This week I turned 29. I stared at myself in the mirror, looking for a difference like I did when I was a kid. There was no difference.
29 seems so much older than 28.
29 is almost THIRTY.
I feel good about where I am in my life right now (especially since the mirror didn’t display any sudden crow’s feet or grey hair on my birthday). I feel like people tend to use 30 as a deadline for things they need to accomplish, but instead of focusing on what I need to do before 30, I’d like to take a minute to share the things in my life that I currently have that make me feel oh-so-gracious.
Here it goes…
I have a strong and healthy body. My family (Beatrice most importantly) is strong and healthy. There is not a strong prevalence of cancers or diseases in my grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. I feel blessed that my pregnancy and Beatrice’s birth was easy. Beatrice will know not only her grandparents, but also her great grandparents – just like I did.
I can trust my husband 100%. If someone told me that he was cheating on me, I wouldn’t believe them. If someone had PHOTOS of him cheating on me, I’d think it was really weird that he has a twin that I’ve never met. He would never do anything to hurt me and would never betray me.
When I was younger I was painfully shy and I always figured that Beatrice would be the same way. I am completely relieved to see that she is a wildcat who loves other kids and will probably be a ringleader. I love feeling like SHE will be the source of peer pressure – not the result of it. Maybe other girls will follow her example when she reaches for proper shorts instead of teeny tiny ones. It might take more energy from us as parents to ensure that her energy is directed in a good direction, but we are up for the task.
I have a collection of girl friends that will be with me for life. I have experienced loss with my high school friends and it has provided us with a very unique bond. Hanny is someone I can call after not seeing her for a year and it will be like no time has passed. Leah and I are at the exact same place in life and she is someone I can vent to and receive no judgment in return. I have also acquired new girl friends since moving to Indy, who share my morals and ideals and will be great people for Beatrice to grow up around.
My job provides me with security, independence, and pride. It allows John the freedom to pursue his advanced degrees. It leaves us with extra money to save, invest, and travel with. I have the confidence that if something would happen to John, I could support our family on my own. Most importantly, it gives me flexibility that allows me to work from home if Beatrice is sick and visit her future classroom at school. And I actually LIKE what I do!
My family has deep Mennonite and Amish roots with simple, humble beginnings – we are farmers from places like Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma. John’s ancestry is riddled with wealth, English aristocracy and fairly recent Italian immigrants. I love that Beatrice will grow up visiting my Amish hometown, eating corn on the cob while riding a pony, but will also be able to see the influence John’s family had when we visit Chicago, and will be expected to act like a little lady around his grandparents. Our differences in our pasts will expose her to different types of people and will hopefully cause her to be a well-rounded, accepting little girl.
My parents taught me to be independent and self-sufficient, but I always knew (know) that they would welcome me back home whenever I needed (need).
I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and I feel extremely grateful that I had that opportunity. Education should not be taken for granted.
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