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a brief reflection on approaching 32

For the past year I have been looking at On This Day via Facebook. It’s not because I am overtly nostalgic, but it really started to delete the presence of an ex-boyfriend and some less than professional conversations from nights I don’t remember in college. Something happened yesterday and today though as I checked. 2 years ago my On This Days were memories that made me smile. They were the turning points after a year of finding myself again after losing myself in a relationship.

As I got ready for church this morning, I started remembering my birthday from 2 years ago, my 30th. My 29th year had sucked and I was ready to turn over a new leaf, a shift in my life. My friends who were already 30 had prepped me for the awesomeness that is 30. I was ready, so a group of my friends and I stayed in my aunt and uncle’s Leavenworth cabin and the morning before my birthday I took a hike. I was overcome by the hope and possibilities of 30 to the point of tears. (Fun fact, the main picture is from that very hike.) 30 did not disappoint.

Not to outdo myself, last year I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 21 run with a mini-top hat party. It was the same time as the first week of my last year of seminary and all the changes/shifts that happen as you finish a theological degree. Now, we are about a week from my birthday and already my 32nd year is shaping up quite nicely.

My life has changed in ways I never deemed possible. I remember telling a man I was dating last summer that I was willing to move for a job, but wanted to stay in Seattle. Then by March I knew I wanted to move to Washington D.C. I started off my last year of seminary set to become the Rev. Irene DeMaris and then by April, I formally left the ordination process. My discernment process continued to fine tune who I have evolved to be as a pastoral leader (even saying I’m a leader was a major shift), opened up space to further seek justice, I have deepened friendships that have changed my life, and made new friends who are my rocks. Ever single day I feel more authentically me and every single day, I live into the hope and possibilities of my life, something I only started to fill an inkling of 2 years ago.

The difference between 29 years of age and going into 32 is that I have learned to trust myself, to be open to the world, and to take leaps of faith. I used to be so reliant on one person, that I forgot myself. There also is a difference in my health, my happiness, and my relationship with God.

Life is amazing. Hope and possibility abound. I miss Seattle and my loved ones like crazy, but my 32nd year of life is here in D.C. Here’s to another year of growth, change, and moving onward towards perfection.

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