I just happened to look at the date of my last post and one word came to mind- shameful. It's unbelievable that I have not shared an update in three months since returning from my summer intensive at Duke smh. In the time since the last post, I've returned to Duke for my fall intensive and started the online work for the semester. It of course has not been easy and I don't know that I am getting the same kind of enjoyment out of the process that I have in the past. Yet I do realize that I am extremely close to being done with my coursework, and the closer you get to the end the hard it seems to become. The day before leaving for Duke, I had the opportunity to open at the kick-off service for 20/30 Weekend (our young adult ministry). This was officially my last contribution to the young adult ministry before I am no longer a young adult.
It occurred to me this afternoon that I am today exactly one month shy of my 40th birthday. I'm not quite sure what to say about that. I have not had any hang-ups about turning 40... yet. I keep waiting to wake up and find that I am devastated I am leaving my 30's behind. Truth is I'm not devastated. No doubt I have moments when I wonder if I have made anything of myself during the last decade and if I have become who I was meant to be, but the truth is I ask myself those questions at every age. Do I miss being in better shape and having thinner thighs? Yes! But let's be real, I'm much sexier now than I was at 30 (if I do say so myself *in my best Jay Z voice* lol).
Here's what I can appreciate about getting older: I love knowing myself better. I like not really caring as much about what other people think. (You either get me or you don't.) Most of all I appreciate being my own advocate where in times past I would have been overly concerned about hurting other people's feelings instead of looking out for my own needs. I think I'm pretty satisfied. At 30 I never dreamed I would be in a doctoral program at of all places Duke! I would have never thought I could get into (or pay for) a school like Duke. To God be the glory!
I will say this- I think I'm over the phase of trying to accomplish to prove my worth. I've earned three degrees, working on the fourth, I've taught at the collegiate level, I have a stellar academic record, I've established a reputation for commitment and excellence... and I'm soooo over it! Now I'm ready to put my hands to meaningful work that will have a lasting impact in the lives of other people. That alone is probably the best part about growing into myself- no longer trying to prove I have gifts, but recognizing I am a gift.