Okay, seriously, I’m an adult, right? I’m a woman in my 30s, and I actually just had a conversation yesterday about how turning 40 no longer seems like some mythic, impossible concept but more like a looming inevitability. I am going to turn 40. Someday. In a little more than seven years, so I have some time to acclimate myself to this reality, but holy crap, how did this happen to me? My point, anyway, is that I am, for all intents and purposes, a grown up. I have a job, and considerable portions of each paycheck go toward paying bills. I have a daily commute. When I buy clothes I consider how practical they are and whether or not I can wear them to work. I have a 401-K now. I do container gardening and I’m building a deck1 on the back of my house. This adulthood shit’s gotten real.
I’m starting to feel a bit settled in my life, which is a funny thing to me, because I’ve always been fairly free-spirited and I have a tendency of viewing everything as temporary.2 But in terms of being rootless, all I have left is the fact that I’m unmarried and childless, and despite my biological clock, which is not the bullshit that I used to think it was because it grows more insistent with each passing year3, I remain on the fence about whether or not getting married and having children is something I actually want to do. Not being responsible for the lives of tiny humans keeps me young, I think.4 Something. There are perhaps holes in that argument, but I’m not going to go looking for them today.
It’s not all so bad, though. Despite the fact that I’m going to be 40 someday, and the preceding paragraphs may have led you to a different conclusion, the truth is that I don’t mind aging so much. The fact that I am getting older and I have more responsibility surprises me from time to time, when I pause to think about it, but really, I’m okay with it all. Especially since the only other alternative is to be dead.5
A few days ago, I got a note from a friend who’s going through some difficult times right now and she asked “What is going on? Aren’t these supposed to be the best years?” And I replied “No, I think the best years are supposed to be high school and it’s all downhill from there. So we’re right on track.”6
What is my point? I don’t know. When I started typing, my plan was to write a post about how there was a bug in my shower and I’m too much of a baby to kill it, and somehow I’ve gotten trapped in some tangent about aging that I can’t seem to find my way back out of. It’s been on my mind a lot, though — the fact that I am indeed getting older and what the hell do I think I’m doing with my life? (Yes, that same old boring existential angst still hasn’t gone away.) I’m far more relaxed in who I am these days than I was when I was in my 20s.7 I like myself more. I give myself a lot more leeway now, and I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin, in owning the fact that yep, this is who I am.
I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t have a master plan. I have short-term plans, but when it comes to the larger stuff, I still tend to roll with whatever comes my way. All I know anymore is that, difficult times or no, all my years are the best years.
Basically, if I have a life goal, it’s to be a really cool old lady someday. A really cool old lady with fantastic accessories, because come on.8
1. Well, I’m not building it. There are contractors who will do the actual building part, which is a good thing. Because while I am very good at putting together pre-fab shelving units and the like, I don’t think I should be trusted to construct anything that will bear the weight of human beings and furniture and also probably a grill.
2. Or maybe I’m an unwitting Zen master.
3. Seriously, shut the hell up, ovaries.
4. Well that, and the fact that I still sometimes stay out all night and drink too much. But seriously, wow, I don’t recover from that like I used to. And I also plan my nights out based on my work schedule.
5. I know that will happen someday too, but my hope is that I have awhile yet.
6. I’m a ray of sunshine like that. Though I would like to point out that about a week ago she texted me to say “your friendship is more uplifting than a triple-D Just My Size-brand bra with reinforced padded straps.” So, I’m not so bad.
7. In fact, I’d be a teenager again before I’d go through my 20s again. And I REALLY don’t want to be a teenager again.
8. Having someone around to kill bugs and spiders is probably a good idea too. I mean seriously, what is this? The Equator? NO. GET OUT OF MY SHOWER, BUG.