I really have no idea what to title this post, so hopefully some idea forms by the time I finish writing it...
Today marks exactly three months until my 30th birthday.
Perhaps surprisingly, I am looking forward to this birthday far more than I traditionally would (I usually don't look forward to my birthday at all). To me, 30 is more than a three decade milestone or the end of my 20s (which weren't particularly peachy, for the most part). I've spent so many years moving around the country, going from major to major in college (never finishing any of my partial degrees), job to job, and always trying to "Start Over" or "Start Fresh." I think the fact that this was an almost compulsive reaction to any real or perceived failure illustrates the fact that I never did anything more than turn a page in the same chapter I was already in.
Moving to Tucson on a whim in June of 2010 was yet another attempt to begin a new life in a new and unfamiliar city. In some ways, I have repeated old patterns (such as not coping with my clinical depression, but that's another topic for another day) but looking back I also tried new things which although begun halfheartedly (and for the wrong reasons), have changed the entire course and fabric of my life. Yes, I know how vague that sounds. Allow me to elaborate.
One day, a couple of months after I moved to Tucson (knowing only one person and having a falling out with them shortly after I arrived), the loneliness of not having my two cats (they couldn't fly into Arizona in the summer due to temperature restrictions at the airports) became unbearable and I spent a few days scrolling through the "Pets" section on Craigslist. What started out as a search for "free kitten" ads (to fill the gap of my own cats) culminated in my calling the local shelter to inquire about adopting a red purebred Chow Chow (crazy, I know!!) named Sylvia. She had already been adopted. So I continued to read ads and noticed how so many of them were seeking foster homes for needy dogs. I grew up with both dogs and cats; the only reason I had never owned a dog as an adult was because I wanted the freedom to be able to move whenever/wherever I wanted to. Cats were easy and small to travel with; my cats have probably flown cross-country more times than most people. Feeling lonely and not used to living in a pet-less home combined with the "well fostering a dog is only temporary!" gave me the courage to respond to an ad.
Twenty minutes later the rescue group replied and the next afternoon I had a 6 month old German shepherd mix puppy named Ruby.
Fast forward two years and I've fostered over 20 dogs, adopted two, and started my own non-profit dog rescue dedicated to the breeds I fell in love with (namely, pointing breeds). A long-time apartment dweller, I now live in a small one bedroom house with a yard and room for my dogs to run & play. I've never been a very athletic person (in fact, I rather loathe exercise!), but now I am working out everyday with my friend R. and we're going to run a 5K in January! I own a bicycle and a pair of running shoes (two things I have never owned as an adult). I even use them sometimes. (ha)
I also use parentheses to an extreme degree. I don't apologize for it, either.
A quote that I always used to think about with some degree of irony is, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." (John Lennon)
I have always been someone who spent more time daydreaming about what I want my life to be like, who I want to become, and that type of farsightedness has prevented me from really understanding and even more importantly, appreciating, who I am right now.
I'm not the 30s or 40s housewife that I daydream about being... I'm not the owner of a bed & breakfast with a huge garden, who brews her own beer and keeps bees... I'm not an expatriate writer in the south of France or the mountains of Nepal. I'm not the slimmer, more fit, or more whatever person that I hope to become someday.
I'm a 29 year old woman with two amazing rescue dogs, a job with people I genuinely like, a small house that almost feels like a home, and I never have enough free time. I have the most amazingly supportive and wonderful group of friends, both near and far. And I'm training to run the first 5K of my life.
Maybe it's not grandiose, but it's good.
P.S. I still don't know what to title this post. Oh, well!