When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to grow up. I thought that there could be nothing better than not having to go to bed at a certain time or do what your parents said. It took much longer than I preferred, but I did eventually grow up. I remember the first time at 18 when I told my mom what time I'd be home. She didn't seemed too fazed by my statement, but it was a defining moment to be able to tell the woman that dictated my every move for the previous 17 years that I may or may not be home until morning. I was a grown up and it was going to be awesome.
And for the next 11 years, it has been. I eat what I want for dinner, I go where I want during the day, I get to sleep in a bed with a man every night and no one gets to say a thing about it because I am an adult. And married, duh. Being a grown up is as great as I thought it would be as a kid. Except growing up means that eventually, you will be old. And there doesn't seem to be anything awesome about that. Sorry old people.
All of my friends are turning 30 this year. I am the baby of the group and will only be 29 (next month). My old(er) friends are all freaking out. 30 isn't old, but it does mark the end of the twenties. I haven't thought much about being 30 since I still have another year to go, but with so many 30 year old cakes I've partaken in the few months, I've started to think about getting older. And I don't like it one bit.
The hardest part to reconcile is my fleeting physical youth. I noticed my very first wrinkles this past year and y'all, I can't handle them. They taunt me from their perch on my forehead screaming silently, "there's more of us yet to come and you're gonna have us FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!" I hate those taunting wrinkles. There's also my old lady back and my creaky knees. My hip pops when I walk. I relish a good night's sleep more than a fun late night and I will always choose a sensible meal instead of a gluttonous treat because let's face it, my old lady gastrointestinal system pays for it hard when I throw a wrench in the system. I may still be in my twenties, but I'm getting old.
I realize that 30 is not old, not even middle aged. But it does mark the end of youth. I will no longer be considered a child bride. I was 26 when I married my older man of 33. I will no longer be a kid in my twenties. I will no longer have the freedom to say, "I'll think about it when I'm older." 30 is older. And while those things aren't tragic, waking up with wrinkles and gray hair is. Okay maybe not tragic, but alarming when you're used to waking up looking young and vibrant.
Next month I will blow out 29 candles and celebrate the end of my youth. I don't think I'll be terribly sad about that considering I have wonderful things in my life, but I will miss the glow of youthful skin and taut skin/body parts. Goodbye youth, you were fun while you lasted.