birthday cake with candles

5 Years of Surprises: Looking Back On My Thirties So Far

Well it’s here. My 35th birthday. *throws handful of confetti in the air*

I’m midway through my 30s and with each surpassing day, I’ll tip the balances to being slightly closer to 40 years old than 30.

Someone recently told me that I don’t seem like I am old enough to be 35. I made a joke that it was because I was so young at heart, but they were like, “yes, that’s exactly it!”

Anna and Elsa cardboard cutout

5 years ago, when I turned 30, I had a crazy-big Frozen-themed surprise birthday party. (It was awesome.) My parents even flew into town without telling me and showed up at the party.

My son Calvin was 6 months old at the time. I had quit my job of being a 6th grade reading teacher to stay home with him for one year. I knew I wouldn’t stay home forever, and had pretty much always intended to go back to work after taking a year off.

I figured I would get another teaching job, and life would continue on mostly the same as before (though now with the added challenge and privilege of being a mother.)

How wrong I was. So many unexpected and wonderful things have happened over the last 5 years that I could never have predicted. That surprise party was a foreshadowing of things to come.

For starters, I never got back into teaching. In fact, this very month, my teaching license actually expires (and I’m not renewing it!)

On a whim in 2017, I applied for a few library jobs because I thought that they sounded fun. I had always loved libraries and books and reading growing up, and I sometimes wondered if libraries would be a better fit for me than teaching. I also hated taking home so much work (aka. grading papers!) when I taught elementary and junior high kids. Teaching is not an easy profession!

I didn’t expect to get hired as a Research Librarian that year. I wasn’t qualified for the job and had zero experience working in libraries. I almost accepted another 6th grade teaching position instead, but that door got slammed in my face (and I’m so glad it did)!

I didn’t expect that I would go back to graduate school and get a Masters in Library Science.

graduation cap and gown (2019)

The surprises continued, not only in my professional life, but also my personal life:

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Hitting Your “Save Point”

Another video game related post?

Not really – this one doesn’t have much to do with video games, it’s mostly just a play on words. I was scrolling through my social media feed, wasting time… and I came across a post that said:

Reaching 30 is like making it to a save point

I don’t know who to credit this quote to – it was one of those posts that had been shared and reshared/recreated many times. The context of the post was debating which years/decade were supposed to be the best time of your life. I think one cliché is that high school or college is the best time of your life, and then after that your life slowly gets worse and worse, or at least busier or more stressful. #adulting

If you’ve played a variety of video games, you are probably already familiar with save points. They are in games that don’t automatically save as you go, but instead you have to reach a certain point before it saves your progress. Sometimes it can be really hard to get to the save point (you may end up dying multiple times) so when you finally reach it, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

Right before I turned 30, a good friend of mine (who was a year or so older) told me that your 30s are so much better than your 20s. Despite some skepticism on my part, I have (so far) found this to be a true statement.

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