So I just turned 30.

When I was 20, I assumed that when I was 30 I’d be married, raising a family, about to buy a house, and be part of a fantastic career (or finishing off a Ph.D–or both–because hey, the sky’s the limit, right?)

Only one of these things is true currently. My life at thirty is completely different than I expected: I’m Orthodox (back then, I was a pagan and had no interest), I work for the Arizona wine industry (a field I was only barely aware of at 20), and I’m happily single living in a fantastic town on the side of the mountain (I was expecting Flagstaff at that age).

It’s actually a better life, and a more fulfilling life than the one I imagined at 20, and one which I feel is even more stable than the one I imagined. I’m a more level-headed, peaceable-minded person than I imagined I would be, ten years ago.

Imagine that.

See, here’s the thing; being single at an older age like us is not a bad thing. It, as we’ve said before here countless times, is immensely rewarding. And the fact is, our lives need to be more stable before we consider bringing someone else into them. The reality of the current world is that, thanks to the economy, crushing burden of student loan debt, and other various sundry aspects, is that people of all genders find themselves unable to achieve stability in their 20’s; it’s become an extended time to be a teenager.

It’s only in our 30’s, I think, that we become stable enough to find our place in the world–and to hold it against all who come against us, and are able to keep doors open for those whom we want to be a part of our lives.

So. Here’s to the 30th decade.