I wrote this a few months ago, but feel the need to put it here because it really says a lot about who I am and what I am about.
I started my 20′s pregnant, and since then a lot has happened. I am not scared to turn 30 any more than I was scared to have a baby before I had expected I would have a baby, or anymore than I was scared to finally get my license at 24, or go back to college with a toddler, or walk in to a job interview. I don’t get scared.In this past 10 years I moved into an apartment, got married, had a little girl, moved into another apartment, worked in a deli at a grocery store, started back to college, bought a new car, got my license, bought a house, got a dog, joined a gym, got pregnant, quit the gym, continued at college, and then had my daughter, lost my sister, and had surgery all in the space of 3 months. I got a job, joined a gym, quit the gym, and finally graduated college. I lost a wonderful, old family friend and almost lost my grandmothers, and watched my dad have cancer removed. I lost weight, twice, and finally settled into dance classes. Throughout the bigger things, smaller things have weaved in and out and through, building up those things I have begun to know about myself.
I have learned that even though I never experienced my 20′s the way many others did, out at clubs or bars, chilling with friends, I didn’t miss out.
Being a mother is a great thing, but remaining my self through out it, is more difficult than I can put in to words. I think for myself, sometimes it is easier to focus on my kids and their growth and selves, than it is to focus on my growth and my self. My goal for my 30′s, is to stay me, and focus on becoming a great woman.
I have learned not to watch the news and no matter how much others think I should be informed, I do not regret that I am not up on every issue. I have learned that watching the news brings me down. I then have to go through a cycle that involves depression, thinking I can do nothing to change things, a few glimmers of hope, and then realizing that by raising my children well, I am doing something to change things. Then I swear off watching the news until I accidentally hear some or read some. Repeat cycle.
I have learned that I can fall into shit and come out smelling like roses so not to fear the shit. That is partially why I don’t get scared. In my life I can honestly say that everything happens for a reason, and that reason is not always about me. I have found that if I am in a bad mood, I just need to sit with it. Be with that moodiness instead of analyzing how I got there. Sometimes I can get grumpy hearing a note of a song. Don’t analyze….just go with it.
I have learned that losing some one close to you is painful, but that watching someone who is close to you and younger than you die, when you can do nothing to stop it, is the most helpless feeling imaginable. After my younger sister died for a while I felt helpless and on constant edge, wondering if that would happen to my children under my watch. I have learned I can’t worry about it. I have also learned that during one of the most awful things that happened to me, I was able to stay strong and come back from it. What a relief to know that I have that strength in me.
I have learned that there are simple things that make me deliriously happy. One of those things is having a piping hot latte, and browsing a book store, or reading a book, or playing a video game, or driving, or well you get the picture. Tide laundry detergent makes my heart sing. Having full cupboards and refrigerator. Opening the canister on the vacuum and seeing how much cleaner my house must be. Taking a bath with bubbles and a book, and tea or coffee. Hiking. Tomato plants. Playing Lord of the Rings online with my husband. Scouring the racks at the thrift store.Going to yard sales and flea markets with my parents. Getting really good deals from clearance racks.Dancing.
I have learned that when you become a mother you will think there is a certain way to be. Don’t be that. Do the other one. The one where you wear what you want, say what you want, and have the kind of things you like. If they are a little off, a little strange, it teaches a good lesson to your children to be whoever you think you are and it helps keep you happy and filled up inside.
I have learned that some people do not listen to me. This is a hard one for me. I talk a lot and for me to come to terms with this says a lot about how far I have come. There are times when I am telling a story, and the person I am talking to is obviously not listening, I will trail off and they don’t notice, so I just walk away and normally the person will look a little dazed, like they were doing something but can’t remember what, and then go about their day forgetting we were having a conversation. I am learning it is ok to not have your story heard, but to be damn sure you even have stories worth telling.
I have learned that being an independent person is difficult to maintain when you are married and have children, but it is highly important to do so. This is why, I do as much for myself as I can and take time for myself as often as I can.
I have learned that I have to take care of my body. No one can do it for me, and I am going to want it in good shape when I turn 40.
I have learned that no matter how hard I try, I can not look at things outside the lens of being a mother.
I have learned that at a certain point, your kid is just not listening anymore so get in the most important points in the front.
I still haven’t learned to just get to the point!
I have found that I have NO KNACK for house cleaning. In my house there are toys, shoes, just stuff, everywhere. I tackle major cleaning projects every once and a while, minor ones every once in a while, and someday in the future my dream is to have a housekeeper. I have learned that there is no point giving myself a hard time about it.
I think the most important thing I know about myself is that I think a lot more than I should, start many projects that I don’t finish, and generally flail around looking for that one thing I want to do for the rest of my life. Often I feel angry at myself that I cannot settle with something. So I feel mad because I don’t know what I want to do with my life, guilty because I start things and don’t finish them, and then feel like a failure because of it. I’m constantly searching, looking. In my mind that one thing is just beyond my reach, so I stretch and stretch to reach it and before I can grasp it, it has drifted off again. So I have learned to give myself a break. To let it go. To not worry about what I want to do, become, or accomplish. It really stresses me out. If I have something I want to try, and get halfway through and quit, it’s ok. No matter how much I get teased or scolded, it is ok.
I have found a person to share my life with that will let me flail when I need to, who doesn’t force me to fit in to a mold, and who really takes me for who and what I am. He will wade through the half finished projects, thoughts, and things to tell me that I am wonderful and beautiful, a fantastic mother, wife, and person.
Now that I am 30 I have decided that I like what I like. Cool huh? I do not have to pretend I like something i don’t, I don’t have to pretend to be interested when I clearly am not, and I’ve decided that I like dancing, vegetable gardening, antiquing, shopping, shoes, books, coffee, clothes, crunchy leaves, learning, laughing, history, vintage clothing, snapshots I find at yard sales and at antique stores, video games, photography, and billions of other things. I still LOVE Drum Corps and miss it beyond words as I do Winterguard. Things i don’t like that I probably never will? Politics and NASCAR.
I feel sturdier in myself and what I think and feel. I feel stronger and braver. Definitely feistier. I feel like my feet are planted firmly and I just thing my 30′s are going to be amazing. So thank you 20′s for being what you were, for bringing me my husband and my beautiful children. Thank you for showing me how strong I am, and thank you for helping me understand that I am who I am and damn it, I’m not changing. So peace out 20′s and hello 30′s!