Growing older is a funny thing. I vividly remember waiting for 16; ohhhh the freedom that comes with a drivers license! Then 18, because I would be “legal”. 21 meant that I could drink (well officially in public) and 25 was the best – lower car insurance! But the joke was that from there it was all down hill. There wouldn’t be any more socially-imposed milestones to make any of the future numbers as attractive! Peccato (pitty). I hit my 30th year in the next week and it makes me chuckle to think that I once believed that there would be nothing to look forward to. For all I have experienced in the last 10 years, my 20s can’t end quick enough! But they don’t actually prepare you for the real, do they?
I recall an article my BF Taneya wrote back in our mid twenties on the “quarter life crisis”. It really was a “crisis” too! There we were coming off of those carefree and raucous college days, only to be thrust into life; the responsibility of career, bills, children, marriage and a myriad of other life changing experiences. Things were so clear before – you go to school, you get good grades, you twitter off to your part time job, then you party like a rock star (well at least we did here in LA!) Then someone pulled the plug and all of that went spinning down the drain leaving us scrambling for what to do next; grad school, have a baby, get married, hit that 9-5? All of those logistics are just the tip of the iceberg, because the real clincher is figuring out who the hell you really are so you can find your place in this world. Phew. Friggin’ hard work.
I can’t say it was all bad. Arya, my best creation yet, was a product of my 20s and had I not met Eric she would not exist, so I guess I will keep him too (teehee babe). I started my career in the globalization services space and earned a few corporate stripes. I also got to flit around the globe as a travel writer (and mostly not on my own dime – well, ok, mostly because I didn’t have any dimes to begin with ha!). I have also embarked on the next level of Mommy-hood as a soon to be mother of two. Most importantly, the struggle and strife of my 20s has challenged my adolescent “identity” in ways that I never thought were possible. I am more clear about who I am and the direction in which I am going, and this is no longer imposed by outside forces or others expectations. I can represent myself authentically as, or without the title of, mother, wife, friend, corporate girl, writer, art and culture enthusiast, foodie, dancer or simply put – a kick-ass panther of a woman. So as I bid them adieu, I thank the 20s for that and welcome my 30s with open arms and a sigh of relief.
Here is to 30! And many more.