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Life is just beginning

Dear You,

Today I turned 30.

It’s an age that we’re taught to dread. 30 means the end of your youth. It means gray hair and carrying a keg around your midsection instead of a 6 pack. It means the end of fun and adventure. You are growing old wether you like it or not.

Who cares?

Here’s what I’ve found out growing through my 20’s. Gray hair can show up when you’re 18. The keg around your midsection can show up when you’re 25. Fun is still around every corner, it just doesn’t last until the wee hours of the morning ’cause bed time is at 11pm (on a very late night). Adventure doesn’t just mean risking your life doing some extreme sport or moving across the world to live by yourself just to work, surf, and meet new people from different cultures. And even though society tells us to have it all figured out by 30 so you can settle down into your nicely packaged life, it’s not going to happen.

I still have no idea what I’m doing and that’s the adventure.

I have had to deconstructing the image of who I was told I should be and embrace the reality and truth of who I am. My view and perspective of the world has changed so drastically in the last decade that all I see now are endless opportunities. With each passing decade, new things are learned and new perspectives gained. 30 is just one of those milestones. 40 will be another and an even greater adventure than the one I am about to embark on.

So this year I am not getting old. Rather I am stepping into the adventure that I was trying to find in my 20’s but am only able to fully appreciate now.

Here’s to 30.

 

         -Dave

 

 

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“We are a broken people…”

Today’s letter was contributed by Rachel, an extroverted twenty-something writer, reader, learner, and dreamer surviving off coffee and deep conversations. She believes in early mornings, live music, road trips, and finding the good. Follow her thoughts on Twitter at @_rachchristine and her writings at www.sincerelyrachelchristine.com: To the drug-addicted brother from the sister who cannot save you: I just want you to be okay. I heard somewhere that big sisters are supposed to help quench the thirsty dreams of their younger siblings. I’m sorry that I did not do that for you. It’s crazy to be a witness to the erosion of your spirit that’s taken place over the last few years. It’s hard to watch someone so close to my heart become the personification of statistics, symptoms, and stories. It’s safe to say that a drug addict is everything they say he will be; a liar, a thief, and a desperate shadow of a person. You still have a spark every once in awhile, but I sometimes wonder what the size of the flame would be, had heroin not decided to try and squelch it. Would you be a businessman? A drummer? A teacher? Some days I slide down to the floor and cry achingly and I press my palms into my eyes, wishing away reality. It’s like I’m homesick for what used to be, for who you used to be. I want to laugh with the young boy who wore fake glasses in his school picture because he knew “class clown” was in his birthright. I want to joke around with the teenager who will still play Nintendo 64 with me, and won’t laugh when I lose every time. I long for your eyes to see the world through sobriety, through actuality, through redemption. Because the world is an incredibly beautiful place that is desperate for the spark of humanity to come alive. I long for your arms to be pink once more, with signs of life instead of death, signs of healing instead of affliction. I long to know why this is your story – but I don’t know that any of us ever will. It is no less beautiful, and you are no less worthy of hope than any of us. We are a broken people, each of us. You are not alone in this, you are never alone. The fullness of love is attainable; you just have to look for it. I love you. Sincerely, Rachel Christine
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A Tragic Picture of Community (When Community is Needed the Most)

Dear Persecuted, Lonely, Would-be Mother, I'm not sure if I've ever met you. If I did, I'll be honest, I'm not sure how I would react. I would hope that my reaction would be far more welcoming than a mob of protesters waving their signs in your face and screaming murderous  accusations at you as the devil himself occupies the spittle flying from their mouths. It took you weeks to muster the courage to take that long aduous walk up to the doors of the clinic. This is the hardest decision you've ever had to make in your young life; and we have made it that much more difficult, painful and shameful.  As I reflect on maybe one day having the chance to meet you, I can't help but feel a deep shame and sense of failure. I'm ashamed because of the way our society treated you. I'm ashamed because I've contributed to a selfish culture that places a higher priority on possessions and being right than it does on helping others and building community. I may not agree with your decision but I can't blame you for it. You were left with little option. You had no one to turn to for help and were faced with a society who is more content to make you feel like shit than to lift a finger and offer to help. No one should endure the immense pain and loneliness that you had to; especially when making the decision to have an abortion.                   I am so sorry
Today’s letter was inspired by the discussion following a recent post on the Freakonomics blog (@freakonomics). It was a poll about whether or not there should be a “parent licensing” process to better ensure that children are “loved” growing up. While the discussion was interesting, I couldn’t help but think of the women, more often young girls, who are faced with the decision of abortion. Today’s letter goes out to them.
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Another Year Come and Gone (So Are My Feet)

Dear Out Of Shape 28 Year Old, 27 wasn't overly kind to you was it. That extra gray hair & belly snuck up on you didn't it. When was the last time you looked down and saw your feet without having to lean forward? That's what I thought. Happy   birthday!! (Screw you mirror.)
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Words of Encouragement or Fleeting Clichés

Dear Hurting Soul, I hate it that I can't fix things. I wish I could but I simply can't. The simple words of encouragement seem to belittle your situation and what you're feeling yet all that comes to mind are fleeting cliches. I aspire to the rock solid resilience, faith and poise which you demonstrate every time I see you, regardless of the immense pain you're feeling. Life may be a bitch, but know you don't walk alone.