So the 30 by 30 series didn't quite work out, mostly because I spent my 30th year learning some important lessons. Now that I am older I can write about them :-))
My key lessons of 2013 were about love. I'll try and share them with you now.
Firstly, love is that fluttering in your stomach, that tightening of your heart, that involuntary grin, that extra bounce in your step. Love is the feeling of great fortune and unmerited favour. It's a reminder that you're a great person and worthy of much affection.
Love is a series of actions. It is a doing word that is shown through its actions. It's the shout that keeps peace. It's the silence that makes a point. It's letting go of the person or the moment or the object that you thought you couldn't live without.
Love is a choice. Sometimes it's a moment in which we decide to take a chance, in order to love ourselves or love someone else. Sometimes it is a choice that we make over a long time as we determine the type of person we will love even when we haven't met them yet. Then when we meet them we may feel like we have no choice, but the truth is that we will have been deciding it all along. It's the choice to do the thing that will soften and delight someone else's heart, when it puts our schedule out of sync. It's the choice to do nothing when that suits you least.
Love is a statement. It means 'I want the best for you. I love the way you make me feel. I love the way I make you feel.' Loving someone means making sure that your life is always saying something positive about yourself and about the object of your love.
God is love. All we are and all we go through are about His love. We just have to open our hearts to see it. We have to think about it on a cosmic scale, beyond the day-to-day.
Love is unpredictable. It can never be fully known because trying to figure it out is part of the adventure and part of the charm. But there are things about love that we can know and trust: that love doesn't only work in the way we think it should. Love isn't only one-dimensional or one-directional. We need to open our minds up to let love teach us in the way that it will, all the while believing that love is good and for good.
Love never fails. People may fail us. Trust may be broken. But if we are faithful to love it will never fail us.
Finally, loving yourself is paramount, considering all the points above. It's important to understand that some day you will let yourself down, you will betray yourself, you will surprise yourself. But you must still forgive yourself and move on. You must express your love for yourself, to your self and to the world.
Most of this may be old news to most people, but a lot of it was new when i learnt it. So i'm grateful for the lessons of my thirtieth year.