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Turning 39 - One Last Go-Around in My 30s

I turn 39 today, and everything I read in regards to such a "milestone" is that it's dealing with the anxiety of turning 40. The big 4-0! 

Yet, I sit here punching the keys completely unaware of fears, trepidations, and emotions towards the future. Instead, I find myself immersed in the present - in exactly that, 39. I also find myself slightly looking back on the road to get here - my final year in my 30s. 

I look back on my thoughts on turning 30 (Praying on a Cool Thirty) and, ironically, I very much vibe and can feel the essence of where I was at the time. At the time, turning thirty meant a whoooooooooooole sort of different expectations and responsibilities. I am in that same place - a center of gratitude for the journey. My 30s have been a ride. 

For me, I became a father, and I lost my father. I lost one of my best friends, yet, I gained another in my son - and then a second one just recently. I finished coursework on my second Masters degree, and I also watched my undergraduate alma mater close its doors. I have been promoted professionally, and have dealt with work woes I never (ever) expected. I've lived through a pandemic that watched my hometown of NYC (and my favorite city) suffer, and I eventually bought a home in the suburbs in another state. I've traveled the roads of this world, and I've been confined to my apartment for weeks. 

Oh yeah, there is my amazing wife - she hasn't changed, or aged. (just in case she reads this :) )

And there's so much more that I likely won't bother you with. 

Nonetheless, my 30s have been a journey. And after all, isn't that what you want it to be? In the midst of all of the fear and anxiety that I keep reading about, I continue to find myself thankful for the journey. I have an immense grace for for it all - no matter what I went through. It wasn't always easy. It wasn't smooth. I've messed up. I've had the big hero moments. The final report is likely to be this gigantic mix of ups and downs. Of good and bad. Of gain, and loss. Of sorrow and joy. Of memories and memory-making. 

So as I turn 39, yes I'm old(er). Yes, I've been around the block a few, and have picked up some mileage in areas that I never once thought I would tread. And yes, the big 4-0 is waiting which opens up a whole new decade of issues, problems, experiences, and wisdom. 

For starters, hello declining testosterone! And oh yeah, there are colonoscopies! Wonderful. 

But as I stated when I turned thirty and prayed out loud on this platform, I once again thank the Good Lord for it all.
And from my journey thus far, your track record speaks for itself, I wouldn't want it any other way else. 
So here is to 39. One last go-around in my 30s - this wonderful, beautiful decade of growth and journey before I hit the big 4-0. Glad to be here. Even more excited to be present in it. 

I'll worry about 4-0 if there is anything to be afraid of, next year.


Just a few quick things I've learned to appreciate in my 30s: 
  1. The desire to remain "youthful" is completely gone, in fact, I embrace it.
  2. I've always been okay with people who didn't like me and sometimes thrived on it. But I've grown into realizing it's less about the external connection and validation, and about who (and what) you invest your energy and time into that is the true measurement. 
  3. A heightened sense of compassion and grace towards those who appreciate your energy, and return the love. 
  4. Yes, food does hit me differently. I'm all about understanding that some foods just don't "fuel" me correctly anymore (or at all).
  5. Watching closely at my mom's experience - as she enters a time and age where so many of her friends and loved ones go through loss in various ways. 
  6. Understanding that things are sometimes "the way it is". 
  7. Age doesn't always bring wisdom
  8. Age doesn't change how the world may view you regarding societal norms, stigmas, and expectations. 
  9. Don't be ashamed of your joy. 
  10. Investing in the "grind" of work doesn't mean as much to me anymore. 
  11. A bigger sense of belief in faith
  12. The importance of local elections.
  13. Being okay with outright not respecting someone, and understanding that showing them grace and not respecting them are not mutually exclusive. And again, that's okay. 
  14. Finding time and space every day - no matter how, or where - to express gratitude and pray. 
  15. There is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) - be present. Enjoy it, or learn from it - whatever the moment or season. 

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