30

Yesterday was my 30th birthday.  Time must have been set to fast-forward, because the last time I checked my watch I was only 22.

I had always imagined 30 to mean a steady job and a mortgage and maybe a marriage, an equation that adds up to the sum of a comfortable predictability.  At least, my facebook feed tells me that is what most of my friends are doing.

I put a wrench in predictability last summer when I quit my job and moved to Tanzania. Sometimes I wake up in the dead of the night still terrified by what I’ve done, the future now a great unknown just outside of my grasp.  Other times, when I’m sitting in the back of a bajaj, on my way home from work, the wind kissing my face and the sun low in the sky, I feel like I have stumbled upon a great secret that nobody else has thought to look for.

Last year, I celebrated my birthday with old friends.  We went to the best brunch place in Vancouver and then looked out over the skyline from the windows of the beautiful  new apartment I had just moved into.  I had no idea that a few months later I would break my lease and that my next birthday would be spent with new friends.  Dinner at a wine bar on a hot, muggy night while a band played happy birthday and everybody got up to do a Tanzanian line dance.  The next day, lying on the white sand of a small tropical island, my reflection blue-green in the salt water.

Life has changed so quickly that I don’t know where I will be for my next birthday.

I don’t believe is astrology but my online birthday horoscope provides a small measure of irrational comfort: “This will be a year of huge changes, the kind you look back on one day and realize that’s when you branched out on a completely new path.  Will it be a better path?  Most likely it will be the best”.

If I had a print copy, I would cut it out and tape it to the small fridge in my apartment in Mikocheni, so that it could whisper its comforting message to me every morning.

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9 responses to “30”

  1. frenchimmersion says :

    You only regret what you haven’t done – enjoy, knowing you will be able to look back on your life and know that you have truly lived!

  2. booketta says :

    Happy Birthday for yesterday!

  3. William Kelly says :

    A Be-lated Happy Birthday To You!!!!

  4. John Sep says :

    Happy birthday!

  5. 2 Rivers Photos says :

    Disappointed not to see a picture but I enjoyed reading your candidness 🙂 Happy birthday and all the best in everything you do.

  6. marcopola says :

    Happy Birthday! Megan. I really enjoy reading your posts, trips or non-trips.
    People, especially those in movies, tend to romanticize marriage and children. And that’s pretty much how we all got brain washed. Yes, they are lovely but will they really surpass the experiences you relish so much now? Not to mention they often are the major sources of emotional disturbances. When you are young (30 is still very young), healthy and have freedom to do whatever you want, enjoy them. When the time come, you’ll have everything your friends have now—a house, a husband, children. Until then, enjoy!

  7. Kim Welinski says :

    Happy Birthday! If only we all had half your courage to follow our dreams…

    Kuwa na furaha ya kuzaliwa

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