31 Approaches

" I am so excited to see you," she whispered, vulnerably.

" I wish I could say the same," he shot back with a smirk.

She could only look away as she tried to hide her cracking heart.


When I was in college, I learned that I could be Type A. Before this point, I had no idea how to organize, plan, predict, or get anything done. Once I got a taste of the control this brought into my life, I was hooked. Getting shit done was my drug. 

This trait has only deepened as I've grown older. With little exception, every area of my life is tainted by a very stern need to control outcomes with high-energy and ambitious attacks of tasks. My personal and professional goals are carefully outlined, the action steps are calculated, and satisfaction comes when things are accomplished before deadlines and above expectations.  

But thirty has been a different kind of year for me. It wasn't the most transformational year, or the hardest year, or the most exciting year. It was, though, a year that was wholly unexpected. Nothing about my life ended up as I predicted or planned. I did a lot of things that took me aback, both positively and negatively. It was the first year of my adult life I wasn't in love. I took risks but not with the kind of enthusiasm I have experienced in the past (more with daunting, dragging-myself-forward motion). I cried more as a thirty-year-old woman than any other year of my life. Yet, felt the most content in my skin than any other year of my life.

Thanks for totally fucking with me, 30. 

Sometimes life is like that. You learn truths about yourself and they don't really shock or scare you, even if you're blindsided by them. You just accept them and keep moving, albeit little changed. I think that's called growing up.

As I exit the first year of my 30's, I find myself approaching this human existence in a few new ways:

  1. Giving words, hugs, gifts, time, and love in small, unexpected moments is a disarming act that I am dedicated to practicing, even if it is uncomfortable. It feels so much better to give than to take.
  2. Being okay with falling apart, a little, sometimes, and without judgment of myself.
  3. Allowing others to take care of me, even when every thread of my existence wants to resist.
  4. Reaching out instead of pulling back. Holding hands. Kissing. Crying into someone's neck. Rubbing a shoulder or back. Pain is soothed by touch. Sensory experiences connect us.

In all the grace I can muster, I will slide into 31 as it arrives. This time, without plans.