I turned 30-years-old last December, and the soul-shift was so near instant, that I had to stop and check myself. What exactly happened on December 14, 2014?
I was sitting on the couch when my alarm went off at 12:05am on December 14th (this is the actual time that I was born – five minutes after Friday the 13th). I stared down at my buzzing phone with a sickening feeling in my stomach.
It’s not like 30 is old, but its the first birthday in my life that I have felt the weight of aging and time.
I really didn’t like it.
Jeff smiled at me. I kept staring at my phone. He exclaimed ‘Happy Birthday!!’ with a joyful smile and gave me a hug.
I felt limp.
I went to bed.
The next Saturday, Jeff threw me a MEGA-GIANT 30th Birthday Dance Party Bash in a warehouse in east village of San Diego with all of my friends and my favorite DJ, Effren Villan. It was everything I had ever wanted in a birthday – street tacos, delicious beer (thanks Symbology & 32 North!), Kentucky Mules, and all of my closest friends getting down to epic 90’s hip hop. #awwwwyeah
In fact, the DJ (the fabulously talented Effren) recorded the entire track he mixed that night, and I’m sharing it with everyone HERE. If you ever want a late night living room dance party to spontaneously erupt, just put on this track and watch the magic unfold.
(It starts with a cocktail hour and builds up to the dance party that officially begins right around 1:21)
During the week between my actual birthday and the dance party bash, though, a foundational shift began to occur somewhere in my soul that I have yet to explain or pinpoint.
Since I turned 30 a year ago, my typical insecurities, most of my common fears, and loads of my past guilts have simply, well, melted away. It’s like a magical 30th Birthday Fairy started coming into my soul every night, flicking on some fluorescent lights, scrubbing down the walls of my heart, loosening the strings of insecurity that had been tying me up, grabbing a dusty pile of baggage out of a dark corner of my life, and strolling away with it all stacked up on her little fairy luggage cart.
And that was that.
There was no particular reason for this change to occur, except that I turned 30. And now, so many old cares and worries and fears simply don’t matter to me anymore. I spent my twenties working through loads of baggage and figuring myself out, and it was a difficult, strenuous, painful journey of self-discovery that was extremely important.
But now, I feel as though I have inexplicably been given permission to (as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it) ‘have agency over joy’ in my life.
Basically, I have freedom.
I just don’t care about the things that I used to like what other people think of me or looking less than perfect. I just don’t have time for that anymore. There’s just too much important work to do…
My thirties are now defined by moving forward with this new self that is actually my true self – unhindered and free.
It’s not that I don’t care about anything anymore. In fact, as I celebrate my 31st birthday today, I care even more deeply about the things that matter in my life.
It’s not that I don’t have ambition, because my goals have become even more clear in the past year.
It’s not that I have nothing left to lose.
It’s that I have nothing left to be.