I turned 39 today! Officially in my last year of my 30s, I’m definitely creeping towards the top of the hill. In one year’s time, I am going to be “over the hill”!
I can hardly believe it. I still feel really young. If you look up “over the hill” in Google, you’ll find all sorts of definitions that are actually quite funny:
“past one’s prime”
“too old for something”
“old and no longer useful”
“old and no longer in the best part of life”
I laughed so hard when I read the last one. I remember reading Ellen DeGeneres’ book, “Seriously…I’m Kidding” where she mocks the “over the hill” idiom and says going over the hill should be a great thing because going downhill is so much easier than uphill and thus, once you make it “over the hill”, it’s a milestone worth celebrating!
I am not quite “over the hill” yet, but I agree with Ellen wholeheartedly. I was sort of a daze in my 20s, treading uphill. Fresh out of college with a Mass Communications degree, I dabbled in a few different jobs before finding my passion in Events Planning and started my own business. Married at 25, I believed in the “happily ever after” that I saw in Disney movies (ha!).
I became a mom right when I turned 30, and for the last 9 years, have learned more about myself, about relationships, and about life itself than the previous 30 years combined. These have been some of the most challenging years, but also the most rewarding for me. I decided to dedicate this birthday post to express my gratitude for those who have been instrumental in my personal growth in this last decade (not in any particular order)…
Alan (my hubby)— Thank you for being my rock. Our marriage has taught me that “happily ever after” only exists when both of us continually work hard at it, and I am grateful for your commitment and partnership to our marriage. Regardless of my moods, my circumstances, or my spontaneity, you always manage to remain calm for both of us. I am so blessed to have your support and encouragement through the years, in anything and everything that I do. Your unconditional love has empowered me to take risks and to follow my dreams!
Mimi (my sis)–You are no doubt the angel that God has placed in my life since birth. You’ve influenced me greatly throughout my entire life. For as long as I remember, I have looked up to you and yearned to be like you but never as much as these past two years since I have witnessed your transformation in your journey with God. Thank you for always believing in me, and for encouraging me to follow my heart. Most of all, thank you for leading me towards God, and patiently guiding me along the way.
Bridgette (my daughter)—I have never known I could love so fiercely and unconditionally until I gave birth to you. Although you may think I have taught you a great deal, you are actually the one who teaches me every single day. Seeing the world through your eyes has been so much more beautiful and meaningful these last 9 years. Your kind soul has inspired me to offer more grace and service to others. Thank you for being so genuinely you, unashamed for what you believe in and an encouragement to everyone around you.
Brianne (my niece)—My dear “siu lung bao”, you are truly like a second daughter to me. It may be because we share the same horoscope, but I have always felt like we share a lot of the same traits. Your keen, observant nature makes you so aware of everyone’s feelings. I love your kindness, compassion, and silly spirit. Bridgette often tells me why you’re the only person in the world she feels comfortable sharing all her secrets with, and I can see why. Through you, I have learned what it means to be a true friend to others.
Jean Marks (my former business partner and good friend)—We had our highest highs and our lowest lows together when creating our new business, Wedding 360, several years ago. Even during the most challenging times, you managed to maintain your encouraging and positive spirit for our entire team. I cannot thank you enough for keeping me in so many of your prayers through the years, and inviting me over and over again to your church. You never gave up in helping me to see God’s work in my life. What a blessing it is to call you my sister in Christ now, and to see your warm face every Sunday at our church!
Mom and Dad–How can I have a birthday without being grateful to the ones who brought me here in the first place? You have shaped me to become who I am, in many ways. Being so far apart in the latter part of this last decade has been hard for all of us, but I am grateful for the small pockets of time that we have had together as a family. Sometimes, it may feel silly to me that you still treat me like a child, but then I remember this is the way you show your love. I hope you know how much I love you too, even though we may show our love very differently. I pray that God will lead you to Him so that you can enjoy the amazing grace and love that you so deserve!
Mom (in law) and Dad (in law)–I am incredibly lucky to have a set of parent in laws like you, who have embraced me into your family from day one. Your tender care for Bridgette since she was a baby has been such a blessing for us. Even now, Alan and I always take comfort in knowing that we can count on you, even when we call for your help in very short notice. Thank you for your quiet acts of love and kindness, which have not gone unnoticed!
God really has given me an abundance of blessings this last decade–a career that I am passionate about, an amazing and dedicated team that has helped my business grow and flourish, friends and cousins that have brought me so much joy and laughter, journeys all over the world to broaden my perspective and reignite relationships, and the most wonderful church that I can call “home” now. Despite the loss of loved ones that I experienced, which were painful times, I am grateful that God used those experiences to strengthen my faith and to lead me towards my decision to be baptized. As I prepare to go “over the hill” in a year, I do not at all feel “old and no longer in the best part of life”. By surrendering to God completely and letting Him lead the way for me, I am more excited than ever, and consider the years to come to be my prime years! So there…I will savor this last year of my 30s and look forward to seeing what’s ahead on the horizon.