30. I’ve always figured that’s one of life’s milestones, just not the kind you look forward to. Sort of like having your wisdom teeth extracted or going for your first colorectal examination.
In fact, I spent most of my twenties trying not to think about it because 30 just seemed so…old. Or at least, it was the gateway to being old, from which there was no return.
People like to say that 30 is the new 20, but having been both, I’m convinced that it really isn’t.
At 20, I was young. Idealistic. A little naive even. I felt unstoppable, like I could do anything I put my mind to. I was hard on others and harder on myself. I made lists of the things I wanted in life – all the awesome things I would do and the places I would go. My modus operandi at 20 was to have fun and carpe as many diems as I could, sometimes a little recklessly.
At 30, I’m older and hopefully a little wiser. Still idealistic, but it’s the kind of idealism that’s tempered with a healthy dose of reality after picking up a couple of battle scars along the way. Painfully aware of the fact that willpower and hard work (though important) aren’t the only factors for success. But on the bright side, along with that realization came a measure of grace and understanding that I was able to extend to others and myself.
Some of the things I so badly wanted in life when I was 20 turned out to be kind of meh, while others became far more important than I ever thought they’d be.
Instead of doing stuff and going places, I find myself wanting to be with people. I’m increasingly thankful for every single one who has been around for us the last 10 years because when I look back, those are the moments I remember with the greatest clarity and fondness.
My twenties are officially over and even though I feel a little wistful thinking of all the things I should have done when I had youth on my side, I’m excited about my thirties.
So there are several more fine lines to deal with. The weight seems harder to shake off. The boobs need a little more help defying gravity. My body feels tired and less cooperative.
But what the heck, I’m embracing it because 30 is where the magic happens.