Thursday, August 30, 2018

kalimera, thirties

Of the few Greek words I adopted over the five day-stay, kalimera was likely the first. Locals exchanged good mornings at all opportunities; on the island of Sifnos especially. And being tourists didn't exempt us. We were welcomed into the singsong-y custom. How could we resist! Why would we want to. 
Earlier this summer (Labor Day, what?!), I declared that Greek island life beats most other scenarios. It does. Thanks to jet lag, we awoke each morning around 7am. We made coffee and had a light breakfast of toasted bread with local jam and the best Greek yogurt I have ever had. Perched above the ocean, we leisurely read books and caught up on the news. We hiked to beaches, rode our Vespa across the island's winding roads, ate our weight in Greek salad and Sifnian cheeses and seemingly all the local specialties.
On my 30th birthday, I set out on my own. I descended the stairs to the Church of the Seven Martyrs and prayed to a God who hasn't heard from me in quite some time. The church bells, tied up so as not to ring in the voracious winds, chimed steadily, three times.
It was all so perfect and special, and aside from those solo moments above, shared with one person with whom I no longer speak.
I neither dreaded nor was I thrilled about turning 30. It just felt fitting, in that ordinary no-frills "ah but of course" kind of way. All those little changes and shifts I'd made consciously (and not) in accepting who I was and what I wanted and how I needed, without apology... 30 suddenly made sense; a milestone of adulthood in and of itself as opposed to the reasons I'd been told.
A lot can happen in three decades lived: Multiple degrees and passport stamps. Stints/lifetimes in cities like New York and Paris and Los Angeles. Collections of passion-fueled and need-based jobs. Romantic love found and lost and sought after, juxtaposed with the evolution of familial bonds (once humanness is fully seen, to the extent that it can be). Friends that stick. Real life evidence that another good morning can be found in each ebb and flow, as perhaps the only thing that's truly "meant to be", for every one of us.