Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello, 35

When my brother was born I was 13 years old.  I remember thinking about how old I would be when he started school, when he graduated from high school, when he graduated from college.  I remember thinking when he graduated from college, I would be in my mid-thirties and man did that seem old.  I imagined what I would be doing.  I imagined I would be married, have a couple of kids, a house, a fabulous job.  Maybe grown up things like a mortgage.

Well, here I am.  Hello mid-thirties.

Today I turned 35.  Birthdays always make me a bit reflective.  I think back over the past year and there’s always a little bit of a pang of regret for another year behind me and the things I wish I had done.  But for the most part, I’m excited or at least hopeful about the future.  I may have been the only person excited about turning 30.  Maybe it has something to do with looking like a teenager.  Somehow telling someone I was actually thirty seemed like it would generate a bit more respect than telling someone I was actually twenty-something.

Truth is I wouldn’t want to go back.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some good times.  I had a great childhood.  But then I think about getting in a fight with my best friend when I was 10 about my new friend with who I was spending a lot of time.  She was kinda mean to me but she had just moved to Germany from the States and dressed cooler than the rest of us so I tolerated her meaness and wanted to be a part of her world so her coolness would rub off on me.  It was all very shallow and complicated at the same time.  No, I wouldn’t want to go back to that.

Then there was middle school.  Enough said.

High school wasn’t bad.  I still have close friends from those days, but I was painfully shy and I looked like a kid (ok, so some things haven’t changed).  I spent most of the time thinking that everyone thought I was a dork (which I was) and worrying what everyone thought of me and if I would ever be truly pretty.  I had a penchant for ill fitting jeans and bad bangs.  I did find the confidence to audition for “Grease” which is still one of my most proud memories.  Not because I was brilliant.  I wasn’t.  I got the part of “Radio Voice” and “Chorus”.  But I did it.  That was a lot back then.  It’s a lot now.

College was fun.  I found marvelous friends that I still have today.  I spent a lot of time figuring out who I was.  I figured out that person didn’t belong in Navy ROTC and would never be a military person.  I switched majors a couple of times.  For a while I was an independent  woman who chopped off all her hair because screw conventional beauty and because she was swearing off men for a while but still really wanted one to love her.  A lot of who I thought I was didn’t make much sense, but that’s what your twenties are for.  I met the man who would be my husband.  He loved me for whatever I was.

In my thirties, I started to feel…comfortable.  Comfortable in my own skin.  Comfortable with who I was, for the most part any way.  Now I’m 35.  I have a husband, two kids, a house, and grown up things like a mortgage.  I no longer have a job.  I would be lying if I said I love everything about myself.  I don’t.   But I’m learning to be ok with that now.  I would be lying if I knew exactly where I wanted to be in a year, in five years, in ten years.  I don’t.  But I’m learning to be ok with that too.  The difference between now and then is that I’m in no rush to figure it all out.  The difference between 35 and then is that I’m enjoying the journey a lot more these days.

1 comment:

  1. 35 was a turning point for me as well. Now at 37, it really hasn't changed. I think it's cool about you and your brother. My brother and I are almost 15 years apart. No one in between us. Makes for a fun and interesting relationship :-)