9/25/11

Thirty

I have a stack of old journals, which I’m sure I will never throw away, and which are likely destined for an attic-bound cardboard box labeled Mom’s weird journals. Though for now, they’re quite accessible. And on the days before my 30th birthday, I went through each one to find a specific entry from when I was 20: a sloppily written list of what I hoped for my life in five-years time and also in ten-years time. Not only can I picture the side of the page this is all written on, as well as the green marker I used to write it, I also remember exactly where I was when I wrote it—the third floor office of my parents’ townhouse in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. But after spending a solid afternoon flipping through journal after journal and not finding it, I gave up the search.

I was bummed. I’d wanted to take a photo of it and share it with you here. I thought it would have been kind of like unearthing a time capsule.

But, as I was telling all of this to Matt and my dear friends on our last night together in their Los Angeles house (since they are moving to the east coast) where Matt and I have countless memories, my friend made a joke to the effect of, “Oh, because you’d written down that you started a food blog, and worked at a store, and had friends with a dog named Gatsby?”

And as I laughed, it dawned on me: what does it matter what I said I wanted for my life when I was 20? For starters, my 20-year-old self thought that 30 was ancient. She would barely have had any tolerance for such a grizzled oldie. She was also crushingly confused and cripplingly naive. So naïve that she couldn’t possibly have imagined the decisions and events that have brought me to my present situation. I’m sure that she imagined my life might be, on the surface, more fabulous—with cooler outfits and a bigger apartment. But when I stop for a moment and consider my life (an inevitable side effect of birthdays), I can see clearly that it’s great. Simply great.

I think of those lines from the poem, “Kitchenette Building”: But could a dream send up through onion fumes / Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes / And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall, / Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms.

After 30 years on planet urf… on most days, I am happy to say that I can still smell my dream over the metaphorical stench of garbage ripening in the hall. Admittedly, so much of that is thanks to Matt and my super supportive support system. (Oh, and did I mention Matt?)

In a roundabout way, what I’m saying is that there’s no real “attempt” this week—at least not a recipe-based one. But can’t we say that for this week, the attempt was my twenties? And alas, that it was—dare I say it—a success. No, a complete success! (After all, I did make it through.)

And can I also leave with a challenge for the next decade? To continue to mind the dream? Always with the hope that perhaps, someday, gradually, without even noticing it… I’ll be living it.
A million thank yous to Matt for all of the beautiful photos this week and to Heather and Jeana for one of the best birthday dinners ever. That above pizza? It changed my worldview on root vegetables as a pizza topping.

Lastly, for those of you wondering: I did complete the two concrete goals I’d set out for my 30th birthday. 1.) I have begun the process of trying to sell my novel. And 2.) We bought plane tickets for a two-week trip to France! More on this later…

Uhm, Hi. I'm 30.

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51 comments:

Matthew said...

Welcome to thirty! I've been here a little while and can tell you -- it's quite fun! xoxo

Katie said...

Happy birthday!

themoveablefeasts said...

Beautiful.

Mary Anne said...

Welcome to thirty.... i can also tell you it's pretty nice. You are PRETTY!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!! Hope we talk very very soon.

p.s. Please keep looking for that journal entry...

Amy said...

Guess what?? Thirty is pretty incredible. I'm three years in and loving it. As is true of anything in life, it is what you make of it. Enjoy the ride. (Especially the one to France!!!)

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

Happy happy bday!

Run Fast Travel Slow said...

That's a lovely lead photo -- is that ice cream and pie? So pretty!

Happy birthday!

leigh said...

so great! i am interested in this book selling...future post perhaps?

MEGGY said...

What a delightful birthday celebration. I want that cake pictured at the top.YUM.

jeana sohn said...

i love you, my 30 year old beautiful amelia morris. it's so exciting that you and matt are going on a trip to France! what a perfect gift for the big birthday!

Heather Taylor said...

pretty girl, happy 30!!!!

Anne Zimmerman said...

30 is marvelous! Enjoy!

betty said...

Happy birthday! beautiful pictures and the pizza looks really good, hope you had a great time!

http://bitstreats.blogspot.com/

Charlotte Aimée Clarke said...

What a cute cake; gorgeous pictures, especially love the envelope one! Happy 30th :)

Gilda said...

Thank you for sharing this, Amelia! It set my week off right.

Carmen said...

beautiful post. happy 30th.

mycreationandinspiration said...

sound delicious...:)

Andrea said...

Happy birthday!!! And Matt's going to France? On a plane? :-)

Sara said...

