When I was a little girl, I dreamed about turning 16. I couldn't wait to drive, get a job, and have a boyfriend. It was going to be awesome. Sure enough, my 16th birthday delivered. I drove, I got a job, and I had a boyfriend. It was awesome. Then I couldn't wait to turn 18. I could vote, go to college, and be an adult. That birthday was pretty spectacular too, but soon I was itching to turn 21. No more restrictions! I could drink what I wanted, go where I wanted, and be a person in her 20s. That birthday rolled around and it was everything I dreamed it would be.
Every birthday since then has been, meh. My 20s seemed to drag on even though I accomplished quite a lot and went through the most life changes (marriage, babies, relocating). The only birthday left to anticipate was one I wasn't too excited about: 30. 30 seems so old. It seems like the beginning of mom jeans and gray hair and minivans. Shudder. I'm not ready for 30. For all I care, 30 can wait around for a couple more years when I feel more like a 30-something.
I turned 30 today. Sigh.
Honestly, I'm not as bummed about this birthday as I'm leading on. It was really no big deal turning the big 3 - 0. I don't feel any older or wiser or grayer. I feel like me. With kids and a husband and financial stress. Has anyone seen my minivan? And maybe that's why I was sweating this birthday: I am not prepared to feel older and wiser and grayer. I'm quite certain I will be an old, wise, gray-headed woman who feels perpetually 25. I don't want to feel old, even if I am. And if 30 feels just like 25, I think I'll be pretty good at it.
Today, I had my first shot at it. My brother and sister in law are visiting and we spent the entire day at the beach frolicking in our 30-something bodies.
Other than the 2 kids I have acquired in the last 2 years, I felt just as I did on my previous milestone birthdays: special, excited, young.
If anything felt different about this birthday, it is the settled feeling I have. At 30, I know my strengths, I'm not ashamed to admit my weaknesses, and I am comfortable in my skin. I don't know that I'm any wiser, but I feel settled in knowing who I am, what I am capable of, and that I'm not afraid to do stuff. Other than feel old. That terrifies me.
30's not so bad. It feels just like 25. Now if I could only figure out how to not get any older yet live a long life, I will be happy.