a note for my friend Ty - happy birthday, brother.

For about three hours, I’ve been sitting around trying to think of something poetic about turning 30.

It’s not working (though I did some sweet by-hand ASCII art of your name).

I think I thought, that because both you and I are turning thirty within four weeks together, that I’d be writing from an interior, inspired perspective. A truly empathetic celebration of what it’s like to be born in the 70s but not really remember Vietnam or where Tom Petty came from.

Really, I think we’re children of the early nineties.

Not that we grew up very similarly. You formed by Sports Center and Decatur and Nazarenes. Me by the Navy Exchange and pianos and AP Computer Science. Our sisters on opposite sides, our family tensions written all differently.

30. The best part of laminating numbers as landmarks is that you can make them submit to the mathematics of fear, such as realizing that we double our age (30 times 2) and you and I are both eligible for the Senior Citizen discount in most McDonalds. I don’t think I want that to be something I’m afraid of (I don’t know if you are), but there’s something in me that wants to see my life count so much, and my youthfulness is still pretty sure meaningful impact can’t happen past 39. (Yeah. That number’s already gone up.) It’s just that every time I see a live Fox News interview with a guy that’s 24 years old and the CEO of Tech Wonder, Inc., I become more certain that I’ve missed my chance to be Something. This is where my faith in God’s narrative is pulled thin: do I really believe that discipleship is a winning way to live life, or should I start buying lottery tickets?

Here’s where I’m planning on being all sappy about this whole next phase of life for us, except you know, it really is a whole new phase of life for us. You just got married. And both of us are leaving our “first job” to go back for some capital investment. I think the scariest part is not that the immediate choices are intimidating (though they have been), but more that the fog seems to be a lot closer to the boat. It’s harder to predict what’s ahead on the water in just two years. What five used to feel like. I wonder if the fog will lift again once some transition passes, or if growing in Trust means that’s How It Is.

Some important things to know about 30. 30 (thirty) is the natural number following 29 and preceding 31. It is a primorial as well as the sum of the squares of the integers 1, 2, 3 and 4. It is the smallest Giuga number. 30 is the smallest sphenic number, and the smallest of the form where r is a prime greater than 3. It is the sum of the first four squares, which makes it a square pyramidal number. Adding up some subsets of its divisors (e.g., 5, 10 and 15) gives 30, hence 30 is a semiperfect number.

A polygon with thirty sides is called a tricontagon.

The chances of you understanding all that is about 30 times higher than me.

And while we’re here for a second – I think that’s a pretty good thing. Our differences have sanded each other. Remember that conversation we had one time about not thinking we’d probably have been natural friends? It’s hard to know I guess, but being forgiven and put on the same mission has been an experience of closeness that I wouldn’t replace. And I hope there’s a lot more to come, both rough and smooth. It's still true that "love, ty" at the end of notes you've written over the years is one of the most encouraging things in my life to keep on Jesus' road.

Wikipedia (where else did the math come from?) also mentions that Jesus was thirty when he began his ministry.

Guess we should start growing our hair out.
The grey doesn’t come ‘till next decade.


ps - visit Ty Grigg.