Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thoughts on Thirty, Part 2

If you happen to number in my miniscule readership, you know that I both turned 30 years old this past week and am in the midst of a 3-part blog series about this milestone in my life. In the first installment I discussed the idea that the 20-year-old version of myself would probably not recognize the 30-year-old version of myself...and that I'm both okay with that and am hopeful that I continue to change and grow so significantly that the 30-year-old version of myself would not recognize the 40-year-old version.

The second thought I have been pondering for the past week is about the role and nature of the past decade (my 20s) and the future decade (my 30s). As I've reflected, it seems that my 20s were a time of finding my own individual identity. I was finding myself. I was figuring out who I am. I was discovering who is important to me, what I am passionate about, and how I will spend the remainder of my life. I went to school, I found my vocational calling, I fell in love, I went to more school, I traveled a lot, I tried new things, I lived in some cool places. In short, my 20s were an experiment in living.

So if this past decade was an era of exploring my individual identity, it seems like the next decade will be one of exploring my communal identity. As I have come to some conclusions about who I am with myself, I now feel ready to finally search for who I am with others. Who am I with my family (when I see them much more often)? Who am I in a church (when we aren't planning to leave anytime soon)? Who am I in a neighborhood (when we finally own a home and aren't moving each year)? Who am I (especially with others) over the long-haul? Who will I be year-in-and-year-out? The process of moving back to Montana and beginning to finally put down roots is affording me the chance to dive into relationship in a way that I never have before. And I couldn't be more excited.

The experimental decade I have recently departed was full of life and love and adventure, but was not a sustainable lifestyle. The question is will I be able to continue an adventurous life as I transition into this new, sustainable, consistent, and communal way of living? I think the answer to that question is 'yes,' and I'm excited to figure out how.

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