Well guys, I’ve made it.
Another trip around the sun. Another set of amazing experiences to look back on, and an added roster of incredible people for whom I am so lucky to have had enter, and find their place in my life.
I’m another year older, and another year wiser.
This past year I have covered a lot of ground from Iceland to Nashville to LA to Virginia to Banff to (shout-out) Thunder Bay, and of course, an epic drive across the South-West of Australia.
I think one of the biggest lessons I can glean from each of these experiences is that this level of exposure to different people, places, adventures and stunningly amazing scenery (yeah, here’s looking at you Iceland), is that it really exposes your true values, and if done intentionally, your true sense of self.
For me, I have learned so much about myself this past year, gained a new-found appreciation of home, and have really come to understand a different pace and way of being – to know and respect my capabilities and my limitations, and the harmony in which they simultaneously exist.
I think it’s interesting that all throughout your mid-to-late twenties everyone says your thirties are some of the best years yet. The reasons most people cite to make this claim are backed by statements like, “You know yourself better. You’re established in your career. Money is not as much of a struggle. You’re settled down with more stability and there’s security in that.”
Well, I think I’ve only started to tick off that first statement haha, but because of that, I’m also not so concerned about the rest. It’ll come in due time, and hey – I’m JUST (as of today) 31 so I’m still new here, ha. Even still, I’ve learned a lot since turning the big 3-0 one rotation ago.
I’ve learned how to trust more. Trust in the process, trust in the plan, trust the deviations and inevitable set-backs to said plan. How to trust myself in ways that weren’t as clear to me before.
It’s been a challenging and wonderful year, as I imagine every year will be. I don’t usually fuss much over my own birthday, but this one feels somehow special – an unexpected and otherwise understated milestone.
It represents something different to me, and I’ll spend it soaking up the sun because if it hasn’t come to be obvious just yet, I absolutely love to both feel and photograph the daily rise and fall of this fiery star. I think what I love so much is the surety in which it does so. It is mechanic. Unaffected by fears and emotions, by thrills or longing. Indifferent to any wishes for it to speed up or slow down, it is steadfast. It stays the course – and I think there is much worth recognizing within that.
Like the daily rising and setting sun, we too can be both completely spectacular and completely ordinary all at once. Some mornings we’ll cast a gentle glow, and some days we’ll shine a little brighter, a little stronger. Some nights we’ll dip into darkness with storm clouds overhead, but other nights we’ll cast the most beautifully coloured reflections to make you stop and awe.
And isn’t that is the ultimate takeaway. The recognition of this duality that exists always to create the whole – a whole mechanism that works entirely because of its differences and dark sides. To understand, fundamentally, that one simply cannot exist without the other. I’m learning to find comfort in this.
So as a birthday treat to myself, I’m watching the sun rise over Nambung National Park. I’ll soak up this beautiful light because today it means something more to me than yesterday did, or tomorrow will. It’s my day to shine, as brightly or dully as I wish, and I’m content with any and all of it.
Making a birthday wish…31, let’s run-and-gun.