As a kid, my Dad took me and my sister camping with a group of other fathers and daughters. We fished and hiked and came back smelling like campfire. Then I was off to some camp or another almost every summer. I loved the feeling of heading out into the unknown, waving to Mom and Dad from the bus window—it was adventure, it was a gazillion new opportunities.
As a teen, my Mom would talk to me about life and encourage me to be a pioneer of my own. My parents taught me the importance of finding a balance between peer pressure and being part of a something.
In my early 20s, college was the ultimate adventure. In my middle 20s, it was figuring out what kind of work I wanted to do. Now, as I arrive at 30 on Saturday, the adventure of my life is being more free than ever to be myself.
What I’ve finally learned
The mistakes won’t ever stop coming, but the sting they leave behind most always will. That I can do things that seem odd to other people or just get on their nerves, and life is better that way. That I can’t insulate myself from the bizarre tragedies of life, but I can respond to them with sincerity and let wherever that path leads be enough.
What I’ve always suspected
That love and kindness have amazing power, more than regrets. That laughter and pleasure are the secrets to happiness. That intuition is our internal compass and following it leads to a life that can seem stranger than fiction at times but is true.
What I want
To be like a waterfall. Sometimes the rock, sometimes the water falling forward. Sometimes serene, sometimes powerful. To allow others to teach me humility and how to live in this world with them. To look less to people and technology and just be in the natural world. To use my voice to uplift others, encourage positive change, and get work done.
It’s funny, there’s something about arriving at 30 that feels like a victory. Thanks for celebrating with me today by being here.
P.S. This year public pools in Raleigh open on my birthday, June 8. See a list of them here.
If you’re looking for more to do this summer, use the City’s locator tool—some of our parks have bocce!