This week I will be 27 years old. I’ve dreaded my birthdays for a few years already…simply because youth is fleeting and that scares me. I would be lying to you dear readers, if I said that my anxieties lacked vanity as well. I’m scared of it all; gray hairs, wrinkles, slowed metabolism; you name it. And it’s official… I will turn thirty in three years. Ready or not.
I feel like thirty has a stigma about it. As if you leave every trace of youth behind you in your twenties. I’ve heard a lot of women say that it was their “hardest” birthday to accept. And I totally get that. I feel it coming for me. But at the same time… I really don’t. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that thirty has to be as “dirty” as it’s been made out to be. And here’s why…
I Have Never Wanted To Go Backwards in My Life
Truly, I haven’t. Sure there are things I miss about my past sometimes but not enough that I would sacrifice how far I have come since. A lot of life has filled my twenties of far. I’ve been a mom for the entirety of them, and nothing teaches you more about life than that does. I couldn’t return all of the life experience (good, bad, or ugly) just to regain some of my youth. I don’t want to return to my old job just because I had yet to find gray hairs when I started there.
They say that youth is about discovering yourself, and I certainly agree. I’ve come to know myself better with each passing year, to the point that I would probably consider my twenty year old psyche a stranger now. I don’t want to relive that time of personal uncertainty. I don’t want to relive hard learned lessons in marriage or any of my other relationships for that matter.
I have fought hard for the accomplishments of my twenties and now that I’ve achieved them… I’m not looking back.
I’m Still Excited to Go Forwards
At the ripe old age of 27 I have already accomplished many things that one usually looks forward to in life. I’m done having children. I (finally) finished my bachelors. Although I’m pretty sure that I want to go back to school… as soon as I decide what for. I’m excited to build a career outside of my role as a mom and not to have to pause somewhere in the middle to start a family, because I’ve already done that.
I’m equal parts terrified and excited to guide my children into becoming good people as opposed to literally just keeping them alive and providing them with life’s most basic needs. I mean, of course that journey has begun a little bit already… but I guess it’s just exciting to know that I’m helping create an entire person who will exist in this universe independent of me someday.
Age Really is Just a Number
I once asked my grandmother (who was nearing 80 at the time) at what age you begin to “feel old.” To which she responded with “you don’t.” I think we all expect to wake up one day and feel different, to feel a certain distance from youth. My grandma explained that she still felt the same as she always had only her body had begun to betray her.
You don’t magically become an old hag once the first digit of your age changes. You don’t experience things less intensely, walk through any less of a vibrant world, have less emotional capacity… nothing. If anything, I would dare to say that most people have more. Time has a way of making us wiser… so I’m not sure why we spend so much time longing to hold on to a phase of our lives that likely won’t be the best phase come the end of our days. I’ve pondered this existential dilemma with many elderly people… none of them have longed to return to their teenage years or even their early twenties. (My grandma says that her forties were her favorite.)
There is no time limit on the fullness of our days, but there is a limit on the lengths of our lives. Growing is old a privilege. I plan to enjoy everyday of my life – wrinkles won’t stop me. 😉 Life is an adventure if only you choose to make it so.
So here’s to 27! And my last few years as a 20 something. Cheers!