2004: Back when I knew everything.

So I’m turning 30 this year. The big three-oh.

This post is probably the first in a series of “oh hey I’m going to be 30, let’s reflect” posts. You’ve been warned. My birthday is August 22, so we have a few months of this to look forward to. 

Anyway, I realized that I’ve changed over the years.

(Shocking, I know. No one EVER does that.)

How have I changed?

I regularly wake up before my parents. During the week doesn’t count – I wake up early because I have to for work. (And with the exception of Wednesdays when my mom teaches a 12-hour nursing clinical at the local junior college, I am the first one awake.) What surprises me is that on the weekends I’m often the first one up. It took me a long time before I became one of those runners who wakes up early on the weekends to run. “Waking up early to run” used to be 8am. Now? I usually leave on my weekday alarm (which starts ringing at 5:20am) to make it to an early group run or race. My parents? Might still be asleep when I get home. In their defense, my dad currently works evenings and doesn’t go to bed until 2am. My mom is partially “retired” and I think tries to keep a similar sleep schedule (although not staying up quite as late).

I’m married. When I was a wise 21-year-old, nearing college graduation, wrapping up a 1 1/2 year relationship (which I liked to think of as a part-time relationship), and obviously knew everything, I thought to myself “I just want to have fun in my 20s. Maybe when I’m 30 I’ll start thinking about marriage.” I will celebrate 5 years of marriage in a week.

Related: When I was 18 and my parents moved me into my freshman dorm, I told them “who knows when I’ll be home again … I mean, maybe I’ll come home for Christmas … we’ll see.” OH how my parents love to bring up that declaration of mine. Now? I just don’t say I’ll do anything. [Who am I kidding? That doesn’t happen.]

I’m not as certain about kids. I used to be 110 percent certain that I wanted kids. The question wasn’t did I want kids, the question was how many. At one point in my life, I thought five kids sounded fun. Now? After spending more time with small children, and the parents of small children (best friends, siblings, siblings-in-law), the thought of kids in my future isn’t quite the certainty it once was. We still talk in terms of “when we have kids” and not “if we have kids,” but my thoughts on when and how we’re going to have them is changing. I won’t put anything in writing though (see above).

I’m more outgoing. I spent most of high school following around BFF Ultra Vera, becoming friends with whoever she became friends with first. I purposely picked a college that no one from my high school was going to, because I wanted to be able to make my own friends, not continue the habit of following someone else around and making friends by default. However, I was really shy. And I didn’t really know how to make friends. Luckily I did manage to make some really awesome friends in college, but they were all women I met in my freshman and sophomore dorms (which is the easiest place to meet people in college). But somehow, since college, I’ve become more outgoing. More often, when I met new people, I find myself thinking the other person is the awkward one, not me. I’m usually the one keeping the conversation going. (Tip: keep asking the other person questions about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. HELLO BLOGGING.) Anyway, I blame credit my years of working in public relations for forcing me to come out of my shell. When you’re “the PR gal” you kind of have to play the role of outgoing, even if it feels so forced. Fake it until you make it. And now I regularly find myself talking like a PR person when not at work (it’s good for dealing with my in-laws).