Riding shotgun with cupid and other reflections on turning thirty

Getting older ain’t no thing.

The last year has been a roller coaster of sorrow and hope and grit. At every turn, I am amazed at the order life makes out of disorder when seen from a far enough distance, amazed at its ability to fall together in ways I would have never foreseen, amazed at its tenacious beauty in light of the shadows.
I’ll spare you the details of the roller coaster, but suffice it to say that my year was filled with love and loss, sorrow, disappointment, reconstruction and moves. You know, the normal stuff. But more.

In reflection, I am humbled. I am blessed, and I have so many reasons to be thankful for thirty years.

I am blessed with a group of family and friends who rally for me when I need them, who are willing to help me move me twice in a summer, who let me cry without shame in public, if necessary, and who don’t give up on me despite my workaholic tendencies.

I get to spend every day with some of the best people I have had the honor of meeting on this planet. My school is an amazing place. Both students and staff are talented and passionate individuals who enrich my life by sharing a great love for learning and for a place where students can learn to become their best selves. Both the staff and students make me a better, more loving, content, and passionate person. There’s no place like home with the LGAwesome family.

After years of internet dating, it turns out that I had been working for 2½ years with the love of my life.
Just as I let my internet dating memberships expire, got myself a kitten to ward off loneliness and decided to quit, what I expected to be a friendly brunch happened. It was all over. .
Every day I find myself more in awe at how perfectly my love and I fit each other, at how lucky I am to be loved by him, and at how very unfair the path that led me to this place once seemed. Through the lens of my love for him, even the best of my previous relationships seem like settling. AND the feeling is reciprocal, the most magical and elusive of all loves.

And then there’s this:

Points awarded if this interaction is as cool to you as it is to me. And if it’s not, get educated.
Bitches, I be riding shotgun with cupid.

As I turn thirty, I will be approaching my two year anniversary of starting boot camp at Sgt. Peterson’s. As a result of this new routine, I have become more committed to creating an active lifestyle for myself. Physical exercise has become both a leisure activity AND a necessity for sanity. I have found myself willing to challenge myself to a degree that wouldn’t have occurred at any other time in my life. Consequently, I am in better shape than ever before. I have lost more than 5% body fat. I have run two 5Ks and have signed myself up for the toughest event I could find: the Tough Mudder. My knees no longer bother me. I feel healthy and unstoppable – both physically and mentally.

In these thirty years, I have learned a few things, many of which took me too long to learn.

  1. There is nothing wrong with a drink or two to get you through housework.
    When moving, a higher drink to work ratio is acceptable.
  2. We are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Find people who believe in your strength and allow them to push you until you believe in it yourself.
  3. I am small. Therefore, my problems are small. The worst that will happen to me is miniscule in the scope of human suffering.
  4. I am both powerful and powerless. As any human, I have the capacity to touch lives around me, but I am only one factor in each of these lives.
  5. Work hard. Love hard. Be authentic. It’s more powerful than unions.
  6. Don’t let romantic relationships take the place of friends and family. You’ll need them when things fall apart.
  7. Love god. Love people. By loving people, we love god. And it doesn’t really matter if that god is the unutterable name of the Judeo-Christian tradition, or Brahman, or whether there is nothing. Service is its own reward.
  8. I can’t love others unless I love myself. It is also difficult to love myself without loving others.
  9. There will never be enough time for all of the things I want to do. Life is about constantly shifting priorities.
  10. “When you know, you know” sounds like bullshit until it doesn’t.
Thirty also brings this reality: Life is short, and I have so much left to do.
But don’t let that read as disappointment. It’s not. I have already done and daily do the things which satisfy me most. I love and I am loved in return. I laugh and learn daily. I live a life of service, and that is what allows me to go to bed every night and wake up every morning satisfied.
My life is full – whether it ends tomorrow or in sixty years.

Here’s to another thirty years of living, loving, and serving.