When I was in my early twenties- before kids, when we were first married, I felt this very strong resistance to getting older. It seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to a person was to be no longer 20-something. How merciless and hateful life could be - to strip away the years that start with 2. I wanted to be 20-something forever. I never wanted to cross over. I dreaded being out of my twenties, because bad things happened after thirty. Things like being referred to as an "older woman". I was quite certain that you'd never turn another head as long as you lived, and any attention you got would only be mercy flirts. Turning 30 seemed worse than gaining 20 lbs. And as fate would have it I did that long before thirty anyway. A woman over 30 was to me, a woman who'd lost "it", and her best years were far behind her. She wore mama jeans and had a long, flat butt.
Now I can't wait to turn 30. I'm 28, and I feel stuck between worlds. And I don't want to go back, like I thought I would. I'd much rather spring forward and get this season behind me once and for all. I'm ready to be 30. I'm ready to be beyond this place. There's so much searching, wrestling and questioning. It's very tiresome. And it makes me feel all twitchy.
So what is it about the 30s that have bewitched me now? And no, just so we're all clear on this, it's not the mama jeans. Or the long butt. Those things are still unsavory.
It's the desire for less drama, less fretting, a greater understanding of what it means to bring my kids up, a settled heart that God is who He says He is, that He is indeed good, and that He is in control. I see a different level of ease in my older friends. They seem more easy with themselves, gentler with other people. More okay with just being who they are. And for me, getting there is a process. I hate a process. For the record. I'm having to work out a lot of junk "with fear and trembling". And processing takes time. Which I why I hate it. I keep thinking that by the time I actually turn 30, enough time will have passed that I'll have worked out some kinks. You know, undesirables. I don't know how to be happy with myself just the way I am. I feel like I'm too insecure and unsure to be happy this way. How can so unsettled a person be content?
I think if I had to choose one word to describe women over 30, I'd have to say that generally, y'all seem so much more settled. I see great benefits that come with age. Age mellows people. And I've grown tired of being so tense, and anxious, and troubled. I wish I had inherited the hippie gene. But my people are not hippies. When God handed out the hippie gene my people were off somewhere frettin' and wringing their hands. How I would love to just be breezy. To really enjoy all of life without getting twisted into knots. To suck the marrow out of life. I'm not there, but it's what I'm aiming for. For those of us without the hippie gene, we just have to wait & let time (and God) work some magic on us.
So that's how I got here - where the 30s look so appealing. And farther off than I'd like them to be.
And that's something I never thought I'd ever say.