On the Eve of Thirty

So a decade has come and gone, or nearly. The decade of making. I remember turning twenty and the odd panic, the surreal realness of adulthood settling in. That was worse, I think. I didn’t know then what I know now: that the panic was both an over and an under-reaction. It’s been far sweeter and far more terrifying than I imagined, and what I know now is I will say the same on the eve of forty.

I’m old enough now to have memories, the kind that become clearer with distance, distinguishing themselves by importance from the mass of life. The creak of the porch swing my great-grandfather built; red stickers on the spines of library books too old for me; swinging-vines in woods that seemed forests; those brown leather boots. I’m old enough to have forgotten some people I thought I’d remember, but old enough to know friendship really can last. I’m old enough to remember answers after questions and order after chaos. I’m old enough to know I don’t know and almost old enough to not be afraid of not knowing.

I sit tonight mere miles from where I was born, having wandered some, but less than expected. This home of mine is home, in every sense. I have history with these people and these streets. I walk routes familiar to my parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents, steadied by more experience than just my own. I’m realizing the growth that could come from such roots, the creative expanse of the familiar.

At thirty minus one day, I’m grateful for these things, these roots, these memories that push me forward, onward, upward. These years have been sweet and they’ve been bitter and they’ve been full. I’m not always sure what I’ve made with these twenties, but they’ve made me. That’s the whole point, I’ve heard. So tomorrow is a new day, with an older self, armed and ready now to be surprised.

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