May 12, 2007 | Life in Progress

(a recent commission)

it’s another gorgeously crisp, sunny, carefree day here in california. i woke up today, spirits lifted. john’s bff is in town for the weekend. i love seeing him with zach. they are two peas in a pod, so much history between them. boys. now grown up. but not really.someone asked me the other day how old i’ll be next month on my birthday and i paused. will i be 31 or 32? i love that. i love that as we get older, we still feel young. though i have to admit that in my mid 20s, i went through a year or so of feeling so old with a spirit that felt heavy and often depleted. i was working a full time social work job, owned a house, and reluctantly tended to the garden and the house without much else going on in my life. of course i had john, but what i lacked was a life of my own. as much as i crave a little bungalow these days with a yard and a garden, it just wasn’t the right time for all of that when i was 26 years old. i wanted to play and travel with john, and live freely without strings attached, like a mortgage. it was a weird age of trying to discover myself in the work/professional world, while trying to make new friends in portland (after everyone i knew moved away for sunnier climates), while being slightly depressed, while figuring out how we wanted our life to look like for us, as a couple, as individuals. we had fallen into a pattern of leading the life we “should”. graduate from college. get a full time job. buy a house. make money. spend money. one vacation a year. play on the weekends. oh my, my soul just crumpled under all the pressure! today, so many years later, and after several years of having found our way of living, i can happily report we are 31 and 32 years young, soon to be 32 and 33. oh, i love the thirties.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (6 comments)
  1. Tori

    This was exactly what I needed to read. I am almost 29 and JUST started to figure out that I need to do things the way I want to, not the way that society says it has to go. I am so excited to hit 30!

  2. misty

    such wonderful words to read, your spirt truly feels light and playful!

    I am going through these similar feelings…we are so on the verge of selling our big house for a little apartment in new city far from here…although a little bungalow sounds so nice, too. I keep telling Kevin that someday I want to live in a house without curtains and a rooster, but for now an apartment surrounded by a new life sounds wonderful.
    Happy early birthday…you have a such a beautiful life to celebrate! The 30’s are good, aren’t they! xoxox

  3. liz elayne

    oh how i agree with you about the 30s. i love being 30 (especially when i get carded because i always get a “you don’t look older than 27″…i suppose it might be the pigtails and dresses over jeans). i was so happy to wave good-bye to my 20s last year. yes. indeed. and

    i just want to write here this morning that i am so glad we are friends. your posts, your work, visiting you here is like a quick little moment shared with you. that just makes my day.

    and this piece is beautiful…simply beautiful my friend.

  4. Cre8Tiva

    Kelly, you will love each decade better and better. I am well into my 5th decade and I am only getting better and happier. I love the ladies, all of them. I am searching for something to do with my faces this year and your work so inspires me. Thank you for your creativity and special sharing! Rebecca (Wistful in GA) Cre8Tiva

  5. daffa

    you know, this is not the first time i’ve heard “love the 30’s”. and it seems to really be the same thing reported by 30-somethings everywhere… that they let go of the “shoulds” of the 20’s, and just started living…

    i’m happy to report that i only lasted a few short months in the “should’s” in my early 20’s, and was not too keen on pushing through the “shoulds” when i was so unhappy… “a spirit that felt heavy and often depleted” you said. for me, there was little sign of my spirit, heave and depleted or otherwise…

    i hope that the “next generation” will be different. i’m hopeful that i will raise my children (when they come, one day, perhaps in my 30’s) to always live for their dreams, and not for the “shoulds” that are placed on them…

    but perhaps this is an idealistic notion…

    i’m excited for you for your birthday… think of everything that has happened for you since your last one!! WOW

  6. Tonia

    You know what’s funny, Kelly? There are two things I have to pause and really think about EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. and they are: which is right vs. left? (I have to make an L-shape with my index fingers and thumbs and see which side the L reads correctly, for “left” and then also whenever someone asks me how old I am. I think I have had to pause at the second question since I was about 24. The way I always get the answer is by remembering that I am one digit after the last digit in the year (since I was born in ’69). And yes, in my mind, I am still 26 or 27 🙂


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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