Monday, August 31, 2015
You've seen books on it, probably jokes on Pinterest or Facebook- "Adult-ing," or rather that feeling that no one has it quite as figured out as your ten-year old self thought grown-ups just naturally did. And yet- at, thirty, I feel like an adult, not just a person trying to fake it till I make it. And since I turn thirty today, it seemed like a good time to pause and consider what that really means. Because, well, maybe this is all obvious to every other person on the planet, but maybe its not, and if you are or have been here, know I'm thinking these thoughts too!
Life is no where near what I would have envisioned it to be when I was twenty- hardly a surprising because whose life is what they expected it to be a decade earlier? And there have been so many delightful surprises and journeys of growth that I have gotten to experience. I have travelled, graduated school, fallen in love, fall out of it, changed majors, struggled to get a job, gotten married, watched others get married; caught a chronic disease, met people and lost people.
According to Erikson's Theory of Development, your twenties ask, "Can I love,"pitting intimacy against isolation. The next stage of development is the second to last, what we might commonly called "middle age." It stretches out the longest because it the question to resolve isn't something one action can answer- it asks "Can I make life count?" Lots of psycho -babble-speak, but I've felt my life sliding into this new stage, and based on some great blog posts (like this one here), think maybe some other bloggers are starting to feel that shift too.
I've got a job I love and find meaningful, and a home, and partner. There's a sense of stability that one's twenties don't really have- with one's twenties, there's always these sweeping changes in friends' and your own life. And I know that, now that my thirties are here, it doesn't mean things will always be the same (and who would want that?) There's still big changes as families grow, and you can still move or change careers or taken on new commitments, learning something different- Oh my gosh there's so much I don't know! And yet, I don't feel like an impostor choosing an insurance plan or considering mortgages. I don't feel like I'm waiting, ever, for life to start- waiting to meet someone, or for a diploma, or to pay my dues, though all of these circumstances (or ones very similar to) are likely to happen again. This is my life happening right now, and there is no second I'll get back.
I've enjoyed the adventures of my twenties, there's so much gratitude for that for all those who've seen me through, but there's also a feeling inside that says, "this next stage of the journey, be aware and invest in it all the time. Go through it with love."