a few weeks ago i woke up in the middle of the night. as i was struggling to fall back asleep, the sticky air making it impossible to find a comfortable spot, i remembered back to a conversation i had in middle school about what it would be like to turn 30 and what i hoped my life would be like. the list back then included things like: someone to share my life with, 2 kids (little boys), maybe a dog and a nice house to fit it all in.
fast forward to yesterday: i turned the big 3-0.
and guess what?
i have nothing that was on that original list.
and you know what else?
i don't care.
man, that sounds kind of pessimistic. stick with me, it's actually not.
because in the place of meeting my husband, having babies, training a dog, and gaining a mortgage - i spent my twenties traveling, exploring and trying to figure who i am.
and i wouldn't change that for anything.
do i still want the things on that list? yes, please.
am i putting people down who already have those things? no.
because what i've realized is that we all are following our own paths. everything has a season and if the things on that list are meant to be, then they'll happen. i don't have to rush it, i don't have to go looking.
instead i can relish in what's happening right in front of me - whether it's star-gazing in a field in maine, smelling the jacaranda trees in southern california, climbing through caves in tennessee, jumping into crimson-hued leaf piles in wisconsin, meeting alligators in florida, making snowmen in colorado or walking on a coral-strewn beach on a tiny island in the south pacific.
this is my path.
and while i don't always understand why things happen or the timing of it all, it's still my path.
a path full of wonderful people, places and happies. a path that has opened my heart for even more love in the future.
and there's something special and unique and wonderful about that.
it's been a week full of introspection and one of the things that makes my heart smile more than anything is looking back on my life (so far) to see how everything has fit together like one big awesome puzzle.
anyway, here's a look back on my 30th birthday.
upper l to r: 1. woke up to these little ones and the cake that they baked me. we shared it at lunch. 2. kalo and 'ofa (who live next door to the school) like to call my name in the middle of english lessons. they love to interrupt my teaching and i just don't care. how cute are they? 3. sarah and katie (two pcvs) brought me heaps of lollies from america and made a funny joke about my tickin' biological clock. 4. playing with the candles on my birthday cake. 5. the sunset was awesome! 6. 30! 7. such good company - sarah, me, katie and chloe (an australian friend) 8. so many people came up to celebrate with me. it felt really special and when i think about it too much it makes me cry. 9. my friend amy made my birthday cake (a citrusy lime cake made with almond and rice flour since i'm gluten-free). it was amazingly delicious. in fact it was so awesome that i ate it for breakfast the next day, too.