Happy birthday! :)

Kara said...

I love this post! Thank you Ameeeelia. And yes, welcome to the Thirties, the new greatest decade of your life xo

Paul Craig said...

Thirty, I vaguely remember that LOL
Great post, the amazing thing about birthdays is realizing the "dream" constantly evolves and changes.

caitin said...

rad!

rami said...

Love this post! Happy Birthday! :)

Kimberley said...

Happy MF Birthday Ms. Amelia. You are awesome and every post is a gem.

whateverscoolwithme said...

Happy Birthday! Here's to many more, and many more awesome blog posts.

Georgia

LD1 said...

Happy Birthday Amelia!
I can't wait for your novel.

Here are some links to places to eat in Paris from your fellow food bloggers. Bon Voyage!
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/paris/
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/ten-days-in-paris-recipe.html
http://smittenkitchen.com/where-we-ate-in-paris/

Ms.Nožisková said...

bon anniversaire!
bon courage on your journey with the novel!
& bon voyage to france!

(and i agree with mary anne... you should find that entry with the green marker - mostly because i'm willing to wager that what you've achieved will line up quite nicely for whatever projections you wished for yourself!)

x

Meister @ The Nervous Cook said...

Welcome to 30 and beyond. I bet you're gonna love it.

Megan Taylor said...

Is it weird that this made me choked up? (birthday yesterday, so, on the reflective page myself). Love you Amelia. May all your DREAMS come true!

Natasha said...

Happy Birthday!!! 2 weeks in France?! There really couldn't be a better present :) Good luck with your novel, I'm sure it will do great.

Love the blog!!

inlovewithsandiego.blogspot.com

Jessica said...

OMG Happy Birthday!!! BTW These pictures are completely gorgeous and that pizza looks amazing.
-Jess

amelia said...

thanks so much, everyone!!

@MEGGY: the cake at top is actually a summer berry pudding with a ton of whipped cream. it was awesome!

Sara said...

Happy birthday!

On a side note, whenever I visit your blog "Call Your Girlfriend" immediately starts playing in my head. For me it's the unofficial theme song :)

Natalie of Fashion Intel said...

Happy Birthday! Feliz Cumpleanos! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the transition from 20s to 30s, it was truly inspiring and comforting.

the actor's diet said...

i'm honored to have found your blog on your birthday - welcome to your 30's!!!

anngeleyes said...

Happy Birthday!...beautiful photos...awesome blog...kiss from croatia... :) ..(... my photos http://anngeleyes.blogspot.com/ ... my food http://anngelpie.blogspot.com/ ... )

keepfeeling said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Amelia, and welcome to the awesome 30's!

Here's to minding the dream!

xo

Kara said...

I love this last photo so much. So pretty!! Did Monsieur Matt snap it?

sara said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY amelia! beautiful post and pictures to start what i hope will be a beautiful year!

Beatrice Valenzuela said...

Feliz Cunpleanos mi bella Amelia!
Te quiero.
`Bea

Kelsey (Happyolks) said...

Just found your blog from The Year in Food. Wow. I feel like I have so much to catch up on. This brought me more comfort than you may realize, today. I'm 22. And although I would characterize this stage of my life with a different list of adjectives, the unknown adventures ahead are both exhilarating and daunting. More of the former, though. This post is a bit of a buoy, on a day where the whole growing up things seems very esoteric. So glad to meet you, Amelia. And Happy Belated Birthday :)

lisa fika said...

xoxo.

Flowergirls said...

nice!
lovely picca's

www.flowergirlsxx.blogspot.com

The818 said...

Such a beautiful 30. Happy Birthday lovely.

Alison said...

love this- happy 30! 30's are when the real great begins:)

Sarah at Letters from the Kitchen said...

Amelia, I've just stumbled upon your blog and had to tell you how much I adore this post and your beautiful words "to continue to mind the dream"... I might have to tack that one up on my desk. Completing a novel before turning 30, you're already living the dream! Cheers and happiest of birthdays!

amelia said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH, readers and friends!! you guys made my 30th birthday that much sweeter.

Rachel said...

oooh, love this post!

Meg said...

Beautiful photos and beautifully written.
I cannot wait to read more in your adventures. I may even try some of your recipies :-)

Cheers!

Meg

Kara said...

I'm kind of in love with you guys...as a couple...
xx

grizzly&golden said...

Re-reading on a booooooring Saturday, and this is so sweet. Mind that dream! And, keep that Matt
K