Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Three-Zero

I'll be 30 soon. Just a few weeks from now, my age rolls over into a new decade.

I'm not really one that fears getting older. My 8th grader students found me horribly old, even when I was only 23. Each year, they only find me older and more out of touch. I'm okay with that. I remember thinking my teachers were impossibly ancient, too. So it's not really that I'm afraid of getting older, going forward. It's just that I'm a little afraid of what I'll leave behind.

My 20s were big. They were busy and they seemed to last a very long time, which makes it even harder to believe that they're nearly over. I got engaged. I graduated college. Got married and settled into a house that didn't belong to my parents. I got my first real teaching job, with insurance and a 401k plan. We made a plan to have children. I got pregnant. Grew in so many ways and made decisions for someone other than me in a big, significant way. I had a baby, a son. I fell in love in ways that I never knew possible. I went back to work, made decisions about childcare and cried over missing someone in ways that I never knew possible. I watched a baby grow into a boy, then I had another baby.

Again, I grew and loved in ways I never knew possible. I learned what it was like to have a child with medical problems, to hold a child and pray that you get to see him grow into adult. I didn't like that part of my 20s, but like other dark parts of life, it shaped me. It made me into the person I am now. I cried a lot. I felt rock bottoms that I didn't know were there, but I climbed out of them. I started running. I ran a half marathon. I believed in myself in ways I never knew possible.

Still, I don't want to be one of those people who looks back and says, "My 20s were the best time of my life, everything was so big and real then." I guess that's what I'm afraid of, of everything just being status quo from here on out. I know that's silly, but how do you really top a decade that holds so much?

Linking up with Heather of the EO's Just Write


16 comments:

Adam said...

"how do you really top a decade that holds so much?"

I'm really excited to see how you do. Because somehow you will.

I love this post so much.

Heather said...

Yeah. I get it. And I think your 30's will add layers on top of all of that and those layers will blow your mind right into your 40's...
I'm edging waaaay closer to 40 this year and I can't even believe it and yet I hold all the rock bottom and the mountain highs from before, even if I don't remember some of it vividly anymore. Life is so...much.

xo

Bari said...

Beautifully written. To be perfectly honest...so far my 40s have been INFINITELY better than my 30s which were better than my 20s in so many ways. Sure, I had all those same things in my 20's that you've had - but there's a lot more out there.

(We'll toast to your 30s kicking ass in May)

Barb said...

You're not leaving anything behind, all of that has marked you forever and is the foundation for what's to come. Just think of the potential this new decade holds!

Becky said...

The best is yet to come. Trust me on this.

Kristen said...

I think each decade of life is like comparing your favorite age of your child. Each stage is awesome and gets better, but for different reasons, and each stage has some kind of draw back. There will be some things that you will miss, others you will not, and tons of new awesome things that start.

Herb of Grace said...

You didn't add anything about your running! But that was pretty significant, no? And I'm commenting in particular about that since I partially credit the inspiration of your journey with my accomplishment yesterday of my first four mile run!! Here's to logging manymany more miles in the next decade!!!!

Julie said...

I have much to say here, because I frequently worry that grad school will be the most fantastic thing I ever did, and that's just not that fantastic. The # 30 doesn't bug me (mine is approaching, too!) but the idea does. I was SUPPOSED to have done so many things by now.I hope my 30s take a really long time to end.

TexasBobbi said...

Happy Early Birthday, I only turned 27 this year and can relate to so many of these feelings.

E said...

I will be 30 this year, too!

Minivan Mom said...

In my 20's, I graduated college. Got a Master's degree. Got married. Had a baby. Bought a house. Got a 2nd Master's degree. Had a baby. Had yet another baby.

All before 30.

But as you know, my 20's couldn't hold a candle to my 30's.

The amazing thing about life is that you never know what's going to come around the corner - wonderful or horrifying. It's just a hell of a ride. I promise there's lots more road there, Erin. xo

Mommy Mo said...

I will be turning 40 in just a few weeks- FORTY. I cannot even believe how fast the time has flown. But there are things I have absolutely LOVED about each decade (and not loved, too- ha!).

Lyndsay said...

I had those busy 20's too - moved hundreds of miles away from anybody I knew, undergrad degree, masters degree, married, baby, coma and life threatening illness (the part of my 20s I could do without!)... and I suppose the 30s have slowed down but that's been okay. It's been nice to have the stability. I feel like these past few years I've been focused on the mommy-stuff and that's okay. I know there'll be more time for *me* again someday and I look forward to that when the time is right.

Elaine A. said...

You did have a big decade, girl. But just think of the one ahead. I'm over halfway through my 30's and they have been pretty dang awesome!

I do like how you reflected back on your life in your 20's. It's a lot to think about, isn't it?

InTheFastLane said...

I, can you believe it, am getting close to 40...YIKES!!! And it is funny, because, I have had at least one kid around for almost 2 decades now. And I am starting to look forward to getting older, and watching my kids become adults and the "new" things that their new phases hold for me. And yet, I still have a 6 year old around, so there are so many amazing things left in store for me as a mother and as a person. Moving on up you are!!!

Sara said...

Yes! I wrote something so similar only last year when I waved farewell to my 20's and said hello to 30. It seemed like such a huge transition, but I have to say, now that I am almost 31, my 30's are looking good! You WILL top a decade that has been that awesome. It will be an amazing ride. Wishes for a happy thirtieth from a fellow Taurus. ;)