Thirty is three decades of living. It is the knowledge that while there is a lot behind me, some of the best things are still ahead.
Thirty is three years of marriage. It is good and comfortable with the life that we are building together, but it is also still learning new things every day. Thirty is being married to someone who can still surprise me. Thirty is looking at my engagement ring daily with a smile and a warm rush of memories, but being equally thrilled at the wedding band that now serves as its mate.
Thirty is thinking about the family that we want to have, and what we want it to look like. It is realizing that we can plan all we want, but that sometimes things are out of our hands. Thirty is being ok with that.
Thirty is reading the book Quiet, and seeing myself on every page. It is knowing that I am an introvert, understanding what that means, and finding the immense power in it. It is staying home on Saturday nights when most everyone else is going out. It is thinking before I talk, and it is spending a lot of time in silence. Thirty is the end of trying to be anything except for what I am. Thirty is saying “this is me, and I am proud.”
Thirty is finding my first gray hair and wondering how long it will be before more follow.
Thirty is owning my first house in the suburbs instead of renting a tiny apartment in Manhattan. It is buying my first car. It is having big closets, a dream kitchen, a deck, and a room meant just for reading. Thirty is settling in to what will hopefully be my forever neighborhood, and joining a synagogue for the very first time. It is meeting new friends and carving a place for ourselves in a community.
Thirty is finally feeling like my career has begun. It is being happy and comfortable in the job that I have and in the work that I’m doing. Thirty is working on this blog, and feeling like I have found my voice. Thirty is the need to write my own story and to share my words with the world. It is knowing that there is a book inside of me somewhere, and deciding that the time has come to write it.
Thirty is running my second half marathon with a third half and also a full on the horizon. It is a long run every Sunday on the Bronx River Pathway and short runs two days a week at sunrise. Thirty is fifteen minutes of yoga in the backyard to greet the day, and wondering if this is the year that I will finally start taking spin classes. Thirty is learning to enjoy exercise, and how to be healthy in a way that lasts forever. Thirty is knowing that I will always have to work at these things, but thirty is also knowing that it’s worth it.
Thirty is sleeping late on Saturdays, drinking iced coffee every morning, watching 30 different TV shows, and reading romance novels.
Thirty is lucky enough to have a few friends – the soul-deep kind – who know me all the way through. Thirty is knowing that even though my parents and my sisters live far away, I have family here in New York because this is where my friends are. Thirty is knowing that we are lucky to have each other, and that we always will.
Thirty is a grown-up relationship with my parents. It is realizing that they are right most of the time, and loving them for it. It is knowing that they are still there to listen to me and to help me find my way if I start to drift. Thirty is feeling grateful to have them, and their unconditional love. Thirty is trips to see them in Pittsburgh, the city of my heart, and also welcoming them into my brand new home.
Thirty is trading e-mails, recipes, accessories, phone calls and FaceTimes with my sisters. It is being proud of them and the lives and families that they are building. It is understanding that, in them, I have fiercely loyal and forever friends. It is understanding that there are no other two people in the world who know me better than they do. It is knowing that no matter where we live, and how far away we might be, we are each other’s missing pieces. Thirty is knowing that this will never change. Thirty is realizing that we only get closer as we get older, and as time marches on.
Thirty is family and thirty is friends. Thirty is smiles and laughter, and maybe even a few tears. Thirty sometimes feels really grown up, and other times doesn’t feel that grown up at all. Thirty is being exactly where I am, living this life that I was meant to live.
Thirty is happy.
This is thirty. I am thirty.
Samantha is a lawyer, runner and pop-culture junkie living in the suburbs of New York City. She drags herself out of bed to run at dawn, does all her writing at work, and spends her nights in front of the TV with her equally television-addicted husband.