I’m 29 — until I wake up tomorrow morning. Then I’ll be 30. Yep, the dreadful age when you realize how little you’ve accomplished, how far you are from any of your goals, and that it’s better late than never to open a 401k.
So, tomorrow is my 30th birthday. As you can imagine, I’ve been reflecting.
…I didn’t complete the “20 books you should read in your 20s.”
…I never did learn to sew.
…I still haven’t mastered (or even become proficient) in styling my hair.
…that I kind of do look like my mom… and grandma.
…my “pageant clothes” still don’t fit. And really, they’re not going to. Ever again.
…that I could totally pass for 23 until I hang out with someone who’s 23.
…I’m not as smart as I planned to be.
…I haven’t quite overcome jealousy.
…I’m still not in the “best shape of my life.”
…I’m not married, don’t own a home, and have no kids — and most of my friends do.
…I’m still afraid of being hurt.
…I wasted so many years.
…I never started that blog I’ve been planning (here it is)!
But I’m also realizing…
…I can read whatever book I want no matter the year I was born.
…looking like my mom and grandma is a GOOD thing.
…that a scale can no longer define anything about me.
…cooking actually IS a hobby.
…Friday nights spent on the couch with my boyfriend ARE more fun than bar hopping and hangovers.
…it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks.
…holy crap — I made so many mistakes!
…there’s no time limit on life.
…the years I thought I “wasted” were spent learning and growing.
…I’m really successful.
…I’m so happy. I’m so blessed. I’m so loved.
…I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
…that I have SO much to look forward to.
I’ve been dreading this day. What’s funniest is I should be adequately prepared since I’m basically the last of all my friends to reach this milestone (payback for being LAST to turn 21). I remember wanting to be 21 so desperately — to be grown up, go out, to be included. NOW — no thanks. I’ll sit this one out! Too bad father time doesn’t skip anyone or wait for you to feel ready. So, it’s time to suck it up. The clock is ticking and soon it will be July 7, 2015 at 7:31pm and I will take my first breath into my third decade. Though hours prior to that exact moment I will receive texts from friends and family near and far welcoming me to the next chapter of my life (Thanks, Facebook).
As I sit here writing this I realize even more. The fact that I’ve been told a thousand times how much I’ll enjoy my 30s wasn’t enough. It took thinking and feeling of my own to determine how this birthday will impact me. Yes, I’m sad. I can’t even put into words why or how, but I feel a pit in my stomach — almost as if I’m losing a part of me. Similar to how I’ve felt during a break up.
Heartbreak is temporary. Then you realize you can breathe alone, you do have a life on your own, and you actually LOVE life so much more doing YOU.
I’m simply breaking up with my 20s. They were great. I loved them. I have so many great memories. I learned a lot about life. More importantly, I learned a lot about myself. But, I’ve changed. We want different things. We’ve just grown apart.
There is life after your 20s.
I don’t want to go to the bar every night. I don’t care if it’s ladies night. I actually think I look really cute in my PJs. I have fun watching Netflix and reading articles. My book actually makes me laugh — and sometimes cry (see, I don’t need you whiskey!) Beating my boyfriend at chess is a successful evening. I don’t like high waisted shorts. Like, AT ALL! I’m so over being rich every other Friday. Dinner and drinks are fun — but if I want to call it a night afterwards, I’m not going to feel guilty anymore. In fact, I’m never going to feel guilty again. I’m ready to stop making excuses. To live securely. Confidently. I’m not conforming to the norm — or settling on trends. I’m doing me. What makes me ME. What makes ME feel good. Look good. Do good.
I know what I want, and it’s just not you.
So, thank you 20s. I’ve spent some of my most wonderful, beautiful years with you. But now it’s time we part ways.
Let’s do this, 30!