30 days of 30

There are a few different philosophies out there about turning 30 and I have heard a lot of them lately, as I and many of my friends are in our 30th year.  I think a lot of the cultural narrative, especially for single women has been negative. I feel fortunate to have such positive people in my life who have helped me enter this new decade with a joyful perspective. Some of my best friends in my twenties were in their thirties. I feel they gave me a great example to model my life after.

I have done a lot of reflecting on the sum of my life lately and I feel I have an "eagle eye" perspective on it.  1-10 were basically shy, silent childlike wonder years. 10-20 were eye opening body, mind, soul, and spirit discovery and dreaming years. My twenties development process was a whimsical, colorful journey of striving, longing, trying, succeeding, failing, and surviving. Especially in the last couple years was it surviving. From 26-28 were rough, I got broke up with,  totaled a car, gained a lot of weight, was sick a lot, and was working for a family, helping them raise 3 children, when suddenly one had an accident and died in my arms. I felt like it was my fault and that for that, I didn't deserve to live. I struggled with depression and contemplated suicide in some of the darkest moments. Praise the Lord for His grace and Spirit inside me for counseling me through and sending parents, family, friends, pastors, spiritual directors, art therapists, music, and mentors to my rescue. All this led me to a new direction teaching in Costa Rica where I have found a new zest for life and feel fully alive. So happy to be alive and well. So well. So so well. Life is still quite a jungle. I am literally and figuratively finding joy in this jungle that life is daily. I think that the pain and difficult experiences help me feel even more thankful for where I am today. I think the sadness and struggle has developed a deeper joy in me. Joy is not the same as happiness. I am not saying that any of the terrible things were meant to happen. Accidents happen. They are not all happy artsy accidents. They are hard. They suck. Shit happens and what we do when it all hits the fan shows what we're made of or maybe rather reveals what the grace, mercy and reckless love of God really is all about. 

My hope for my thirties has been that I would thrive. Like the movie 13 going on 30 I've always wanted to be "thirty, flirty, and thriving!"

The first 30 days have been just that. I have had lots of adventures and spontaneous fun with my students, friends, and friends like family. I have met the most unique new people. I have been enjoying teaching more, and actually started thinking it was what i was born to do. I am feeling more confident moving in the direction of my dreams. I am hopeful as I gaze into the horizon. I can't tell you a detailed plan for my life beyond the next 6 months, but I am open and trust God with those details. He's better at them anyway. 

As for my list of 30 things before 30, here's my progress: 

  1.  I have fresh inspiration and am more motivated to speak Spanish well. 
  2. I have some mountains in mind I want to climb and started training by walking the hills of Manuel Antonio more. 
  3. I've been running and gearing up for a race, but I'm at a pretty slow pace. 
  4. I have an open invite to go white water rafting for free and some friends who'd be down to go with to brave it out. 
  5. I'm sharing my joy daily, and being refilled too. 
  6. I've eaten lots of great food, I've painted lots of colorful prayers, and found fun ways to show people silly love, like surprising my taxi driver with a chocolate croissant, and taking a 4 hour bus ride to meet a volunteer at the airport, so she wouldn't have to take the bus back here alone. 
  7. I have plans for an art gallery and some interested artists and investors, for now its in my house
  8. I sold 2 paintings so far 2/30
  9. I've started 3 new sketchbooks, and am filling the last pages of about 5 with my students and friends. 8/30
  10. I've read, rather listened to 2 new books. so that's 2/30. 
  11. I'm writing this blog. 1/30 
  12. I've chosen the artist I want to help launch their career. 
  13. I started an IGTV account, I decided that may be more realistic than a you tube channel. 
  14. I've been enjoying everyday to the MAX 
  15. I have felt Magnanimous as I teach, donate my art to good causes like the animal rescue center and the woman who cleans our school everyday. 
  16. I've sang everyday! At kareoke, in the shower, on the beach, in abandoned buildings with friends, I even taught music class today, and shared some songs I wrote with my students who made art inspired by them. I met a guitar playing, singer friend and had the best time singing with her. I even discovered that some of my friends like singing more than I knew. 
  17. I have been bursting with pride for my students, friends, and family! They are AWESOME!!!! Celebrating the Festival of Arts, Fathers day, a friend make a sale, a child I nanny dance at church on the beach are just a few of the many proud moments. It's humbled me and also made me proud of myself for contributing to the joy and development of their lives. 
  18. I bought a ticket to go home to Minnesota for the first time in a year! July 1st-13th! I'll be home to celebrate with the birthdays of my mom, my sister, and one of my dearest friends. If you are reading this MN people: GET READY! Cuz HERE I COME!!!! 
  19. I've played a few rounds of soccer with the students at recess and on the beach. I've been following the World Cup, and Champions league, mostly via my student's daily reports. 
  20. I've discovered new places in Costa Rica I've never been, and even in my own neighborhood I've never noticed before. 
  21. I've made new friends! Some fascinating characters. And been in more contact with my bffs. 
  22. I've been watching psycholgy videos, and been feeling my mind expanding. 
  23. I've been more aware of when to lead and follow. I met a teaching coach who's offered to help me. I feel more inspiring to my students. 
  24. I've got new ideas for my life plan and am going to do the official process when I am in Minnesota. 
  25. I think I went on a date...  an astonishing adventure of a day with a great guy. 
  26. I've made a wanderlust list of places I want to travel and have a few border runs to take them. 
  27. My hair is growing, and I made an appointment with my childhood friend in Minnesota who I trust to help me with it's health and color. 
  28. I've been feeling like a CHEF in the kitchen and dinner parties. 
  29. I have a few places in mind to move to. I designed a house with an ocean view, surrounded by mountains and an infinity pool that flows into a waterfall...  I may have my dad draw the blueprints. When I make my first million as a volunteer, starving artist teacher I will build it! 
  30. I feel infinite. Like I am living my eternal life starting now. 

I am aware the last 30 sentences started with I.... NOW... what about YOU?! Tell me what you are doing with your one WILD and PRECIOUS LIFE!?! 








it’s so much better than your twenties ..
you really know who you are and what you want ...
you’re going to love it ...
the best is yet to come ...

Home Sweet Home

30 before 31