I turned 30 years old on Saturday, and I feel different. You folks already in your 30’s (or 40’s or 50’s) will probably chuckle, but I do. Fall has always brought me a sense of a new year – new school season, colder air harboring changes, and the strongest of our modern American rituals: the birthday. It all comes together to bring this feeling of newness. And 30. A whole new decade.
So at a family birthday gathering on Friday night, I asked everyone over 30 to talk about about what their entry into my new decade was like. I’d hoped for a tidy little theme (big surprise), but they were all over the board. For some, turning 30 was a year of struggles, and for others it was ease. Clarity and confusion. Stability and changes. Each person had their own path through that year. So I’ve decided to figure out how I feel on my own.
Because this fall feeling has a different quality than normal. As well as the newness (new opportunities, new commitments, new plans), I feel release. That this year’s word theme of ‘enrich‘ is coming to an end. That these last two months, the microbes broke down the matter, and the compost pile got HOT. Activity and friction and changes. I have a sense that the ‘breaking down’ has ended and I’m left with lovely dark crumbly soil ready for planting. And there is so much comfort and confidence in that.
When we let go of everything that is ready to decompose, we make space inside of ourselves for newness to be born. Dying has never been a finale, it is only a brilliant bridge to a new section of life. Like compost turned to rich and seed-ready soil, dying prepares us for a new phase of living itself. Though our smaller selves might dissolve, dying has never been an ending at all. It is, instead, an ecstatic transformation into a wider self. …
Now is the time. In the knobbed hands of the wind, the antique scent of dried leaves and the warm cinnamon feeling of fire in the trees. Now is the time to let the dying enter you as clean and beautiful as the stone that was forgotten and then exposed in the wheat gold of fading weeds. Allow in the beautiful melancholia and heart-throbbing abundance of life itself. Let every day end like a cello on its last note. And relish. Relish, relish this season of profundity and release. Because, despite what we have grown to fear, dying is a beautiful thing. For then, we can rest. For then, we can embrace the unbelievable joy of what comes next.
I feel like a big chunk of my self guilt and insecurities have fallen away. I know that I still have my worries – I will always be a serious person. But, this morning, I feel so much more … solidly me. I spent my twenties figuring out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, and now I feel like I know what I want to do and who I want to be. To bring folks into community, to let them realize “it’s not just me”, to hear their laughter and witness their care for each other. To be a carer.
On that, I’d like to announce our next event for A Road of Your Own: a journaling workshop! Join A Road of Your Own and your peers on November 21st, 2015, at 11:00am to develop a journaling practice that works for you! We’ll discuss daily or weekly journal strategies, practicalities of when and where you can write, prepare our own journals, get compelling and interesting prompts, and get writing! A journal is included in registration if you don’t have your own. Lunch will also be provided. Click the banner below to register! Look forward to seeing you all there!