I turn 29 this week.
Being in my twenties has been a perpetual excuse to make light of my delightful assortment of neuroses, anxieties and mistakes.
It’s also been a decade of miniskirts, two-day hangovers, quiet nights cozied up with a good book, six-hour Game of Throne binges, $130 yoga pants, quitting jobs to travel, and the I-don’t-give-a-shit sort of dancing I like to do.
The last nine years have posed some very real and serious challenges – ones that I’d rather not repeat yet have nonetheless helped shape who I am today. But apart from those trying times, it’s been primarily a period of curiosity, of refinement, of trying things on and learning to be unafraid of stripping down and starting over if and when the shoe doesn’t fit.
Still, as I face thirtydom, I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing, but have experienced everything.
My social media accounts feed me photo after photo of diamond rings, baby bumps and tiny, smiling children. My friends are buying homes, engaged in fully fledged careers and finding stability in the ways many of us in the Western world tend to value.
Envy isn’t really my thing these days, but I am starting to wonder if maybe I’ve spent so long trying to define myself as different that I’ve denied the small part of myself that maybe, just maybe, might actually want some of these things one day. I don’t value the security these things offer me, but I do perhaps want the deep-seated love and commitment that I imagine some of these experiences come with.
But unlike my barrage I continuously throw at myself, I’m not worried about finding answers to these questions right now. For the first time in my life, I trust myself. I am getting comfortable in my skin. I know the person I was and am getting to know the person I want to become. And, for the most part, I like who I am right now.
These days, I consume things like chia seed pudding, coconut yogurt and warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for breakfast. I can also quite easily down a bottle of wine (or two) without upchucking, and can eat fish and chips weekly with little to no repercussions in the ass/hip/thigh region.
I love being on my yoga mat just as much as I love shaking what my mother gave me on the dance floor just as much as I love a Friday night spent home alone. I actually have a reserve of money in my bank account. I have generous, warm, funny, kind people in my life who continuously inspire me and help keep me afloat and grounded at the same time. I have several places in this big wide world which I can call home and the ability to drop everything to go to them. I’ve cultivated deep respect and joy in being female. I’m getting to really know the sorts of things that don’t serve me in life, and learning the art of letting go.
I started this decade in Southern California with Bud Light, beer pong and a bunch of girlfriends who loved me just as much as I loved them. I’ll enter the last year of this decade seven thousand miles away with a couple of craft beers and a different set of girls who I love all the same.
Yes, indeed, this truly has been the decade of having it all, or at least all that I have wanted. At the risk of sounding like a true millennial, I’ll be sad and somewhat terrified to see my twenties go. But this sadness/terror isn’t born out of a fear of moving forward. I’m excited to see what the future holds. However, in a naive bluntness I can still get away with, a part of me just wants to have fun. I hope being all grown up isn’t as serious as the world makes it out to be. I want to continue to move, live, love, learn, flounder, flourish, quit, start, try, fail, discover and evolve for the rest of my life. Maybe babies and marriage aren’t for me, maybe they are; regardless, I want to do things my own way. Who knows what’s to come? There’s no point in guessing whether life changes or gets better or gets worse.
For now I’m going to spend this year sparkling in a tiny miniskirt and I won’t give a fuck if the world tells me to do otherwise. Might I suggest that all my other friends who stand at the abyss of their twenties do the same?