Truth be told, I do not feel like I'm 30. Not even close. While I feel much wiser than I did at the age of 19, most days I feel like I'm a 19-year-old in a 30-year-old body. It's not that I don't like being my age. There are benefits that come with adulthood; yet occasionally, I feel like the years have gone by far too fast.
As my 30th birthday approached last fall, I wrote a pathetic blog entry - a letter to my youth. And here it is:
Thank you for many wonderful years. Tomorrow is the last day I will be in my 20's, and I know that marks the end of my time with you. You have given me some of the best memories, and I hope that everything I did with my time with you has made you proud.
I'm told this is just the beginning of my life. But the truth is, I know I'll miss you. I'd like to write more. You're worth it after all. I just can't bring myself to say what is on my heart. Tears are already forming.
I remember the day I wrote it. I was trying to be light-hearted, but deep down, I really meant it. For some reason I equated the age of 30 as something to fear and/or mourn. Until someone commented on that post:
Thank you for the kind letter. It is hard to see you move on, but I know God has bigger and better things in store for you. I know you will always remember the good times...growing up, high school, college, marriage, career, children. The list is long and yes, you have made me proud. You have grown in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man, but you have much more to do. It is always good to glance back and know what you have learned and where you have come from, but the truth is, you can't drive forward when you are looking in the rear-view mirror. It is good to glance there on occasion, but keep your eyes on the path ahead. God has great and powerful things he wants to use you for! Thirties....let me introduce you to Chrissy. Take good care of her! I think she will find that she likes you very much!
I wish the girl who wrote that knew how much it meant to me. It made me realize how ridiculous I was being, and it brought tears to my eyes because I felt that God was speaking through her.
And then new neighbors moved in behind our house.
They were an elderly couple in their 80's, and their children came to look at the duplex before their parents moved in. I remember speaking with the daughter, and she said, "Mom and Dad just needed to downsize. They are in their 80's."
I thought to myself, "I guess I'll never see them. They'll probably sit inside their house and watch Game Show Network all day." I know. So stereotypical. But that was not the case at all.
Within a few days, the woman saw me and the kids playing outside, so she walked up to the white fence that lines the back of our yard and introduced herself. "Hello, neighbor! I'm Daphne, my husband's name is Harold." She went on to tell me how beautiful my children are and also told me about her five grown children. She told me about the farm they came from and why they decided to move into a duplex.
I see her almost every day go for a walk around our neighborhood. "I got my mile in today!" she will say to me as she goes by, so full of life.
She talks to Josh about her garden. She enjoys when the kids talk to her and ask her questions.
And what I've noticed about her is this: she is a young woman in an 80-year-old body. Her eyes are those of a joyfully young-spirited individual. She speaks to me like we've known each other our entire lives. She is so likable and so articulate. She seems like someone I would have been friends with had we grown up together.
Which makes me realize that I want to forever be a young woman in whatever body I am in. I want to be grounded in what I've learned and the wisdom that comes with age, but I want to have the type of young-spirit that Daphne has. I want to be just like her.
So here's to another 30 years, or another 60 years. I'm thankful for this new perspective.
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