Thoughts on Embracing Our Season

I’ve recently experienced the miracle of 30.

You know how everyone says that you turn 30 and sort of just have this sudden confidence and assurance of yourself?

They weren’t lying.

Between my 30th birthday back in October and the start of a new year, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on my head and heart state in comparison to these benchmarks last year, and I can only say that’s it’s nothing short of miraculous. You can ask Dalayna who was very much witness to the rough space I was in. Completely obsessed with my weight and terrified because I kept gaining it—no matter what I did—I was on the edge of tears every time I talked to her. I was convinced that it would never get better and that I would eat like a rabbit for the rest of my life but look like a cow and that it would keep me single and unloved for just as long. Really though.

That sounds like an exaggeration, but it was most definitely my reality. I tried and tried to dig myself out of it but it only felt like I sunk in deeper. I wasn’t depressed exactly, just stuck and cycling like a hamster in one of those squeaky little wheels of my own thoughts.

And then I turned 30, and almost immediately, something shifted. Now, I did a lot of prep work for 30–list making and dreaming and praying—but it really did feel like an overnight switch. All of a sudden I was focused on my passion and my calling and I couldn’t believe how much my singleness had plagued me only weeks before. It seemed so silly to me. And after a month of Orange Theory, I was feeling healthy and strong and caved in to just buying the size 16 and feeling better about putting jeans on in the morning. Why had I been so obsessed with that number?

And here I am. 30 and 100(ish) days and 15 days into 2019 finally understanding what “they” meant when “they” said to embrace every moment of my singleness. I always wanted to—really—I wanted to be that girl who was carefree and totally content and glowing and not the least bit concerned with falling in love. Oh how badly I wanted to be her, tried to be her, fought to be her. And I found glimpses of her for little chunks of time, but somehow always ended up back at the sadness and bitterness and consumed by the longing.

But finally—after many mornings waking up and pinching myself afraid that I might be dreaming—she’s here! To stay—I really believe that! I’m content and I’m thrilled to be here. Single and strong and brave and adventurous and independent and so content. And finally, for the first time I think, truly embracing these moments and savoring them even. Here are some of my favorites as of late:

-A Thursday evening spent building an IKEA kitchen cart while listening to Michelle Obama’s book with a sheet pan recipe cooking in the oven. It made me feel smart and independent and productive and I thought to myself—maybe someday there will be someone to put the “cart” together for me, but I’ll know I could do it on my own if I wanted to. And maybe someday my evenings will be filled with story books and fairy tales and I’ll wish I could listen to some autobiography. And maybe I’ll be forced to make “kid friendly meals” while i just long for the days when I could cook whatever I fancied. And so I breathed the evening in with a soft little smile.

-An entire Saturday spent with Lincoln and a book and my journal on the second floor of a tiny cafe a few blocks from my house—nowhere else to be. I felt free and at ease and well rested and restored by the time Monday came.

-Peaceful cleaning on Friday evenings and my little space staying neat and tidy all week. I know it won’t always be soothing to clean and that things will get messy as soon as they get clean, so I’m soaking in the days when everything is in order and just so.

And of course there are little glimpses of longing and sadness and of wanting those other things and seasons, but now a deep thoughtful breath brings me back here and I am so crazy grateful for that.

Now I understand that we are all in different seasons. Some single and some married and some new parents and some divorced or widowed or sick or relocated or starting new jobs—but here’s the universal takeaway today—we may not all be in the same season, but we’ve all got to help each other embrace whatever season we’re in.

Here’s how we do that. We celebrate ALL of the seasons with each other. We work really hard not to long for someone else’s season and to stay present in our own and to call each other out when we’re not doing that. I might be single but I love celebrating in the joy of new little loves and spoiling them like crazy when my friends have babies. And it means the world to me when friends have asked me to perform their wedding ceremonies. I’m encouraging my mom to soak in her years of being on her own and learning to be independent and adventurous. I’ve walked through cancer with friends and I know very very personally seasons of transition in locations and jobs. Often my married with babies friends envy my freedom and all of my adventuring while I’m thinking at exactly the same time how lovely it would be to have a husband to cook for and little ones to care for. Instead of all wanting what we don’t have and what everyone else has, let’s really do our best to celebrate our own season and to help our sisters do the same wherever they might be. Because the truth about seasons is that they’re not forever. They come and go and change faster than we’re often ready for them to. They won’t last forever—any of them—even when they feel like they will. Whether we see it now or not, we will look back and regret rushing through certain seasons and we’ll wish we would have soaked them in for everything they were to us and that we can’t ever have back.

So to the girl who is certain she’ll be single forever—you might not be, so live it up! Learn who you are and to be all alone and go on grand adventures! And to the girl who is sure she’ll never be a mom—enjoy full nights of sleep now and quiet time with Jesus and tidy spaces. And for the parents who think they’ll never sleep again, remember they’ll only need you like that for a little while and you’ll miss it when they’re grown. And they won’t be teenagers forever and you won’t be new forever—there are certain beauties that only come with certain seasons and they each bring out uniquely beautiful things in us if we’ll let them!

So wherever you’re at girl, soak it up and let us celebrate with you there!

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