I've been meaning to sit down and write this ever since my best friends outed my real age to the entire internet! For the past few months, I have thought a lot about who I am and where I've been and where I still want to go. And all I have been haunted by Tim McGraw's "My Next 30 Years" with all its sage wisdom! So, here goes... what I know now...
1. If you have three true friends, consider yourself blessed!
I wasn't blessed with sisters, but I don't think I could be closer to a real sister than I am to my "southern sisters". True friends are there no matter what. And sometimes, its not the being right there, but the knowing how much or how little to be there that makes them so special. As women, we have all experienced our ups and downs... heartaches, disappointments, joys, triumphs... you name it, we've survived it. And as we get more mature, we realize that sometimes its what's left unsaid that means the most. Sometimes, its that "tough-love" that only someone who really knows you can administer and get away with. Either way... God gave me such a blessing when he put those women in my life and at 30 I can appreciate how important it is to buckle them close to my soul!
2. It truely is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
I know you're probably thinking I'm crazy with this one, but having had my heart broken, I can say with all certainty, that I am better for having loved and stronger for having lost him than I would have been before. Love isn't easy for me, obviously, since I'm still single, but I can say this. I know at 30, (and I sure didn't know at 20) that Mr. Right will make you fell like a million bucks, while Mr. Wrong will make you fell as worthless as a 3 dollar bill. And Mr. Right Now... well chances are, he's really Mr. Wrong in disguise! True love wants whats best for someone, even if it isn't you. And realizing that is probably the hardest lesson of all.
3. You can't ever go back.
Whether its an old love or a place or time, once its gone, its gone. As much as I love being 26 (yes, that was my favorite year) I can't go back, and part of me never would want to. Who wants to go through the pain as well as the pleasure? Once something has moved on, you can't undo who it makes you as a person or how it shapes you thinking for the next one. I can go back to the same places, and even sometimes with the same people, but to get back that one magical moment... well, that's what memory is for!
4. Gus said it all... "The older the violin, the sweeter the music"
I couldn't resist the temptation to make a LD reference... especially since its true. Experience is something you only gain with age. I think there are two types of people in this world... those who peak early and those who, like a fine wine, only get better with age. I hope that I fall into the second category! And since you can only be young once, its better to improve than stay immature indefinately. After all, age is just a number and its not the years that matter, its the state of mind!
5. Live in the present.
If you keep waiting for what comes next, you'll miss some pretty good stuff. And if you can't see your way out of the past to enjoy what you have now, well... that's a pity. So, get out the good china, forget a hope chest... make yourself content now! And when an opportunity arises, don't think about it for so long that you miss out on something imperfectly amazing while you're waiting for the perfect dream that never comes!
I could keep on... but the fact is, until you're comfortable with yourself, it won't matter what age you are, you'll never be happy. So, here's what I wish for all my friends. That you find the contentment that comes with knowing you have really lived your life! And even if it took a few tears to get past the idea of turning 30, the reality is that its just another day, and I'm still the same me!