know my family loves me and supports me even though they would have made alternative choices about my life. I know the friends and relationships in my life are supportive of me. Even with all this love and support, I find myself lacking in self-confidence. [This is something my siblings would never have dreamed possible] 

 A few months back, some angry sad stressed person said to me “you have nothing to offer”. Then after a week crying about it, I re-wrote my resume and was actually surprised to see my own accomplishments written down on paper. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “I actually have a lot to offer”. Feeling strong in my capabilities I posted some hilariously nude photoshopped topless images of myself on Instagram. 

Following my post on facebook just mentioning to check out the photoshopped nude on my IG my mom texted me saying she had to unfollow me on FB. Mainly because my extended family expresses disappointment in my crass behavior.

Following that was a quick visit home. At this time my young brother was on an emotional rampage about why he doesn’t need to go to college and that all his sisters that went don’t even have jobs or jobs that pay well, that continued education has done nothing for us. 

If I had three balls, like one of my close friends, if feels like they all got kicked deep into my gut. It’s okay. Though this process is painful for me and my husband to see, it is good. I hope.

Moments like these allow me to step back and re-evaluate. Why did it hurt so bad to hear people say these things? Am I hurting people by doing things I believe in? If it pains me so much, is it the right thing?

I feel like I spent my 20’s trying to prove to the world that I was worth something. Now turning 30, I find myself in a place where I have to prove to myself that I am worth it.

Living with an artist is just perfect while I go through this stage. My partner sees the beauty in me and sees the struggle in my heart. He knows that it will make me stronger and clearer. 

Honestly most days I feel like I am in a strange retirement. I’ve taken a break from posting my modeling sessions and writing art proposals. I spend my days now exploring new talents like pickling, sculpting bones, canning, and learning Chinese. I actually do find that I have an itch to get back to normal.

This itch is important. When I was feeling really low one day I said to my husband “I’m afraid that what I do with my time and body hurts and offends people. I love what I do, but if it causes me so much pain does it mean its right or wrong?”

He assured me to listen to how I felt; to notice and to process. If it’s not right then notice, and if you feel strongly about it then keep going.

Having now taken a break from “normal life” for almost a month now I have realized some truths about me.

I will not be taking any pre-made path as far as career and passion projects go. In fact, I will probably take dozens of path and skip over a puddle and land on a new trail at any moment.

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I love what I do, I own over 50 pairs of panties and dozens of other lingerie accouterments, so I’m pretty sure the lingerie blog will stay. I love food and I love writing recipes because this is my heart sharing my culture, this too will stay. I miss my yoga community and have re-joined. I miss my climbing community and have started climbing again. I don’t want to piggy-back on Jamie, but I think working with clay is fun and I will be firing my pterodactyl for an upcoming show this month along with a much-desired berry bowl. Plus through grant writing and RFQ/RFP’s seem boring to write, I enjoy telling the world and countless boards of whatever how awesome my husband’s art skills are.

I don’t give a shit if people think things about me. And I’m starting to not care about what I think about me, so long as it all feels like kittens and rainbows in my soul. 

I realize that maybe what my friend and sister were really feeling as their 30th approached is what I’ve been feeling. This heaviness of a change that comes as you get older. I think of these moments in my life like a “level up” or an upgrade. This upgrade apparently makes you overly self-aware and compassionate for the self.

Will I be throwing a big party for my 30th? Well, yes, because why not celebrate this shit ball storm that I’ve been going through and laugh away the misery.

Cheers to you 30-year-olds across the world! May we believe in our hearts, our passions and our new-age way of living. Cheers to freedom and self-enlightenment. May you be free and bold in the next decade to come!