This is me

Hello! I’m a thirty-ish lady living in Flagstaff, Arizona. I teach writing classes to a young batch of Millennials at Northern Arizona University, and I spend the rest of my time mountain biking, climbing, skiing, running and exploring the mountains, deserts and canyons of the Western United States. I spent most of my twenties living out of my van and working for two outdoor education companies (The Boojum Institute in southern California and Outward Bound in the North Cascades of Washington). My twenties were pretty fun, and for lack of a better phrase, I flipped my shit when I turned thirty.

This is how I spent my twenties: rock climbing (often in costume) in between working back packing, climbing and mountaineering courses. My thirties seemed so far away…

I suffer from something that many other Millennials also suffer from: waywardness combined with a lack of job security. This is probably why I spent the month leading up to my thirtieth birthday sobbing in bed with my dog. He diligently licked my face as I mumbled things like “no one loves me,” “I’ll never pay off my student loans,” “I’ll never be able to buy a house,” “I’m such a loser,” “everyone else my age is happily married,” and (as a throw back to my teen years) “I’m fat and ugly. That’s obviously my problem!”

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My dog, Bender, licking my face as I secretly cry behind my sunglasses about turning thirty.

During that time, I at least had the common sense to ride my bike. A lot.

As usual, the release of endorphins proved to be the best therapy! I competed in my first mountain bike race the week before turning thirty–and I won! The week after my thirtieth birthday (which really felt like the worse birthday ever), I rode in a bigger race and won that one too! A month later, I registered for a 24 hour race. I rode unsupported (and showed up by myself not knowing a single person there) and won that race as well. Mountain biking quickly become my distraction from feeling sad about leaving my twenties (and feeling like a failure for not achieving what I thought I should have achieved by thirty). With this blog, I hope to invite other thirty-ish people into the conversation about life during this next decade. I know there are a lot of us who are feeling a little lost, or perhaps a little insecure, about our life style choices. Most of us want something more than the 9-5 job that is ever-so-slowly paying off our student loan debt. And, if you’re anything like me, the “oh shit, I don’t think I want kids? do I?” question is suddenly throwing you into more of a tizzy than you’d like to admit.

On the podium a week after turning thirty, about to jug the IPA in my hand and convince myself that my thirties will be okay.
On the podium a week after turning thirty, about to chug the IPA in my hand in an attempt to convince myself that my thirties will be okay.

This blog is meant to encourage all of us to try new things and to pursue what makes us happy–even if it goes against the paradigm. After all, that is what our teachers and parents told us to do when we were kids.

My intention is to combine ideas for leading an active, healthy lifestyle (let’s be honest, our metabolisms are slowing down and our limbs are getting a little creakier these days) with updates on what our generation is doing to shake up society’s expectations about life at thirty. Things are changing! Facebook and Google just added egg freezing to their healthcare coverage, more and more women are having healthy children in their forties, and ultra conservative states, such as Arizona, finally legalized same-sex marriage. We are an exciting generation, and if you need more reasons to feel like you fit in, here is a link to NPR’s coverage on how weird (as well as awesome and perhaps a little lost) we are.

2 comments on “This is me”

  1. I turned 30, promptly started grad school after an 8 year stint of being a professional player in the mountains, and taught myself how to surf to top it all off. Most days I get my ass kicked, both in school and surfing, but I like to think that I can still keep up with the youngins’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI Chase, Wait till you hit 50, then you will really cry! I don’t think that thirty was my big deal, I had my son at 35. At thirty I thought I did not want kids either. I was very active like you. But darling, your life is so far from over! Even at 50, I kick box, Zumba, hike at red rock, now I can say my bones are creaky, but I am not going out without a fight! You are the age you want to be!

    Like

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