Not everyone gets to turn 30.
 
Why didn’t that occur to me before?
 
I realize this as I’m making linguine with clam sauce for dinner – my mom’s specialty. As I sauté the garlic and drain the clams, I think about everything she’s taught me – don’t cook them too long, they’ll get chewy. Add extra juice so there’s enough sauce to soak up with the bread. I’m lucky my mom was there to teach me these things because she almost wasn’t. It’s so lucky for us that she gets to see me turn 30.
 
For a while, I was excited about turning 30. So why have I been counting down the days? Why have I been concerning myself with what list of challenges I should tackle in the next few weeks? Why have I been staring in the mirror sad about what I see and waxing nostalgic about my twenties?
 
Well, they were great. I moved to a new city where I made some of my very best friends. I also learned that friends aren’t always forever and neither is a broken heart. I learned how to fly a plane and butcher a hog, I learned how to be someone’s rock and when to let things roll.
 
But those lessons were a privilege. I didn’t just survive my twenties – although considering a few questionable life choices I’m surprised that I did…same for my teens while we’re at it – but I got to live them. Really live them. Like that Souza quote: I danced and loved and sang and lived like it was nobody’s business.
 
So I’m going to snap out of it, shut the hell up and get over myself. I’m going to lose the vanity and keep the memories. I’m going to countdown the days to my birthday with excitement, the way that I have every other year of my life.
 
We are not entitled to another decade. It’s not a given right that we will live another year.
 
And next month, I get to turn 30. How lucky is that?