It’s like this: today is my 31st birthday, and that means I officially know everything.
That know-everything stuff is for 16-year-olds. I’m 31. And therefore I am only wise enough to know nothing about anything except when it comes to knowing myself.
At 31, I have finally become an expert on Amy.
When I turned 30 last year, someone who is actually wise told me that their 30th year was their favorite because they finally felt settled. I thought “well that’s probably not going to be true here.”
Because I am the opposite of a settled person.
I like change. I like moving. And I’m a military spouse and “settled” isn’t exactly something we have a lot of thanks to moves, deployments, long training separations and all that stuff. “Settled” seemed like this far off, never possible for me concept.
But guess what? I did feel settled, more than I ever had before — but not in a physical way.
Turning 30, without me planning for it, worked for me as permission from the universe to be who I want to be.
I realized that I didn’t need to know everything and impress everyone. I didn’t even want to know everything. I just needed and wanted to know myself.
Not long before my 30th birthday I lobbed off my hair after years of toying with the idea. (Fact: a pixie cut is like a message from a woman to the universe that she doesn’t care what it thinks. Why is that a fact? Because the internet says so).
Being 30 gave me the push I needed to stop trying to live up to others’ expectations of me. Instead I ask myself what I want, who I want to be, what I want to do, where I want to go and what I want to accomplish.
And I’m learning, albeit slowly, to only ever do those things.
Being settled with myself isn’t a done deal, and I’m not sure it ever will be. Remembering to question my commitments and whether or not I want to do something under the lens of Me and I is something that will be learned over time, well after I am 30 and well after I am 31. But at least I now know that it’s something worth pursuing. At least now I know that questioning is an option.
My 32nd year is going to be one of Big Changes. I can smell them coming, like a heavy rain as it moves in across the cornfields that border our current Tennessee home. We might leave the Army this year. We hopefully will move across the country. I want to set fire to life as we know it. I want to do new things. I want to be new people.
Big Changes can bring Big Fears.
But here’s the thing about being settled with Myself that I’ve learned in my little 31 years: Big Changes and Big Fears don’t always go hand in hand anymore. Instead Big Changes are simply just Big Excitement.
And I’m ready.