This is going to sound really funny, but I’m pretty sure that I am one of the few people you’ll ever know to admit dreaming about being 30 years old as a kid. Probably as far back as third grade. I’m not sure if I had an accurate idea of what being 30 meant back then, but I knew that 30 seemed to be a critical time in the lives for the people I’ve grown to admire and learn about through books and personal experiences.
MLK published “The Measure of a Man” at 30. In 1985, Steve Jobs was removed as CEO of Apple Computers at the age of 30, which we now know was a major occurrence in his life as a leader. For a more personal example, when my mother was 30, she moved my older brothers and me (then an 8-year-old headed to 3rd grade) to Greenville, South Carolina, which would end up playing an extremely formative role in my life.
To a lot of people 30 is old. Perhaps their best years happened in high school or college or their 20-somethings. For me, I have always believed that the best is yet to come. Youth is still with me, just a different type of youth. The last six months, from marrying Star to launching Localeur, have been the most rewarding of my life and that was all before I turned 30. I know another 30 years isn’t promised to me, but I do believe that the first 30 years of my life have helped me to realize something I always believed as a kid.
Turning 30 isn’t about thinking about my life as an individual, but it’s about thinking about my life in the context of a family, a community, and the world. Finally, I’ve reached a point to turn all my ambitions, experiences, life lessons, and opportunities into something of real substance. Something that is truly deserving of 150 or some odd Facebook wall posts and comments in a 12-hour span. Something that really shows I was listening when all those hard lessons rushed into my life. Something that says my self-confidence is well-suited for my contributions to others. Something that shows God that I didn’t spoil the many gifts He has given me.