Older … but no wiser
By Kearsten Shepherd
This month I will celebrate my 35th birthday. While I have no real qualms about the fact that I’m now half way to 70, this milestone seems to be bringing up more trepidation than my 30th did. Maybe it’s because I had prepared myself better for the dreaded dirty-thirty, or that the age didn’t seem to be a big deal. I know a few of my friends had a difficult time turning the big 30 – but I never did. I never saw the end of my 20s as a bad thing. I was ready for my 30s when they came – or so I thought – and I was ready to embrace this new decade of my life – full of amazing opportunities and new experiences.
But now, in the harsh winter light, the thought of 35 is strangely causing me to look at my life from a new perspective – with a more mature eye for both the decisions I’ve made and what the future may hold. Here I am, half way through this decade of awesomeness I am feeling less than, well, awesome. I’m not sure what happened, or when it happened, but whatever it was it did happen and now here I am (whining I know) about the thought of getting another year older. I never in a million years thought I would be one of “those” women – and yet, here I am.
I have to say that the past five years have had more ups and downs than I remember having in the entirety of my 20s. I experienced great loss – losing my grandmother and my father-in-law – somewhat suddenly. I lost friends and gained new ones. I went back to school and got my master’s degree. I lost my job and found a new, better one. All of this to say, that my 30s have not been what I thought they would be. No better or worse perhaps, just different.
Maybe this year signifies some sort of milestone I never really knew was there. Some sort of ideal of where I thought I’d be, what I thought I would have done, or where my life was going. I wouldn’t call this a mid-life crisis by any means, but maybe it’s an awakening – to the idea that where I am isn’t where I want to be. Ultimately it’s up to me to figure out what that means and how to make it happen. Hopefully I’ll have at least another 35 years to figure it out!