Waking up to a snowstorm, with a tournament ahead and yesterday’s great news behind, I find myself to be wildly content. It may seem like a strange state of being, to feel such a passionate sense of a relatively dispassionate feeling, but that’s how the end of my first week being 30 is seeming.

Since committing to a life of writing, I’ve had an overwhelming sense of coming around to what I was always supposed to be doing, to living the life I’d always envisioned. Living deliberately, purposefully, with meaning – all the things I’ve been talking about on this blog since its inception and perhaps my whole life since conception. And while I’m not sure I would’ve picked New Jersey out of a hat and I’m not convinced of Em’s happiness in this new life, I couldn’t see myself doing much better than I’ve been doing. It’s early yet and I’m already hiccuping a bit on the second book, but I’ve gotten enough confirmation that this is the right path to feel simply satisfied. At peace. In my place.

As I’ve aged, I’ve steadily felt more and more comfort with being in the world. The world still depresses the stuffing out of me and I rail against its problems, but I’ve felt more at home here with each passing year. Most of my youth felt like a perpetual struggle, that I was just flailing against an insurmountable tide that I didn’t understand. I had great parents and fantastic friends, but I was never good with where I was, what I was doing, how time was passing, how I was living my life. Maybe for the first few weeks at Broadway, now that I think about it, and probably parts of senior year at the Academy. But they were rare and fleeting glimpses, all the way up till pretty recently.

The glimpses have gotten longer and more sustainable, though. Even times on the debate circuit or at Seneca or Glide started to feel like the world was a place I could be, that I had figured out enough to carve out something worthwhile from the recalcitrant rock of an unfriendly planet. And each year has just brought a little more smoothness, a little more pliability. It gets easier.

I think this is the bottom line. I’m not saying it works for everyone or I haven’t been lucky or that I haven’t made hard choices to help myself on the way. But it gets easier. They told me that adults have more to worry about than children, that one can’t comprehend the stress and difficulty that awaits with age. It’s not true. It gets easier. Grow up, relax, breathe. Youth is the test we pass to show we’re cut out for living.