"Love with reckless abandon" and other advice for a 29 year old...

A few days ago I asked members of my family how they would spend the last day of their twenties... or what they would do if they were me. I have an amazing family, they are full of love and support. Sometimes people ask me in Sweden, "What does your family think about you being here? Don't they ever try to convince you to move back to California? Aren't they sad that you're here?"

My stepdad Brad, my brother, my sister and me in Nantucket

The answer is that I have it as good as it could be... my family does not ever try to convince me to do anything. They cheer me on with most every decision I make. They celebrate with me when I'm going on new adventures, and encourage me when things are hard. They make it clear that they love and miss me very much. And while it surely does not make them happy that they don't get to see me that much, in some ways I think I grow closer with some of them through how open I've been about my life since I moved abroad. Thank you family. You are my life's biggest blessing. 

                                                          My mom and me by the San Francisco Bay

So here are some answers that I got from them. Within these lies more significance than just for how to spend the last day of your twenties... there are words to re-read into age 30 and well beyond. Italics are my own. 

  • Corinne... I'm thinking back to 1966 when I turned 30. Turning 30 wasn't a big deal for me, but turning 40 was. If it is a beautiful autumn day, crisp but not too cold, I think you should get out your bike, go on a long bike ride, stopping at a small cafe for a large cup of hot chocolate. In the afternoon, do something that you haven't done yet in Sweden, maybe something crazy, something enlightening, or something just fun, you might even have done it somewhere else, but the experience would be different since you are in Sweden. In the evening, grab a couple of friends and have a simple but very Swedish meal with lots of good conversation. Whatever you decide to do, be kind to yourself and enjoy the experience. LOVE YOU!
  • People seem to take you more seriously in your 30s. For me it was like being freed. Since you and I both have birthdays in the Autumn I just might take a long walk, even if it's raining, and truly cherish all the wonders I see and the wonderful people I meet. I remember enjoying who I was at that time and looking forward to new adventures and experiences. I would spend the evening with friends with a wonderful meal and conversation. Be content with who you are and take joy in how many people care about you. 
  • Talk a walk or bike ride. Pick up 30 leaves to take home. Each day for 30 days choose a leaf, give thanks for one blessing from your 20s that you are carrying into your 30s, and give thanks from your heart that you don't have to stop now, that you are blessed to go forward into the next decade. With that, let the leaf back out into the wide open world!
  • The first thing that comes to my mind: SKY DIVE! Or do something that you consider equally as daring. Tell thirty people how important they have been to your life. Play soccer, dance barefoot in the rain. Bask in the knowledge that you have family that miss and love you. 
  • I would go sightseeing - walk, bike, train, boat, or... Seeing beautiful nature is always soothing and inspiring. Several people have told me lately that someone who is in their 30s is more respected than someone who is in their 20s. I don't really relate to that because we are in a time of so many entrepreneurs in their 20s, but it is definitely a transition. Turning 30 was not any more special for me than any other birthday that I can recall: I had four children and was anticipating the fifth, so it would have been a busy day. But any birthday is a cause of rejoicing and thanking God for another day. Love you so much. 
  • Well, you know I've always been one for taking risks (or what most people would think is a risk)...getting lost in other countries, riding motorcycles (fast- yes I like fast), flying an airplane, kayaking with whales, trying to jump on a horse I didn't know and ride it bareback. But I hadn't been much of a risk-taker, not where true risk is involved. You know, REALLY crazy stuff like getting close to people, bonding to others, and learning how to trust and be truly vulnerable. Yikes! Now THAT'S scary stuff! All that said, my risk-taking suggestion from my own life's experience that I would want to tell my 30 year old self (certainly not something I think you have an issue with) would be:
    • Be your true self. One great thing about getting older is that the older you get the more you will be free to know who you really are
    • Be vulnerable. Let others see your true self... the good, the bad and the ugly. This is still a work in progress for me, but I think it's where true freedom lies, more so than the freedom we feel when we do all those fun and crazy things we do (not to say that we should stop doing those fun and crazy things!)  
So here's to keepin' it real in your 30s (and for me in my 40s and upcoming 50s!), taking risks of the heart, and loving others with reckless abandon!
  • I would go someplace I loved and take some good friends with me and simply enjoy it all. Place, people, time, and the gift of thirty wonderful years well-lived and the promise of many more to come. Laugh, dance, rejoice, be thankful!
  • How about some good Swedish beer? And just hanging with friends! 30 is just beginning and you have a great head start. A happy year and more success to you, dear granddaughter!

My mom and me in Santa Barbara

My dad and me in Half Moon Bay

What great words. That I and so many I know need to hear. Be kind to ourselves, take joy in simple pleasures, take risks and love with reckless abandon. Let's do it.

How did I spend the last day of my twenties and first day being 30? Pretty much how I was advised... bike ride through gorgeous nature, a moment at a cozy cafe, meals with friends, Swedish beer and great conversation. It may get a little crazier tomorrow, when I'm supposed to be ready at 2:00 pm in costume and taken away to a surprise 24 hour adventure planned by my friends... and I'm thrilled about that. Because a little crazy (or a lot!) is just how I like my life, no matter what age. 


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