true #squadgoals: why I love my 30s (vol. 1)

At the end of the summer, I’ll be 31. Still a baby in the grand scheme of things, I know. Still so much to learn.

So many people fear 30, like it’s some space-time continuum that magically causes all metabolism and fun to close up shop. But I’ve had almost a year in this new decade and would pick who I am now over who I was at 20 any. day.

These are the reasons why. 

Why I'd Love

My people know how to celebrate well. Period.

A week in which I experienced the biggest outpouring of love ended with a party our community group threw for our big news and the journey leading up to it. This, after two of said friends left a gift bag with a rainbow of office supplies and a giant slice of Tuxedo cheesecake on our porch the day I announced my contract. (They speak my language, y’all.)

We ended the week deliciously full of grilled chicken, veggies picked fresh from the garden, and homemade blueberry bread pudding. Full from watching our kids laugh and play in the sprinklers with their friends until a summer storm rolled in.

To borrow a phrase from Taylor Swift, this is the definition of true squad goals. Friends that will create a five-person assembly line when a newborn who doesn’t belong to them has a diaper blowout. It’s dessert on your doorstep, a random text message, or a surprise package in the mail when you’re going through a thing. Celebrations for the significant and everyday wins.

You might think I’m getting all nostalgic about what I have at age 30, but it’s more about what was missing that night — what I thanked God was missing. 

In my teens and twenties, my people-pleasing gene was out of control. I had a deep fear of missing out and wondered why I didn’t connect with everyone — not because I wasn’t satisfied with my own people, but because I had this insecurity that I wasn’t enough for the others. That if they didn’t approve, there was something wrong with me.  I spent so much time on this archaeological dig, the mission of which revolved between trying to figure out what that was and trying to figure out who I should be instead.

The other night, as we drove back into the city during a lightning-studded sunset, I realized that ever-present twinge, the curiosity and fear of missing out wasn’t there. And when did that even happen? At 30, I’ve learned that it’s about quality instead of quantity. It’s about loving and serving my Ones well.

And also, it’s about getting over myself a little.

Though I believe there’s value in every learning process, I wish I could tell 20s Laurie that it’s so much less pressure when we stop trying to be all things for all people and not to worry so much because the only ones that matter are the ones willing to embrace our particular brand of weird.

I love this conglomeration of people from past and present, from work and worship and school and writing and parenthood. It’s an ebb and flow rooted in seasons and settings, but it’s imperfect people loving and celebrating well who I can invite through my door and trust with my mess.

Here’s to friendship at any age that shows up,
that feels like welcome,
sounds like grace, trust, and intention,
looks like meeting needs — even when it means calling each other out.
Friendship that’s never too proud to ask for forgiveness,
asks only the questions that matter,
and adds lots and lots of laugh lines to your face.

Maybe you’re reading this closer to 20 and already have this stuff figured out. I’m proud. Or maybe you remember learning this at 30 and are all, Oh, girl, you have so much to learn. 

Bring it. I can’t wait.

Read Part 2: Pink Lipstick here. 

the holy intersection of art & busy

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I walk past this office every day, an inviting and not-always-tidy place that reminds me something magical will happen there later that night.

It’s littered with evidence–like my son’s toy drum in the corner and my daughter’s handwriting practice on the hearth–that, yes, important things happen here. But I get the privilege of being surrounded by story all day: creating them, helping others tell their own, and living grand adventures with my family at the same time. The lines of balance are always shifting, sometimes pulling painfully. Yet I’ve realized the importance of making it work, of curating this beautiful intersection of worlds that almost feels HOLY in its broken, life-giving wholeness.

An article I read this week on Medium.com, “Real Artists Have Day Jobs: Your Job is Just Your Side Gig,” discussed what defines a person as an artist. Major, major fist pumps and hallelujahs ensued on my end–and a little mourning for the people who don’t see themselves as true artists for whatever reason. Artists with asterisks of some kind.

The truth it took me ages to see is this: Your art is legitimate and important whether it’s your sole income or free therapy tucked into the best corners of your day. I wish more people would see that, even if you’re only doing it 15 minutes a day, your art is a vital part of who you are and deserves as much space and energy as you can give it. The people in that boat have been on my mind so much lately.

Whether you have time to work whenever inspiration comes or–like this blog post–it’s broken into the moments between crunching someone else’s numbers and wiping butts and driving all the places you need to go, I hope you’ll make space for what you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you were created to do and celebrate the holy, messy, beautiful intersection of all the parts of your life.

Your art is legitimate and important whether it's your sole income or free therapy tucked into the best corners of your day.