The Life of Bon: My Next 30 Years

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

My Next 30 Years

Last week I turned 30.


It feels like a really big deal to me.  A new decade.  My entire 20s, gone forever.

Every year I read The Great Gatsby with my juniors.  Nick, the narrator, realizes after a particularly horrific day, that it is his thirtieth birthday.  He's very optimistic about the future:

Thirty – the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.

Luckily, I am not as depressed about entering my thirties as Nick seemed to be.  In fact, I am pretty ready for 30.  A lot of friends have said to me, "Isn't it the worst, turning 30?  So old!  No longer young and carefree."  I beg to differ!  I'm ready to be done with my twenties!

My twenties, probably like most people's twenties, were quite the ride  Lots of ups and downs.  Turbulent.  Maybe even tumultuous.  They were fun, but they were also heartbreaking.  It was new and exciting, but also unpredictable and inconsistent.  In my twenties I...

- Studied a semester in Hawaii
- Served an 18 month LDS mission in Argentina
- Lost my dad
- Dated and undated many, many losers
- Graduated from college
- Started my first real teaching job
- Met my future husband
- Married my husband
- Bought my first home
- Became a mom

That's a lot of big life changing events for one decade.  Too many.  I look at it and I feel tired.  Which is not to mention the many moves, the many places traveled to, the cars totaled...

The summer I turned 20

I look back at who I was at 20 and who I am at 30 and, gosh, I'm grateful for who I am at 30.  There was so much good and so much joy in that decade, but there was also unbelievable heartache and sorrow.  More than I thought I could endure at times.  I suspect if I met 20 year old Bonnie I would think she was annoying and immature and self absorbed. (But fun! 20 year old Bonnie had the fun on lock down!)  At 20, I had hardly any life experience;  I hadn't been though any thing difficult yet.  But during my twenties I sweat (sweated?) through the jungles of Argentina far from anyone I knew, I said goodbye to my dad too soon, I faced trials and struggles in my family and marriage.   I consider myself a strong person because of these experiences. I'm proud of what I've come through and what I've learned this past decade, but I wouldn't want to experience it again!  I remember a boyfriend at 20 asking me what the hardest thing I had ever been through was, and I felt so dumb because I couldn't even think of anything, "Uh... taking the ACT?"   I should have said, "give me a decade.  I'll have an answer for you then."

With all that being said, I am looking forward to my 30s!  I feel like the best is in front of me.  In my 30s I'm excited to:

- become a better teacher, find new ways to make information interesting to students, reach out to students to know how much they matter.
- have more babies!
- pay off our home (fingers crossed!  This is a big goal for us.)
- listen to good music
- have lots of good sex
- get a minivan!  (?!?!)
- grow spiritually
- understand who I am
- forgive and be forgiven often
- read so, so many good books
- travel and see the world
- teach my kids how to be kind and honest people
- grow closer with my siblings and build strong adult relationships with them
- be vulnerable
- write about things that are important and interesting to me
- be more aware of others' hurts and struggles and do more to help
- hang out with my mom
- stop worrying about what people think of me
- buy less "stuff"
- have a personal relationship with my father in heaven
- eat good food
- take long, hot baths

Looking at that list makes me ready to jump into my 30s with no looking back.  I'll leave you with a quote from Thomas Mann, a much better than The Great Gatsby one,

"At thirty a man steps out of the darkness and wasteland of preparation into active life. It is the time to show oneself, the time of fulfillment." 

30th birthday!

Thank you to all of you who have read this blog and who send love and support to my little family.  I saw a blog reader this week (actually on my birthday!) in a restaurant and she was so nice and sweet and I felt honored that someone like that would read this blog.  You know me a lot better than I know you, and sometimes I think that's unfair.  I wish we could all go to lunch or all sit around at a book club and you could tell me about your kids and your jobs and your hopes for your 30s! (or 40s or 50s or 60s...)


- I cannot keep these on June!  Any suggestions?  We're getting desperate over here...

- If you share my goal to be more aware of the suffering of others and do more to help, here's a good starting place.  This is my third time working with CARE and they are an amazing organization.  Please check out this important cause in a war torn country.

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