I’m going to turn 30 soon. It feels like it took forever and yet no time at all to get here. My life is everything and nothing like I pictured it would be when I was a little girl with long, stringy hair, climbing trees and watching sunsets, knowing there was so much more to life than my small town and excited to try to reveal all of life’s little secrets.
Sometimes I feel like I haven’t done near enough to show for 30 years of living, that I’ve left too much undone. But, when I really take a closer look, I realize that’s not true.
I celebrated my 10th birthday in the Netherlands.
I’ve stood in awe inside the jaw-dropping Roman Colosseum.
I’ve seen Reba McEntire and Metallica and Aerosmith and Elton John and Bon Jovi in concert.
I’ve crowd surfed.
I attended the inauguration of Barack Obama.
I ran across the gorgeous river that separates Mt. Pleasant from Charleston in the Cooper River Bridge Run.
I’ve seen the changing of the royal guard in London.
I’ve interviewed Chris Daughtry and Johnny Weir.
I’ve also interviewed incredible people no one has ever heard of, like an elderly man who was a Golden Gloves boxing sensation in his younger days who then spent his elderly years digging graves by hand.
I’ve baked chocolate chip cookies, from the same recipe my mother passed down to me. I’ve done this so many times I have the recipe memorized.
I traveled to England for a month-long trip with four strangers.
I’ve given a speech to a crowd of hundreds.
I’ve dipped into the chilly waters of the Italian Mediterranean.
I’ve driven across the Golden Gate Bridge.
I’ve had a pint of Guinness in Dublin.
I’ve been in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day where the river glows green.
I’ve walked the streets of Charleston and Savannah and Madison and Philadelphia.
I’ve kept in touch with my best friend from second grade.
I’ve hiked up a mountain so steep, each step was a combination of effort from my arms and legs, pulling and heaving myself forward till I reached the top.
I’ve gazed at Monets and Picassos until my eyes were blurry and I was breathless from awe.
I’ve played on sandy beaches and in the snow.
I took a chance on my 26th birthday and talked all night to the stranger who caught my attention. It paid off because that man became my husband.
I’m so thankful for this incredible life I’ve been given the chance to live. I can’t wait to see what the next 30 years will hold.