In just a little under a week I am going to turn 30. I feel the same way about thirty as I did about 19; which is an alternating feeling of complete indifference and total shock and disbelief. I am how old? I am trying to stay indifferent, but as they day gets nearer and nearer the disbelief is starting to set in. The problem with getting older, is that that you really only get older on the outside. At a certain point that little narrator in your head stops getting older, but the years still tick by and suddenly you’re that 30 year old shopping in the Juniors section at JC Penny, and verbally considering whether clothing designers are laughing at all of us for wearing the nonsense they made while drunk at a frat party. When suddenly, you notice teenagers are looking at you like you are that 30 year old that is still shopping in the Juniors section at JC Penny.
Getting older is a total mind trip. Your whole life you see your parents as these people that fear nothing, that couldn’t possibly remember what it’s like to be in high school, or college, who are never self-critical and who have all there shit together. Then you reach your 30’s feeling like you are still 18 and just getting the hang of things, and realize that your parents probably felt the exact same way.
Whoa. Back the trolly up. Surely that’s only your 30’s right? You will feel different in your 60's? Not so. I had a conversation about turning thirty with a woman of a certain age the other day and she said to me: “Honey, in my head and my heart I am still 16.”
It’s unfair really, our bodies stop working the way they used too, we start growing out instead of up and our minds are struggling with the concept that yes. You are one of those now. You’ve switched sides. You’re an adult and everyone under 30 can’t believe how old you are. 30? I didn’t know people lived that long.
Like it or not, believe it or not, it’s coming, and really I have to be grateful, not only because I have known too many great people who won’t get to celebrate 30, but because it was a GREAT 30 years. I learned everything I know in those years, I survived premature birth and heart surgery, I met my best friends, I became an aunt and a wife, I learned to cook and sew and got my first house, my first pet, my first heartbreak. I had 30 years of an amazing life.
In my next 30 years, should I be lucky enough to have them, I want to be a Mom and I want to finally write that book I thought I would have written by now, I want to drive. I want to look back and say that my second 30 years was even better than my first. Maybe by then I will stop screaming at the sight of a spider or getting as close as possible to my husband during those midnight storms that shake the house, maybe I’ll forget the way I was treated in high school, maybe I’ll get the hang of housework and dinner every night. Maybe I will also discover I can fly.