It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I officially turned 30 today (queue the music and the candlelit cake).
They say that 30 is the new 20, but to be honest I’m glad that’s not true. I’m moving forward, not backwards. I’m growing and I’m happy to be 30.
I struggled immensely throughout the last two years, as a decade faded for me. And through the struggle, I grew tremendously. I am a different man. We change over time—we really do—often for the better.
I am a better man today than I was yesterday. But I am far from perfect. I make mistakes and bad decisions, and I fail at times. I stumble, fall. I am human—a mixed bag, nuanced, the darkness and the light—as are you. And you are beautiful.
My story is unique, and yet it is no different than yours, minus the details.
I have loved. I have laughed, grown, and contributed. And for that I am grateful.
I have hated. I have hurt, damaged, and lied. And for that I am sorry.
I have lived. And for that I bear no regrets.
But today marks a new decade for me, a decade of opportunity. My twenties were filled with the greatest joys of my life, as well as my most excruciating pains. I can see it lingering behind me in the foreground of my rearview mirror. Perhaps my thirties will bring forth a certain kind of levity, a certain kind of serenity, a certain kind of calm.
Or perhaps life isn’t meant to contain these kinds of absolutes. Perhaps one must sit in the valley to see the beauty of the mountaintop, to appreciate his ascent, to live a meaningful life. And perhaps the key is to not live in the valley, but, rather, to be aware of why you are there and prepare for the journey ahead.
Mark Robertson recently wrote a line that stuck with me. He said, “Sometimes rock bottom is the finest place to be.” For me, his sentiment speaks of opportunity, of growth, of a bright and compelling future, irrespective of your current situation, be it good, bad, or somewhere in between.
Whatever the case may be, I will embrace this life, even though it scares the shit out of me at times. It is the only life I have. And I will love my life—a beautiful and terrifying and wondrous life—through the good times and the bad.
Here’s to another 30 years, and then another.