By the Numbers: On turning 30


At the beginning of April, I left behind my third decade of life, said farewell to the formative 20s, and ventured into the brave new world of my 30s. For indeed, I am now 30 years old.

On such a particular new age, I felt I had to write something to commemorate its arrival. I kicked around several ideas and themes, self-reflection and possible nuggets of wisdom. Then I realized that though I am no longer a “20-something gal,” I am mostly still figuring everything out, and I am just as goofy as that young whipper-snapper in the above photo. (Though I haven’t gotten that close to possibly setting my own head on fire in some time; there’s hope yet.) So instead of writing what I feared would be a contrived or forced essay speaking to what it means to be a 30-year-old woman, I numbered a legal pad page from 1-30, and crunched the numbers, so to speak. Here is the result of that effort. (And let me tell you, it was an effort; I really had to mull over what to note for some of these digits. Turns out 30 is a pretty big number after all.)

1> Number of traditional team sports in which I’ve participated (it was soccer, I didn’t last long)

2> Number of cavities (I was at least 27 when I finally got my first cavity; alas, my long streak of tooth health was broken)

3> Years I’ve been married (well 3.5, as of this writing)

4> Number of Semenoff kids (that is, my siblings and me) (Denver 4 for life!)

5> Number of choirs I’ve been involved in since high school (singing both as a soprano and alto, depending on the choir)

6> Number of times I have left the country

7> Number of years I worked at The Denver Post

8> Average number of bacon strips I would happily eat in one sitting

9> How old I was when the Atlanta Olympics took place and I decided I simply had to be a gymnast when I grew up

10> Number of childhood journals I was able to find stored in my basement

11> Age at which I realized my frequent growth spurts made me too tall to be a gymnast

12> Number of jobs (paid and unpaid) I’ve held over the years

13> Number of cameras I have owned to date

14> Average number of coffees I drink in a week

15> Age at which I first attended a public school full-time (sophomore year of high school; I was homeschooled up until this point)

16> (in months) How long I lived at my mother’s home after graduating college

17> Age at which I decided to pursue journalism as a career

18> Number of states I haven’t yet visited in the good ol’ US of A

19> Age at which I accidentally dyed my hair black

20> Number of coffees I will drink during the course of a particularly busy/stressful week

21> (in months) Longest stretch I’ve been able to keep a plant alive

22> Age at which I started work at The Denver Post

23> Age at which I moved into my last solo, studio apartment

24> Age at which I started my own business

25> Number of bags currently in my possession (I am preparing to stage an intervention for myself) (and yes, a massive donation effort is underway) (don’t judge me) (OK, you can judge me)

26> Age at which I got married

27> Approximate number of gray hairs currently on my head (this is obviously an estimation; who knows what’s really going on at the back of my skull)

28> Number of airports (domestic and international) to which I have flown

29> Average number of books I’ve read per year in recent years

30> Number of years I have had the privilege of being alive on this dear planet

And, scene.

To be honest, I was excited to turn 30 and become a 30-something. No existential crisis mode on my watch. My 20s were the dearest of my life. I accomplished a lot, I met so many of you wonderful people, and I had the distinct honor of growing in a career, business, marriage, friendships and so much more. It was a great foundation on which to build my adulthood, and I am very much looking forward to discovering what this next decade may bring.

So, as ever, here is to you, and here’s to whatever comes next!



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