Thursday, May 6, 2010

Turning 30 in Alaska

When I was 21, I had to take an astronomy class at City College with a real, live, famous astronomer, Michio Kaku. I remember the day he told us about how Isaac Newton had basically mapped out the laws of the universe by age 23. I remember thinking, wow, I'm in my 20's and I haven't done anything remotely approaching that.

Last night, with exactly one day left in my 20's, B and I were watching a TV show with Stephen Hawking in which he tossed off this little gem: "In my twenties, I spent about 3 weeks doing some new calculations on black holes." Which provoked a little discussion among E, B, and myself as to how we were spending/had spent our 20's.

I never did do anything in the neighborhood of discovering universal laws of nature, or even something as mundane as discovering new things about black holes. I did, however:

Become a teacher
Marry someone who should have been way out of my league
Move to Portland
Get a degree, and then get another one
Have a crazy Alaska adventure

Lots of other things, too, like making friends who I really, really love, and reading lots of wonderful things, and learning to play guitar, and becoming a doula, and I guess if I sat here long enough I could probably come up with about a million tiny, medium and big things that I've done over the past 10 years that are pretty awesome.

I did a lot of truly, purely, incredibly dumb stuff too. I'll leave that for another post, or maybe not.

I'm not afraid to turn 30. My hope for the next ten years is that, in relation to my 20's, I do less dumb stuff and more awesome stuff.

And now, let the wild rumpus start!


  1. You've accomplished much more than you can put on a list. Happy Birthday sweet girl - I love you - mommie

  2. This is right up there in the ten most amazing things I have done in my life - and it took me to be past 60 to do it. I am sitting in your living room, in the big blue chair, occasionally gazing out the window at Tununak. And to top it off, I got to give you a hug and share your 2 birthday parties in person with you.

  3. hi! i missed you so much today. so i remembered to check your blog! i think you've already said this as much, but not everyone's meant to make calculations on black holes. you have done many great things, both on and off your list. that said, how do you figure B is out of your league?! that part made me giggle.


  4. Dude. The 20s are just practice. The 30s are completely sweet. Welcome to the real life. It's fun, it's on your terms, you're not trying (or caring) so much about proving yourself, and your only goal each day is to not kill someone. So on the whole, most days are great.

  5. "By the time Mozart was my age, he had been dead two years." Tom Lehrer

    Your angst is not unusual, I think. You are, in fact simply a spectacular example of the human condition.

    Doesn't make it easier, though, does it? But relax, it gets better. Different, but better.