While I was celebrating my 31st birthday this past weekend, Jordan was celebrating the selection of Petra as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. As a result, my birthday had a unique flavor. Petra’s prestigious news was mentioned in the majority of birthday text messages, e-mails and phone calls I received from Jordan over the past few days. Naturally, my celebration was doubled. I celebrated both Jordan’s remarkable achievement and my graceful march towards the 30’s.
I chose to celebrate my birthday on the beach, in Ocean City, MD. I needed to get away, to relax and face the reality that I’m now officially part of the 30-something crowd. As I battled the forceful waves of the Atlantic, I thought about my new age and what it really means to be in your thirties. My good friend Euroarabe told me some years ago that she could not wait until she was done with her 20’s. She was really looking forward to getting into her 30’s to "start enjoying life for real." I did not understand her. Why was she so looking forward to aging?
This past weekend, I finally got it. My friend’s words of wisdom suddenly made sense to me now that I’m 31. It was a brief moment of epiphany: I finally get the thirties. My twenties revolved mostly around self-discovery along with causal self-flagellation. They were a time of confusion and a constant desire to find a place to fit as well as a cause to cling to. Things have changed in the past ten years. I’m no longer that twenty-something young woman who was struggling to find her calling. Somehow, at my current age, the pieces of the puzzle are gradually fitting.
I have not figured out the whole puzzle of life yet but somehow I’m more focused, more inspired and more willing to accept that most of the times you can’t find all the pieces, and it is perfectly okay. Albeit low-key, my 31st birthday was somehow unique. It will be forever remembered as my joyful entry into to the 30’s and as Petra’s graceful arrival onto the stage of global tourism. Here is hoping for more reasons to celebrate as I soldier into my third decade.