Tonight, I am spending my third night under the covers of my very own king-sized bed, in my hotel room just miles from Stanford University. I am here with a team writing curriculum that will be co-copyrighted by Stanford and shared with educators across the country. I have strolled the open-aired archways around Stanford's campus on our lunch break, purchased souvenirs for my husband and kids at the bookstore, and spent each night sitting at outdoor restaurants, eating cioppino amidst young groups of tech savvy students probably dreaming up the next Google. We've seen Steve Jobs' residence, gawked at the 99 year leases strewn across Palo Alto's manicured streets, and walked by a bar called The Nuthouse, where Mark Zuckerberg and his buddies dropped peanut shells on the floor and made plans for their multi-billion dollar empire, now taking up acres of land just down the street. It's been an interesting, productive trip with my colleagues, and I've now decided a trip back to the Bay Area with Beau is a definite must in our future.
And although it's a little depressing that I will spend my very first day of this new decade stuck in an airport slowly and anxiously making my way back to my bed, my babies, and my Beau, all this alone time has provided a much-needed opportunity for some independence and reflection as I say goodbye to one decade and welcome another. A decade is a long time. In the last ten years, I have become a wife, a teacher, and a mother. I have purchased one home, earned two college degrees, and traveled out of the country four times. I have swam in the ocean, stood at the base of a mountain, and danced in the kitchen. I have watched my body transform in the most magnificent ways and felt a strength I didn't know I had as I brought two babies into this world. I have cooked meals, drank wine, taken pictures, and written words. I've laughed, cried, prayed, longed, and loved, sometimes all in the same day. But most importantly, when I look at the last ten years, I realize how much I've lived. When I was a little girl and used to dream about what my twenties would look like, it's just as I pictured it.
So now I am thirty, standing at the base of a new mountain, a little wiser and more experienced, eager to begin my climb and see what's in store along the way. But at the same time, I can't help but think about forty, and what I want that view to look like as I stand at the top ten years from now. I hope it's filled with a lot of the same, as well as new landscapes yet to be explored.
So, here's to twenty, and thirty, and forty. To appreciating the climb and knowing that although it's often long, arduous, and difficult to see the big picture, the view from the top is always breath-taking.