To say that turning thirty has been difficult would be an understatement. The dreaded anticipation of it has been hovering over my head like a thunderstorm raincloud for months. In fact turning 29 was pretty hard in itself. The fact that I knew this was it, last year of my 20s was painful. I told the kids Sunday night that the next day was my birthday. This was my last day of my twenties. I told them I should go out and do something crazy like get a tattoo. Sawyer looked at me and told me it had to be a fake one. Nothing real. I told him, nah, a real one! He just looked at me and shook his head. Resigned himself to the fact that his mom is a little nuts.
I always believed, truly, most definitely, that I would never be 30. I know that sounds so juvenile, but I thought I would always BE juvenile! Thirty always seemed so grown up and well, old. And here I am. Grown up. Old. Maybe it’s because my twenties were so full of life, change, and we did quite a bit in those 10 years. Marriage. Lived on the other side of the country. 3 kids. House. Maybe I don’t think that my 30s could be that exciting compared to everything that I did in the last decade. Maybe it’s because each year has gotten better for me, and I fear, this is it, this is the year, this time we peaked and it’s all downhill from here on out.
I actually walked into a few stores 2 days before my birthday, and I told myself. Is this it? Can I no longer shop at these places? Will Hollister and Forever 21 card me??!!! Will the sales people whisper behind my back, “check out that LADY, what is she doing in a store like this?! maybe shopping for her KID!” These things literally ran through my mind and I almost walked up to one of the salespeople to ask them, can i come back? But then of course the other thought floated into my brain. Cougar. You can’t just walk up to these boys and ask them a question. They’ll think you’re a COUGAR! The tragedy. Thirty.
Thirty. Thirty. I can’t stop saying it. I have had countless conversations with different people, just checking that I’m not alone in thinking that this cannot be. I don’t FEEL that old. And each time they all have agreed. Nodded their head. And pitied me that I am just realizing the deck of cards we’ve all been handed. Except for Aaron. He thought he was an entire year older last year. So when it was his birthday last month he was so excited, he got a bonus year. And he says he feels 43. All the time. Says he can’t wait to be an old man so he can be cranky and say anything he wants. Um, babe. You’re there.
I feel a big sadness because my youth is gone. I know a lot of people still think 30 is young. But you only say that when you’re older than 30. It’s not young. It’s not youthful. It’s actually middle aged. Sure, the whole dating saga is over. Not that it was a very long saga. More like a 1st grade chapter book. The whole wedding planning, learning to live with a boy, lamaze class, sleepless newborn nights, potty training, teaching the alphabet is over. But I was good at all that stuff. I was good in the chaos and the vomit in my hair and the baby food pureeing. And I’m not really sure what’s next for us in this chapter. Or for me.
I think my twenties most definitely were different for me than for most everyone else. It wasn’t a time of self discovery and figuring out who I was, or what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to travel. It was more like, here, this is who you are now. Make the best of it. And I think I rocked at making the best of it. And I became everything I needed to be at that time. And in the end, that’s the exact person I wanted to be. A wife and a mother. And I don’t think I could be better doing anything else. I don’t think I missed out on anything. And maybe I did, but I don’t long to find out what that was.
So here I sit. Thirty. Yes, I am in the best health of my life. But that’s not saying much considering the last 10 years I was either pregnant or breastfeeding. I’m at a place where I am aware of my flaws and weaknesses and want very much to better myself. Maybe that’s it. My thirties will be bettering the person I am. Better mom, better wife, better sister, better daughter, better friend. A better Deborah. Maybe someone who learns to garden. Maybe someone who isn’t stingy on her I Love Yous. Maybe someone who doesn’t let the amount of laundry affect her mood. Maybe someone who goes to bed early(ier). Maybe someone who accepts that she’s no longer in her twenties and thinks that she’ll still be okay.
Hello thirty. It’s nice to meet you. Be kind please.