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[personal profile] vinceconaway
It's a little hard to believe that it's the last week of my thirties, and what an amazing decade it has been. I look back on the things that have happened, and the growth I've had, and it's a little hard to believe.

At first glance not much has changed. When I turned thirty I had already been full time as a musician for five years, and I was in the midst of my first foreign busking tour. I've refined things, of course, but a core of Renaissance Festivals augmented by international street performing is still my fundamental business model.

It is with a closer look that the differences are revealed. I'm a far more skilled player and performer than I was at that time, for example. My festival performances are still anchored by playing in the lanes, but also include a solid stage show that eluded me throughout my twenties. The music that I'm writing is more complex, and I've taken up a deeply challenging historical repertoire.

Similarly, the basics of my inner monologue haven't evolved very far. I'm still buffeted by alternating moods of euphoric confidence and crippling anxiety. I am, however, better able to compensate with a deeper experience of successes to temper my insecurities and failures to moderate my arrogance. More importantly, I've got a much firmer grip on when I need to bring this information to bear, recognizing when I'm in an unhealthy mental space.

My body is changing and it's an interesting quest to find the balance between treating symptoms and changing my lifestyle; I miss caffeine but I feel so powerful without it. My face is becoming more and more my own, as smile lines beneath my eyes vie with the concentration wrinkles on my brow. My hairline is thinning and receding even as it greys to match the delightful amount of white in my new beard. The belly fat I've fought for my entire life has subsided only to redistribute to the sides so rapidly there are stretch marks, which is both a big victory and a new struggle.

And finally there is my personal life, which I keep strictly offline. I won't go into details, but I've gotten a lot better at asking for what I need in a relationship. I don't want anything different than I wanted ten years ago, but I'm a lot better both at recognizing when I have it and letting go when I don't. And, while I still find myself making the fundamental mistake of promising things I cannot deliver, it's happening a little less often these days.

I'm excited for my forties, and eager to see how I further grow and evolve in that time. Aging has been a fascinating experience for me, and I look forward to seeing what further turns it will take!
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