Age is just a number...

A colleague of mine recently turned 30. We were away in Bombay so all of us rang in to wish her, and I noticed she sounded a little depressed, not her usual cheerful self. "Come on, you're in the best phase of your life", I told her, but I don't think she believed me.

For some reason, between my 26th and 30th birthday, every year, on my birthday I found that I was a bit out of sorts, a little depressed, somewhat out of it. I never figured out why. My career was rocking. I had a wonderful, loving boyfriend ( now my husband). I had terrific friends, we had fun together. yet, somewhere, something about the day made me sad.

That changed dramatically after I turned 30. Nothing else in my life had changed - I was still with the boyfriend, we were still unmarried, I still had the same friends and job etc etc...But some transformation had happened in my outlook on life, or in the way I felt about myself that gave everything a different spin. I told my BFF about it and of course, being a year younger, she didn't agree with me at the time, but after she turned 30, we were on the same page.

It's something only those of us over 30 are qualified to comment on. The 20s are a period of great change, many triumphs and heartaches, a lot of trial and error, taking chances...The 30s are quieter, more settled. And where, in your 20s, you are still trying to become the person you want to be, still struggling to fit into your own skin, in the 30s, that skin becomes your home. Finally, you fit in well into yourself. Of course you will change, continue to grow and learn and try out new things, but you'll never again have to search for the place called home.

I certainly don't feel like I'm over 30 - if there is a prescribed way to feel at that age. Older generations - my mom, for instance - they were taught to behave in a certain way at each age and lifestage. But first of all, I'm a late bloomer - got married late, had kids late, understood the principle of double-entry accounting about 10 years after I first studied it...Then, the kids keep me young. Most of all, we are lucky that our generation doesn't believe in age as a barrier to anything. So if I want to wear fuchsia, only the fear of 'does-my-butt-look-fat-in-this' can keep me from doing so. Or if I want to go bungee-jumping, only my fear of heights and a justifiable fear that the cable will snap at my weight will keep me away. On the other hand, I don't have to prove I'm cool by not admitting to my fear. I can say, "I'm petrified" out loud, in front of other people, and the heck with what they think.

I really like the 30s so far. My embarrassment gene is now in recession ( of course, that could also be a result of the two kids I've had since). I'm pretty clear on who I am and what I believe in, and so don't have to waste too much time and effort on being things I'm not. I don't have all the answers, but I do know which ones will and which ones won't work for me. I think the biggest change is that I don't have to justify myself and the things I do, to myself, the way I did in my 20s.

Most of all, in my 30s, I'm perfectly happy to be imperfect me.

Comments

kodi's mom said…
omg! you're actually making me look forward to the 30s and thats the first time!!
your spirit is infectious :)
bird's eye view said…
Thanks. Join me on the dark side, heh heh!
Anita said…
Wait till you are 40 :D Beats being 30 hands down!
bird's eye view said…
I'm almost there, Anita!

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