On Turning 30…

ImageAs a teenager I couldn’t wait to be “grown”… The idea of having total and complete control over my life seemed so appealing and I often fantasized and bragged to my girlfriends about what life would be like when I “grew up…”

By the time my twentieth birthday rolled around I had a high tide, low tide thing happening. Intellectually – my college years were the best of my life. I was learning so much and growing exponentially on almost a daily basis. I was connecting with people who would turn out to be my friends for life. I was learning to navigate life in the big city by elevated train, public transit bus and my trust flats. However I was also knee deep in a bad marriage… hiding behind a dry wall of security and familiarity. A low tide… I watched as the flash flood started to cover my flats and almost knocked me off my feet…

During my twenties I spent a lot of time looking around… I constantly felt like like I had to prove myself… I often felt like an outsider… and my actions were largely shaped based on how they would appear to others.

Shortly after turning 25, I met a guy who told me, “I don’t really want to hear about your problems if you’re not going to do anything about them.” I felt a ball of emotions… initially it was “who does he think he is?” then it is “how come he won’t listen?” and then it was “wait… he’s right.” Before that moment I was in control of every other aspect of my life… I decided to pursue a college education. I decided that I would major in Education. I decided that I move to Chicago… and for whatever reason I had allowed myself to separate the ownership of the reality that (despite my intuition telling me “NO!!!”) I decided to get married at the age of 19, and I was also deciding to stay & be unhappy.

I was a great gardener in my twenties and those seeds were all over the place… It went from starting a brand new school, to a scrapbooking business… to an editing company… to a fast food restaurant… to a political campaign… to nonprofit A… to nonprofit B… I was watering gardens all over the place… some of those gardens grew weeds… some of the crops died… some of the gardens are still standing to this day.¬†

I’ve only been 30 for all of 21 hours now so I haven’t really processed what it means, nor do I have the experience yet to talk about how the thirties are different from the twenties. I do know what I’d like to see in the next decade.

In the next decade I want to spend little to no time looking around, and more time looking in the mirror and more time looking to the sky and bowing my head. I want to compete with and be better than myself. I also want to rely more on God’s promises and seek him more in all things.

I want to do more travel… Intellectually, nothing has matched those four years I spent in college. I believe that if I travel to new places… breath air that I’ve never smelled before… see things I’ve never seen before… I will grow and change just as much as I did in college.

I spent a lot of time pouring foundation during my twenties and watering those gardens. In my thirties I’d like to build… solid brick structures financially, as a property owner and as a change agent. I want all of the structures I build to last my entire lifetime and beyond.

I want to train and share as much of my knowledge & resources as I can. I want to be the reason someone enjoys getting up coming to work each day, I want to help people discover their passion and I want to be a source of positive inspiration and support in the lives of others.

I want to move away from a spirit of entitlement of what I should have and what I am owed… to a spirit of gratitude and fluidity. I want to embrace every lesson good or bad and I want to be so fluid that when faced with challenges I’m never completely broken or permanently down.

I have been blessed with a very good life so far… I have a beautiful home to come home to everyday… I have a loving and supportive spouse and life partner who empowers me… I have “bonus” children who look up to me and who love me and accept me as someone who is important in their lives… I have a career that provides a paycheck every two weeks with good health care… I have a car that starts every time I put the key in… I have a refrigerator full of the type of food I like to eat… I feel blessed to enter into a new decade because so many others aren’t even given a chance to live and I pray that my thoughts, my energy and my time are devoted to the mission and purpose for which my collection of DNA & combination of atoms were sent here to this earth…


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3 responses to “On Turning 30…

  1. Niecie

    Donnie you are such an awesome young woman. I can remember when you were a little girl and my mom and your grandmother would spend Sundays together! Continue to plant your seeds and water them, you are an inspiration to many, young and old! I hope I remain on this earth to continue to see you stirring up the gifts that GOD has given you.

  2. Donnie! Happy Birthday! I hope 30 brings everything you desire. Thank you for always being so transparent and encouraging!

  3. Jasmine

    I loved reading this! I am currently in the “looking around” phase in my life. Approaching 25 years old I’m now looking foward to the next 5 years instead of dreading them!

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