Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Big Three-Oh. What Was I Afraid Of?

   My little sister is turning 30 tomorrow, and she is not too happy about this fact. Something that I can completely relate to, because I am working on my 30's now. When I was first hit that dreaded number, I was in a panic. Oh, I tried to hide my panic and act nonchalant, but I had a rock in the pit of my stomach and I kept thinking "I'm not in my 20's. I'm getting old. I'm middle aged." And I know that we are not alone. I have a coworker who judges youth by calendar days. If your age is still a day on the calendar, you are young -- meaning 1 through 31. And growing up, I never even imagined myself at 30; I thought the 20's were old. So hitting 30 was not a pleasant experience for me.
   When I hit 30 my sister decorated the entire downstairs in black and there were giant 30's plastered all over the walls. Thanks for reminding me, and they say that revenge is sweet, but you are safe little sister. For one reason, I don't spend money on party supplies. Coughing up money for all that black shit would be like eating nails, in my personal opinion. For second, I really think that she is upset, and as amusing as teasing her is, there are sometimes limits. She took a whole week of paid vacation just so that she could cope with the big three-oh alone and without witness. But here is the thing about being in your 30's: once I got past the number, 30 isn't that bad. My 30's are turning out to be way better than my 20's, for sure.
   Some people may want to go back to their 20's, but that is a time in my life that I would rather not revisit. On my 20th birthday, the 9/11 attacks happened; that's right, I am a 9/11 birthday. I was pregnant, which was an unplanned event that was causing me a ton of stress. I didn't even have a high school education or GED,  I worked at a nothing job, and had no paid maternity leave, so I was trying to figure out how I was gonna have a baby and still pay rent. I also didn't know what I was going to do with a baby while I worked. My then boyfriend/baby-daddy convinced me to move to Florida, which he lied about, telling me that he had a job lined up and a place for us to go. We ended up jobless and living in a camper in his parent's backyard, which was not what I had envisioned when he said we had a place to go. And for the record, being pregnant and living in a camper: it sucks. Then I found out he had lied about my age because he didn't want his parents to know that I was 19 when he knocked me up, so I was supposed to lie about my age. This was my 20's. A veritable bed of stress, instability, and fear of the future.
   My 30's: much, much better. In a time where people are struggling with finding jobs because they have been laid off and the economy is still bad and unemployment is at record lows, I have been employed by a good company and have had a steady job for  6 years. I am just a few steps away from receiving my Bachelor's degree, and I have my own apartment. I can afford all of my bills and that child that I once feared having has become the best part of my life. I am only into the beginning of my 30's, but if the first years are any indication, the 30's are going to be my decade. So get over the number; a number is just that. I didn't morph into an old crone just because my numbers started with 3. Where you are and what you are doing in life is what matters.

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