Thursday, October 29, 2009

3 going on 30

When I was a kid, people always joked that I was “3 going on 30” and to some extent they were very right. I was a serious child. In fact, I think that, true to my Capricornian self, I am very much getting younger (read more light hearted) as I age. The thing is, aside from experiencing the occasional bout of Peter Pan’dness, I’m not always sure how to make sense of the aging process. I just got married, my partner and I are contemplating house ownership, and I am finally ready to have a baby (albeit scared shitless about the financial ramifications of such a decision given my student loan debt).

But with all of that comes this weird feeling of how the hell did I get here? Really? When I met Paul I was so far from wanting any of those things that I don’t quite know how or when that transition took place in my life? Was it finishing grad school? Getting into a serious, stable relationship? Working full time in a career? I assume that it was a combination of the above that has led me to the place that I now find myself in, but that doesn’t always make it easier to process.

My motto in my 20s was always meant to be (whether is actually in reality or not) “rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I feared becoming the wife and mother who never left the home and only spent time with her partner. In short, I didn’t want my life to be subsumed by motherhood and wifedom. In fact, I would argue that I am only now ready for motherhood because I only now feel comfortable with the fact that my life and identity won’t be subsumed by having a child. I feel more grounded in my activities and goals. And while I often find that I need to struggle against my homebody tendencies more and more as I age, and I definitely need to make a more concerted effort to engage in my favourite activities, I feel much more balanced now than I ever did when I was raging against the proscribed roles of wife and mother. (Note: this is not because I’m blindly embracing and valorising them but because I feel like I now know how to negotiate and stay true to myself).

A lot of people will tell you that your 20s are the best years of your life, and don’t get me wrong, I lived my 20s to my fullest but I think that the space I find myself in, confusing conundrum of adulthood though it may be, makes my 30s the best years of my life. I really like where I am in life right now, even if it can often leave me a little surprised and unsure of how to reconcile my roaring 20s with my more sedate self-assured 30s.

As a friend and I like to say, “my 16 year old self would be horrified by my 30 year old self” but that’s ok, because in the end, I’m still the same person, and if I do say so, much cooler now than I was then!

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