Today I am 30 years old. I am grateful for every single one of them. Numbers don’t usually mean too much to me (I prefer words!), but I will happily take the opportunity for reflection they provide. What this day really makes me think of is my sweet, sweet parents, who have loved me with their whole hearts every day of my life. I think of them holding me in their arms, 30 years ago. I think of them taking me home, where my thirteen-month-old brother was waiting for me, and I think about all the laughter and games and tears and meals we shared in those years, only magnified when my little brother joined the party five years later. I think about how hard my parents worked to make a happy home for us, and how they taught me everything I know about caring for other people. What a gift it is to know such love.
I think too of the last decade, since it’s the closest at hand. I think of all the incredible things that happened in those years. I graduated college. I interned at the Dostoevsky Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. I moved to California. I stumbled upon the most wonderful and hilarious friends in the world. I earned my Masters degree. I met an amazing man and fell in love with him. I married him. I earned my PhD. Wow, 20s, you were awesome. I’m grateful. So very grateful. But I don’t regret leaving you behind. 30s, I have no idea what kind of adventures you have in store for me. But I’m excited for the ride.