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Jake 3.0

Thirty & Purtty

As of 12:01am today, I officially have crossed the border into my 30th Birthday. To be completely honest, I’m THRILLED. I’ve been reflecting a ton lately about how turning 30 would feel, how it should feel, and how I actually feel.

The day started off average enough feeding the hungry sharks – I mean cats – before sunrise and going back to sleep in for the first time in I don’t know how long. No special feelings coming up yet. A few drool spots and nap lines later, I wake up to my very first “Happy 30th Birthday Jacob!” from my Allie ๐Ÿ™‚ She had a massive “30th” balloon and an assortment of gifts waiting for me in the living room. Those gifts included things I love, things I loved & lost, and things I needed and they were perfect. Not long after, my mom surprised me with lunch at my front door who had driven all the way from Milwaukee for a 3 minute visit. One of my favorite lunches with my favorite women – and Luna & Sunny too!

This year, though, I feel less like Buzz & Woody at the end of Toy Story 3 (2010) saying “So Long Partner…” to my childhood and more like Kuzco in The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) saying “Bring It On..BOOOOYAAAHHHAHAAAA WOOOOOOOO!” because, frankly, my 20s were TOUGH. I know that everything I went through helped construct the version of myself today and all of that but I could not be more excited to look ahead to a new decade.

With that in mind, I have really been pondering an idea that has taken hold of my mind harder than Inception (2010) which has helped put things into perspective today – and more enjoyable:

I am not just a 30 year old. I am a collection of all the 30 years that I’ve lived.

Yes, my body has turned 30 years old and, you know what? I’m so grateful for that! Not a single moment of this day should be dreaded in my opinion. I’m not just a 30 year old guy walking around being all 30 with crunchy knees, back problems, and constant existential stress – ok, maybe just that last part!

I am so much more than that. So, I’ve made a VERY LIMITED list of some parts of me that come to mind as I write this on my birthday. Please, enjoy meeting all 30 versions of me:

Experiencing life, joy, and love for the first time. Eye’s wide open and the baby poops-a-flowin’

I’m an explorer and a persistent learner

I love nothing more than T-Rex’s, playing with siblings, and laughing

I learn how to draw with my grandpa after Sunday Morning Pancakes at Nanie’s

I’m silly, making new friends, scared of girls & cooties. Jovial and obsessed with Barney

Getting better with “change” but also a bit hesitant about the world

Developing my skills, becoming a traveler, holidays are my favorite time of the year. Siblings are my best friends. Dinosaurs and N64 are the coolest things in the world.

Chaotic confidence from all angles, becoming empathetic as well, ‘NEATURE’ BOY

Traveled outside of the country for the first time (Denmark). Home is stable, fun, and consistent

Finding my identity as an artist, a creative, and a self-proclaimed flirt. Getting good at family card games. Also, kick-the-can champion with cousins.

Obsessed with watching movies, fascinated with airports, and the engineering behind vacuums. Sports are fun but I usually make grass balls or chase bugs

Awkward and hilarious first dates, understanding new perspectives, neighborhood biker gang with cards in our spokes

Fearless, invincible, reckless but still super sweet to my grandma

New kid in school, cautious, hopeful romantic & clunky making all new friends. Thankful for the ones who took me in

Caring, compassionate, happy, loving, finding out that I am unique.

“Independent” but clinging to the child at heart – no driving yet! Cross Country Running, endless music playing, practicing, & performing.

King of the school, hitting my stride, found my tribe, UC symptoms begin

Unhealthy amounts of stress, holding onto the past, worried about the future

Starting over again, open minded, passionate about science & nature

MAN, I LOVE COLLEGE!!! Games, dancing, grand gestures of love, traveling, endless laughter, and so much pizza. “Adventuring is my thing”

I am truly happy to my core, ambitious, a leader, the best version of myself so far. Homesick though. Reflecting on “growing up” and feeling like I need to leave my childhood behind.

Atomic Heartbreak </3

Lost, unsure of myself, struggling with finding peace in myself, new learning opportunities

Learning to love myself again. Dealing with ups & downs of sickness. Committed, defensive, ambitious

Understanding, passionate, goal oriented. FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE

New city, new love. Lots of change. “Having grace with myself” More organized, big boy job, and building a whole new life – still doing laundry at home every other weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

Feeling unstable, pandemic fear, DRIVEN, DISCIPLINED, & DETERMINED to accomplish my goals. ROYAL ENGAGEMENT! Best friends with momma

Healing on all accounts. More mindful, spiritual, connected, thankful, supported, feeling seen yet unlovable at times. Married my person <3

Atomic Heartbreak #2 Holidays feel weird and distant now. Disassociated, derailed grief, new paws, mix of all emotions consistently. Everything matters & nothing matters at the same time.

Focused, Stable, Happy, Healed, Strongest & Healthiest version of myself. Ready for a new decade of opportunities to live well, live fully, and love the ride of life ๐Ÿ™‚

A collection of just a few random moments that help make up my 30 years. I know I’ll never be able to predict what happens next but I know the story I’m telling is of someone who has LIVED.

To live would be an awfully big adventure,


*BONUS* Barking at the moon

Being a huge movie nerd, I was jamming to nostalgic movie soundtracks and this song came up from Bolt 2008. It’s a halfway decent movie in my opinion but there’s something about this song that seems to just bring up the fuzzies of “home” – even if I didn’t grow up in the country! It just makes me feel grateful, hopeful, and present. Enjoy!

Barking At The Moon by Jenny Lewis