16 June 2014

Of My Twenties

In less than two weeks I will turn thirty years old.

I have less than two weeks left as a twenty-something.

I recognize aging as a symptom of being alive, but I still find myself aching as I grasp the truth. Less than two weeks left of a decade I could never have predicted.


In the summer of 2004 I crossed the threshold of this era of my life. I was working as a counselor at a girls camp in Maine and marked the occasion with a bouquet of roses from my best friend and a movie with fellow counselors. At the time I had no reason to believe I would ever travel to Russia or even have any interest in its language, culture or people - I definitely would not have believed that before I turned 21 I would have fallen in love with all three while riding marshrutkas beside the Volga River. I didn't even know where that was.


The summer of 2005 found me fresh off the high of my unexpected international experience and working at McDonald's  -yet another unexpected twist. I had just heard of something called Facebook for the first time, but was busy with a new blog, so I wasn't really interested in signing up for something else. A serial single, I might have laughed (while secretly hoping you were right) if you'd told me I would be a married woman before I was 22 - to a boy I had yet to meet.


By summer 2006 I was a newlywed and a college graduate about to embark on my first (and would I have believed?) only year teaching Spanish in a public school. I was waiting for my husband and new best friend to graduate and then who knew where life would take us. But by the next summer I would be a homeowner, planting tender roots in a town where I had never intended to stay.


Summer 2007 - settling into my new home, making it ours. I still had a job and had no clue I would be packing up my classroom in about a month, especially not by choice.  And my husband? The one who was starting a new job just after my birthday? He would be working a different job than that, even, by next year, and that would be the one to settle us into this town for good. That husband of mine and I were going to Ecuador with our church soon and did I know that would be the last time for five years (after seven years of various expeditions) that I would be boarding an international flight - and the next time I did would be with my four-year-old daughter? Did I know that daughter would begin filling my womb that very winter?


And that's how it went, as that whirlwind of a decade went on - summer in and summer out for six more years. Every summer either pregnant or with a new baby.





In fact, it was one year ago on my birthday we made the trip to tell our families, Joey wearing his new shirt declaring him a "Big Brother," that we were expanding again. And did I know that would also be the last time I would tell my grandmother I love her?


Ten years, one wedding, four babies, two houses, six jobs (between two people), two dogs (come and gone) and three cats.

The one constant? My little silver Chevy that has seen it all.

And God. He has carried me here, to the threshold of yet another new beginning. Another decade.
And while I mourn the loss of my twenties, I eagerly anticipate the future.

My new future as a thirty-something.

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