It's a few days past my 30th birthday and I thought it fitting to say a little something about the big moment. This birthday makes all of us look at where we are and debate if we're satisfied, content, still striving, thriving, floundering with where we are at this time in our life. It's a moment to reflect. So more poignant than New Year's Eve promises and goals, this moment of 30 makes us wonder about the twist and turns we took to get where we are today.
For me, I'm shocked. I feel completely where I'm supposed to be and completely unsure. I've had my first born and I found a partner so ready to handle all facets of Fran. And that has to say something. I feel so complicated and when I talk to him I feel like its alright, I'm not that complicated, I just needed to be confident, get it out there and be okay with it. Whatever it is.
The ups, damn they're good. The downs, I'm learning I can survive them.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect all the things that happened in the last decade or two happen and how I handled them.
Some key things I can honestly admit and still question:
My education was priority, but boys were so much more interesting to distract me. If I wasn't so boy crazy at 12 until 25, would I be different? Was it all practice so I'd be woman enough for the man I love? Will I ever be able to just love and be content with loving one?
I have a baby. Yay! I've always loved children and I've always loved them around me. Jennifer and Natalie, two little girls I knew when they were itty bitty 5 & 8 year olds (our dads were buddies back in the day) stopped by to say hi to me in their late teen, early twenties full of confidence, optimism and beauty. I felt aged, but more so, it felt so good to see that they turned out so damn good. I only was the teen that played soccer with them or made sure they didn't drown in the pool. Or combed their hair when they were a hot mess after running up and down all afternoon. I'd be the girl that acted like she never grew up doing cartwheels all over the front lawn. And now they were the girls/young women I once was. I was looking at them, no longer a size 2 drill team lifeguard, but wife of a husband who likes his women a little thick and a proud mother of a bouncy intelligent and quite adorable (and spoiled/extra loved) toddler. All I keep thinking at 30 is that I want more. Give me more bouncy little babies to grow up into grown folks hopefully making the world a better place.
I hope that I'll write a book by the time I'm 40. I'm thinking I won't have the time because if I really do have a house full of children, I'm really going to be strapped on time to write a book.
I'm okay that I didn't make it to Italy. I have friends who traveled the world and I'm happy for them. But I'm not necessarily craving it for myself. Not right now. I hope to live as long as my Aunt Jacque and travel throughout my retirement, shocking my family and all the people I meet along my travels what a spunky 80 year old I really am.
I think my most amazing moment in the last year was when I told my husband the saddest and truest story of unrequited love and he wasn't upset and he wasn't insecure. He realized that before he met me, I had a life and many loves before him. Instead of negativity, he gave me hugs, kisses and comforted me. He knew something I didn't know. His love for me and his understanding of me and how much and how hard I love would be forever present, as long as I allowed him to be there, he'd be there. His own belief in true love allowed him to let the caged bird loose and his own strength of character knew I'd come back in his arms when I was ready to land. I will always love my husband and I will always credit the grace and goodness of God in bringing him in my life.
If anyone's ever read Octavia Butler's Patternmaster series, there's this woman who has this permanent connection to a group of people. Like a mental link/leash on various people. It would never go away unless she or that person died. I feel like that with the people in my life. Arguments, separations, break-ups, deaths...nothing stops the people I've loved in any way shape or form from being in my life. I seem to never forget. That's why I'm so glad all my exes haven't been the types to sniff around the married woman. I still love them somewhere inside. Certainly not as intensely, but I still care deeply for them. The love I felt for them are like dim lights in the background while my budding family is shining so brightly in the forefront. But they are still there.
I love my brother. Deeply, truly and forever. Sometimes, I love him like he is my first child and Amelia is my second. He'd find that condescending, but it's true. Only when he's acting up like he needs two mamas I feel like I have to me mama #2.
If I died tomorrow, I wouldn't worry. My daughter is so strong and beautiful, and my husband the same...they'd get by. And my grandiose family will be there to back them up.
I worry about grieving for a close family member because Erwin's death still hurts so much. I still cry and keep thanking God that it wasn't Malcolm, and then feeling guilty about that thanks. The way things were going, it could've been Malcolm and not Erwin, but I almost wonder if a higher power pointed that boy right for the sake of my sanity. I'd die if he died before me. That's how much I love him. How Jonelle faces the day as a widow, a single mom and a woman that lost her brother. How Ms. Pansy and Joan face cancer. How Malcolm's girlfriend deals with her best friend murdered in cold blood. How Vanessa W. deals with her husband murdered and no killer has been brought to justice. How Bejey goes off to Iraq while we're celebrating 4th of July.
I'm turning 30 and the thing I realize is that the grief is going to get harder and stronger and that my line is full of matriarchs. A matriarch is a strong woman leading her family is sickness and in health. I, along with my cousins, want to be matriarchs for our family. As God wills it, I will be, if I am not already. As Kemi and my father told me once, Fran when you're sick, we're all sick. We miss you when you're gone. I am so blessed to be so loved. And vice versa, when someone I love is sick, a part of me ails while I pray for the health and happiness. Turning 30 lets me know that I'm going face many more sad days and I will have to say goodbye to many people. But that link I have with all those I love give me the strength to keep going and keeping moving forward.
I'm turning 30 and taking the lead on planning the next family reunion. I promise to be strong and healthy (and wisely medicated) and humbled by my limitations. I also promise to use my gifts as intended and be so thankful for the blessings I have. I am so so thankful.
That is what 30 is to me, thankful.
Thank God I'm thirty.


  1. I love you Fran - unconditionally.
    You have many God given talents. But it is my belief that the written word is where your passion truly lies. I am patiently awaiting the day when your book is published. I have faith it will happen, and even if it doesn't come to past any time soon, I will still have faith in you!


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