On Turning 33

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NOTE: It's February. My birthday was over two weeks ago.  I had great intentions to post this blog on my birthday. When that day passed, I agreed (in my head) that it would be shortly after. Surely in the month of January at the very least, I told myself.  And now, it's February. Sigh.  As a mature woman of 33 years, I'll have to classify this as a "leaves in the pool" kind of problem. What I'm really saying is I'm not sorry. But, I had to make a note telling you that because I still care what you think of me, even if you are some faraway person in the digishphere whom I've never met. Also, because I needed to get right with all the people who are keeping tabs at home on their wall calendar about when and how much I actually blog . Because that really happens, right?  It doesn't? Oh, well just in case- I want you to know that I'm not sorry. But if I were, there's this note. Or whatever. 

I turned 33 two and a half weeks ago (back when it was January) and anyone who knows me, knows that birthdays are my jam. Yes, I'm that annoyingly upbeat girl that wakes up early on birthday morning, exuberant grin plastered on my pillow pocked face ready to proclaim to EVERYONE that it's MY day.  For the ENTIRE day. The Mister gets the first dose. I roll over and tap him on his sleepy shoulder and whisper, "It's my birthday." And, off I go into the world.

Birthdays are mostly an unplanned event.  I prefer things to happen organically. My only wish is to spend the early parts of the day on my own, wandering where and how I please with no agenda. This year, I got my wish plus quality time with my mama (birthday pedicures, woot!) and the Mister. We had a great meal at Fork! in Cornelius, cupcakes from Sunflour and I squeezed in a quick photo shoot at The Asbury for my latest column. We were home early and the day was just as good as any. To be honest, it was pleasantly uneventful. 

It wasn't about the day, more the reflection on all that has transpired up until now. Namely, in the last three years. My thirties, really.  I feel like the years leading up to my thirties were filled with incredible amounts of waiting–waiting to find my path, waiting for the right opportunity, waiting for my life to change. 

Then, like getting swept into a rapid current, everything changed. Brand new life. Wham! Bam!  We moved. The Mister and I changed career paths and as quick as Thanksgiving dinner gets scarfed off the table, all the seemingly endless waiting faded into the minutiae and life spit me out into a new season. 

Things have been moving so fast that I don't think I've even had time to properly reflect on it. Distilled into two words, my thirties have been about work and change. Positive change, even when it didn't feel like it. The Mister and I are still living like college students thanks to our desire to pursue the things we love, but we're a better team these days. We've learned to live with less and to laugh more. Teamwork to make the dream work is the mantra. 

To me, 33 feels a bit like staring down the barrel of a deadline pretty much all the time. I've gotten used to that pressure, but haven't fully grasped the balance of it all. I still struggle to nurture my relationships and live a well-rounded existence.  I used to have a fear of failure and now it's fear of success.  At 33, I've learned that fear can be more of a symbiotic parasite than a bloodsucking demon. I can have it, move through it and remain unharmed. 

I am more at peace with the world around me. Not that I was a cantankerous ball of nerves before, but I don't sweat the small stuff as much. Faith has been a huge factor. As it strengthens, my dependence on things material and temporal lessens.  The kung-fu grip of self-will releases its tightly balled fist and instead reaches out and up for help. 

I hang onto a little saying from the Mister that helps with this frenetic new season: "What's supposed to stay is gonna stay and what's supposed to go, will go."  

So, like I do each year on my birthday...off I go into the world. 

P.S.- every month I'll share a grid from my Instagram photos. In the month of January, I was pleased to see that I had done two things that I've never done before. I painted something and made kimchi for the first time. Blog post on the kimchi is next.  Looking forward to learning, doing and enjoying more firsts in 2014!