On the first of January 2008 I turned 25. My sister called me to say Happy Birthday, she asked me if turning 25 was freaking me out. It wasn't. I was utterly content. There is no way I could have achieved more in the 365 days that lead up to that one.
I had spent the year travelling all over the world, taken Spanish lessens in Peru, walked the Inca Trail, taught at an underprivileged school in Dublin, spent five days sleeping in a hammock on a boat in the deep Brazillian Amazon, visited the Alhambra in Spain, watched bulls run through the streets of San Fermin, had my palm read at Marrakech markets, sat in a snow cat with the love of my life and my future baby daddy at the top of a mountain at midnight in Whistler...
The point is... my last significant birthday paled in comparison to the lifetime of experiences I had in just one short year.
I'm guessing the year leading up to my thirtieth is going to be less awe-inspiring. I know there will never be another year of my life quite like that one, and that's cool. At this point I'm really not worried about turning thirty, but just in case the panic does set in closer to the date I would like some experiences up my sleeve that could help replicate that wave of contentment I felt standing there in the heat on New Years Day 2008.
The ideas I have had in my head about where I will be when I'm thirty are still as abstract and distant now as they were when I was 12. I don't know what it is but it just seems as though you should be properly grown up by then and I don't feel particularly grown up. I had a baby, I got my masters, I travelled, learned to bake. All these things contribute to being grown up I suppose.
But what about the other list, the list of whimsical random things that makes you you.
I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, write a children's book, improve my Spanish skills and be someone who can just pick up a pencil and draw a cute picture.
Maybe if by the end of this year I was able to draw. And accompany myself on the guitar whilst singing in Spanish (and wearing a size eight dress) I will feel that same contentment. And maybe if I have written a children's book and done my best to get it published I will feel nothing but excitement for the year to come.
The immanent arrival of my thirtieth birthday doesn't really bother me but just in case it starts to closer to the date, I need to get my achievement-based insurance policy into action.
*I welcomed my thirtieth birthday in our new home on the NSW Central Coast. Finally, after years of saying 'next year' I had a New Years Eve party for my birthday, complete with sparklers cake and a rather odd singalong. I was surrounded by friends and family, including a surprise-uterus-dwelling-guest. The stuff I wanted to achieve by 30 to make me feel content seems completely insignificant, although I have managed to cross of most of the list. I feel nothing but excitement for the year to come, a year in which I am going to get to meet my son, take our first picture of our completed little family, buy our first home and focus on the little things. This year is already perfect as it marks the year where all our big to-do things are done.