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It’s Just Another Countdown.

So there’s a chance I’m not taking this whole about-to-turn-30 thing as well as I’d thought.

Capone

Soon, my forehead will look like this.

I used to be all, Oh, 30? That’s no big deal. I’ve always been mature for my age, so it’ll finally feel like the number has caught up with the personality. Seriously. No big deal. Now, 40 — that’s my scary age. Not that any age is all that scary since really, we should all BE so lucky to celebrate every new birthday. Amiright? Right. So. Turning 30 isn’t a big deal. Just another day. And when you think about it, I haven’t changed that much. I still fit into some of my high school clothes. Okay, so my actual body parts are a tad saggier than they used to be, but the fit? It’s still there. -ish. Like, if I hold my breath and lie down on the bed and suck everything in to the vortex of my core and pretend that my hips aren’t screaming, “WHY AREN’T YOU PREGNANT?! WE ARE SO READY TO SUPPORT THIS WOMB! LOOK AT US! WE’RE SUPPLE AND WIDE AND OH-SO-PREPARED TO BEAR! ALL THAT’S MISSING IS THE BABY! WHY DO YOU INSIST ON BEING SUCH A FREAK???”

So really. I haven’t changed much at all.

Except for last night.

Last night, it seemed like the reality of my situation hit me all at once.

My “situation” being that I’m 3 days from 30, I don’t have a job, my husband’s in Afghanistan, and I don’t even have — or necessarily even want — any babies to at least distract myself from all of the above.

The truth is, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

But I do know a couple of things that I didn’t know last year. Or when I quit my “real” job 2 years ago:

1) I want to be a writer. Simple. That’s what I want to do.

2) The biggest thing holding me back is myself. There are a lot of genuine fears that accompany striking off on one’s own, and I’m pretty sure I’ve run the gamut: What if I don’t make it? What if people make fun of me? What if I can’t handle the pressure? What if it’s not as great as I thought it would be? What if my family and friends don’t believe in me? What if they do?

And that’s it, really. The biggest fear of all is success.

Then I might actually have to do this thing.

And so last night, after a day spent researching and reading and watching how-to videos and generally focusing on everything but the actual doing of a thing, it hit me all at once.

I’m pretty much 30.

And I’m not where I thought I would be.

….

panic?

And then, I got over it again.

Because maybe I just need to be a “grown up” before growing up. Maybe this new stage — this new decade — is what I need to make me stop feeling like it’s okay to procrastinate because I think I have all the time in the world and instead, I will finally grasp the fact that the time is now.

Right now.

To make the next move. To take the next step. To stop blaming my partner or my friends or society from holding me back.

So it all begins.

But not exactly right now because first, I have to get on a plane.

Because I can’t very well welcome 30 sitting by myself on a sofa watching Sex and the City.

(Which is exactly what I did last night.)

You know me.

I have to move.

Where?

Here’s a hint:

(This photo was taken around Thanksgiving last year and is the best recent-ish photo I have of my brother and me. I mean, I don’t know about you, but my best photos are the ones where I’m covering half of my face. Just sayin’. Where were we? Have you been reading that long? Bonus points to the first person who gets it right.)

Bye, North Carolina. Bye 29. It’s been good. Really.

But I think 30 might be even better.

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Katie

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Comments

Bex Hall
Reply

Happy early birthday! Enjoy this decade. It only happens once. I liked your comment about we should all be glad to celebrate ANY birthday. I’ve heard statistics show, the more birthdays you have, the longer you’ll live.

Also, C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying “Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.”

You’ll get there and get through. Do take the time to appreciate the now, today. Every day!

My odometer turns over to 49 next month and I’m still wondering what the heck? But I’m here and alive and kicking. Still writing. Who knows what’ll happen?!

Enjoy your day(s)!!

Katie
Reply

“The more birthdays you have, the longer you’ll live.” <– HA!

And your C.S. Lewis quote is EXACTLY how I feel. It’s like… in my 20′s I’ve never had to fully admit that I’m a “grown-up.” But now… there’s no running away. ;)

And it’s true — we’re only really as old as we feel. :)

Stephanie
Reply

30 was one of my best years. And honestly, I’ve really enjoyed being “in my thirties” so far. There’s a little more confidence and “fuck you” to my attitude that is quite freeing compared to my try-to-please-everyone-twenties.

No one is ever where they thought they’d be at 30. That’s ok. Those ideas tend to be pretty uninformed and based on random stuff anyway. You’ll make it as a writer in your 30s. You have more life to write about. It’ll be great.

So, are you moving? Is it to Vancouver?

Katie
Reply

THAT I love. I feel like as a “real” adult in my 30′s, people will (hopefully) start taking me a bit more seriously. Of course, I still can’t dare give out any advice regarding children (since I have none of my own and therefore couldn’t possibly understand common sense), but yeah. I think 30 will be good. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Stephanie
Reply

That picture could be anywhere. That’s what? A mall?

Katie
Reply

The clue was not the scenery in the picture — the clue was the fact that I’m with my brother. ;) (The last time we saw each other — only happens once every few years — we were in Miami visiting our little sister!)

Rebecca Rules
Reply

Love the photo – and I agree with Stephanie – 30 brings a lot more comfort in your own skin, more “I am who I am and I’m not going to apologize” attitude, and a lot more awesome – I have no doubt you will own it. So don’t be afraid, embrace it and enjoy the ride. Is it Miami?

Katie
Reply

I still can’t believe you’re in your 30′s. Mostly because you look 22. ;)

DING DING! Yep it’s Miami! Nice job!

Kat Richter
Reply

I give up on guessing but happy early birthday nonetheless! And I feel pretty much the same way: it’s time to step up!

Katie
Reply

Be grateful you’re figuring that out while you’re still in your mid-20′s! :)

Penny
Reply

OK – it’s been long enough and no one else has gotten it. Florida, for sure. Miami Beach – Bayside?

Katie
Reply

You were THERE! Cheater. ;)

RHome410 @ Friday is Pizza, Monday is Soup
Reply

This is the age you’ll probably THINK you are for the rest of your life, if it only weren’t for those darned store windows and mirrors to cruelly surprise you. Have fun, and Happy Birthday! 30 is great. I thought panicking over age was ridiculous until I hit 50… An age I never even considered being, because it was so far away… Enjoy now!

Katie
Reply

I met this owner of an art gallery in the keys. He was a firm believer that you’re only as old as you think you are. He said, “Your body is going to get older. You can’t help that. But in your mind? Think young and you will stay young.” I’m pretty sure you do that, too. ;)

NovaBlast
Reply

Hi just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday! the last time or two I tried has not work but thought I would try again.

Katie
Reply

Hey I’m sorry!! For some reason some peoples’ comments keep going to my spam folder. It’s making me so mad! Thanks for the birthday wishes!!!

Stephanie
Reply

So, happy birthday! Is it today? Also, are you moving to Miami or just going to visit? Are you actually going to leave your painstakingly created turquoise closet?

Katie
Reply

Thank you!! It was on the 12th. I was just visiting Miami — I realize that was poorly worded on my part. Though it’s very likely the military will be moving us sometime next year. I’ll be sad to leave my turquoise closet, but SO excited to see a new place! :)

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