Turning 30 is a piece of cake.

Welcome to my Pearl year.

“I hope the most predictable thing about me is that I succeed at my goals, maybe not at first but always through grit and determination.”

On one’s 30th anniversary, couples all around the world often celebrate with pearls. Women might receive a pearl necklace or a bracelet to commemorate 3 decades of a relationship or life.

Today, on my 30th birthday, I choose embrace my Pearl year. But not with gifts, not with necklaces or earrings (okay maybe a bracelet lol).

I don’t need a strand of pearls to commemorate 3 decades of life because…

I am the Pearl.

For 30 years, I have been molded and fashioned within the Oyster of Life, full of adventurous journeys, flourishing friendships, and a lifetime of hard lessons, challenges, and life-changing experiences. Who I am today was only made possible by the experiences I’ve shared over the last 30 years. Some good, some hard, and some that I cherish almost as much as life itself.

Of course I’m reflective today. I’ve been writing this post for 3 weeks now. I started by breaking it into 3 segments, one for each decade, to be published one week a part leading up to my birth date. I almost did that, but the theatrics seemed juvenile, and well… we’re moving on from that phase of life.

I considered starting this by discussing how far I’ve come, all the trials that led me here, and everything I’ve had to fight through just to merely survive to age 30, but that seemed a little intense and not very birthday-ish of me. Also, all of that is in the past, and I’m living today, not yesterday.

I thought about doing a list of Lindsay’s 30 Things and sharing 30 of my favorite things with you all, but it seemed a little consumer-y to me, and that’s not really my vibe these days.

So, here I am. Halfway through this post, and I still haven’t really said what I’m here to say. Or have I?

June – It’s the month of the Pearl.

30 – It’s the year of the Pearl for mile markers and anniversaries.

June 3 – It’s the day that this little pearl steps out of her oyster and exists purely as I am, nothing more, nothing less. Just me. But not just little ole me. Fully me. Unapologetic, unbothered, but not unkept… we’re well-kept over here. I’ve been doing “anti-aging skincare routines” since I was 13!!

The thing about pearls that is so phenomenal is how they are formed. I am truly in awe of their unique, spectacular design. They come from dirt. Just a tiny spec. A grain of sand, if you will. They start out totally unassuming, unthreatening, dirty, blemished, even a little ugly… but then through time, they become something remarkable. It’s almost unexplainable (except not, because science) how a beautiful pearl can come from something so fragile, yet a pearl itself is nothing of the sort.

Raised in the South, I proudly wore my pearls around my neck. I was taught that pearls were a beautiful statement of grace and femininity, two things I strongly aim to project in my life. I didn’t always understand what it took for a pearl to become beautiful and strong, but while in college, I came across a book called “Pearl Girls”. This book had a profound impact on my life, my perspective of a pearl, and my understanding of grit and grace. This book was a collection of stories from women who had endured some of life’s greatest hardships, how they had overcome them becoming stronger than ever imagined, and how they were impacting the world in ways that they simply could not have done without their experiences.

My last 3 decades are seasoned with grit, and it is truly by the grace of God that I have been fashioned into the Pearl that I am.

I feared this year. I remember thinking that 30 was going to be the end of my life. My youth would be gone forever, and I would become simply irrelevant. How silly and wrong I was. It took me turning 30 to realize that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and that every single experience, good and hard, have built me into the person that I needed to be right here, today, on June 3, beginning my 30th year, as a Pearl.

There is a quote I have always loved about how “you are a pearl and the world is your oyster”. I believe there is a lot of truth to that statement. I’m changing it up a bit for the sake of this post, and I believe that “I am a Pearl and the last 30 years have been my oyster.” Now it’s time for me to show you what 30 years of grit and grace can do.

I want to give a huge thank you to all of my friends and family for the kindness you have already shown me today on my 30th birthday. We thought this was going to be a hard one lol We weren’t sure if I was going to be okay with turning 30. The melodramatic phone call to my mom only a few weeks ago to say “I am not okay. I’m about to turn 30. My life is over. My youth is gone. This is it. I’m done.” seems like such a blur haha I guess clarity comes in waves as you get older lol I finally completely understand the notion my girlfriends have made when they make that first post saying “This is me. This is 30.”

Well, world. This is ME. I am a Pearl. and This is 30.

(usually signed as “the Wife”, but today…)

xx – the Pearl

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