Tuesday, April 12, 2011

wants and dreams

I recently had a birthday, a big one.  No, not 30, 31.  Which is probably only really a big one for those of us who are Mormon and still single.  For this is the age at which we loose out classification as a "young single adults" and become just "single adults".  We are encouraged to leave our young friends and meet with an older crowd.  

The other day, a friend asked me how I was doing with this change and I could honestly say that I wasn't all that phased by it because I went through my crisis of lost youth a year ago.  It's ridiculously cliche, but turning 30 terrified me.  I felt like a failure, an embarrassment, undesirable and hopeless.  Yes, I was in a really dark place (and I'm not just talking about Alaska).  

And then one day as I was caught up in the depths of despair, I started thinking about the past decade of my life.  I got this little spiritual nudge, and I saw all of the things that I'd done: the places I'd visited, the things I'd learned, the degrees that I'd earned.  I suddenly became humbled by own accomplishments and grateful for the opportunities that I had been given.  In one decade, I had exceeded any expectation that I might have had for myself as a teenager.  When I looked at my life objectively, it didn't look like a pathetic, failed existence but a grand adventure.  And I finally saw that potential that had been wasting away inside of me. 

For the majority of my teens and twenties I had two goals for myself: get married and have a family.  I had lots of other dreams but I allowed my primary goals to eclipse these dreams because I thought that was what I was supposed to do.  And, I spent 12 years of my life failing miserably.  I didn't sit idly by.  I kept busy with school and a mission and working and more school.  And though I worked hard, my heart wasn't in it.  I knew what I wanted and I knew that I didn't have it.  And I had no idea how to go about getting what I wanted - still don't obviously.  And in spite of all this confusion and turmoil, I did some really awesome things and accomplished some incredibly grueling tasks.  

I think that the real mistake of my twenties, was limiting myself to one set of goals.  And because I couldn't get what I wanted, I sort of wandered around aimlessly hoping that I'd find what I needed along the way.  

For my thirties I am determined not to make the same mistake.  For my thirties, I'm setting lots of goals.  I'm going after my dreams.  When I had my epiphany last year, I made a list of 30 things to do in my thirties.  Sadly, I lost the list but I remember a lot of the things on it and have already accomplished a few of them (e.g. visit Machu Pichu, learn to spin, start a business, plant a garden, get a cat, learn to sail, see a whale, drive across the country and sing karaoke).  And amongst the silly and the ambitious are my primary goals of getting married and starting a family.  Maybe I'll accomplish all 30 and maybe I won't, but I'm going for it.  


  1. Oh Maggie --

    I felt the exact same way. I call my twenties - the turbulent twenties. I wasted so much time and emotion on focusing on the "two biggies" to focus on the good that I was experiencing at the the time. How I wish I would have learned to enjoy the moment then because as wonderful as the "two big goals" are -- its not always what its cracked up to be.

    How smart you are to figure it out before its to late and you find yourself wishing life away. I hope you get to do everything you wish for plus get the family and marriage you deserve. I love you cuz!

  2. Maggie, thanks for sharing such a personal hurt and turmoil. I'm SOOOOO glad you can see how fabulous you are! (I have known this for almost 10 years since I met you)
    I also came up with a list of things to do during my 30s. I love having some fun, exciting goals to accomplish.
    {BTW- I'd be glad to share my kids with you anytime, for week on end even!}

  3. magsie, i'm so glad you realized how awesome you are! i love telling people about you because they are always so impressed with the things you have accomplished. i am only in my second year of the twenties but around these parts, i am feeling like an old maid, but i am going to take your advice and go achieve my own set of goals! and maybe tag along on some of yours??? (machu pichu in particular)
    i love you, sister!

  4. I Love YOU.... thanks for letting us in!! MY Mom who did not hand out a lot of complements... Gave one to you she said that you handled your situation so graciously...AND you do. I need to take the same intropection with being 60 and make some goals...I guess at my age it is called a bucket lisr

  5. Maggie,
    I little late on reading your posts, but this one has me thinking. Not only do I think you are amazing and look up to you, I appaude you for sharing. I think at times I feel quite the opposite of you. I have those 2 big things accomplished and at times I'm not sure what else. When those 2 goals get accomplished all those 'things' you have been doing in the mean time will make you and ALL those around you better! Keep 'loving' life and know that you're not alone in feeling the good and bad that life has to offer each one of us.