I think it’s safe to say that I have always liked each age I’ve been. I’m not the person to lie about their age…when asked I tell, with no preamble or apology. I’m 38. I like being 38. Even though when I turned 35 my husband informed me that I was ‘half dead’ now. Thanks babe. He’s two years younger so he doesn’t feel he’s as close to death as I am…unless he keeps making comments like that.
The cool thing about my thirties is that I feel like I’ve grown up finally. My twenties were full of lots of growth and events that shaped me but my thirties is when I was able to take those things and make sense out of them. I am at a point where not only do I have my own opinions, but I own my opinions. Because a lot of what I believe now is not the same as what I was taught when I was young.
Like the fact that I can’t get myself all worked up about gay marriage. I just don’t see why two people who care about each other can’t have some type of union that shows it. You don’t have to agree with them but you have to stop telling other people what to do. It’s between them and God and I’m not needed in the middle of that equation.
And the fact that I am now pro-union. For good reason, since they are trying really really hard right now to protect my husband’s job and keep him safe. They are like family and I know I could count on them if we ever needed anything. Heck, I might even vote Democrat this election cycle. (gasp!)
Perhaps the best thing about my thirties has been that I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I’ve always struggled with self-consciousness and the fact that I don’t ever feel like I fit in. From a strictly physical standpoint, I’ve been skinnier and I’ve been heavier and neither really made much difference to the way I felt about myself. I saw that people treated me differently at different weights but I never thought of myself differently. There was always something to change or some flaw that needed fixing. While I’m not going to proclaim that I have reached some zen state of mind where I’m completely at peace with my body, I will say that I have grown to love it and that worrying about it’s appearance is not taking up so much of my brain power anymore. I am, for lack of a better word, content.
As for the fitting in part, I can unequivocally say that I am OK with not fitting into anyone’s group. In fact, at this point I reject people’s labels and attempts to corral us all into categories. To the point where I have intentionally not become a member of our church because I don’t feel that I need to identify myself as a denomination. I don’t need to pledge myself to anyone or anything outside of God and my husband.
I don’t want to be registered as a Republican anymore but, then again, I don’t want to be registered as a Democrat either. I’m both conservative and liberal and it doesn’t always fall along party lines. I abhor the idea that I have to reduce myself to checkboxes on a list of categories that someone has decided is big enough to identify me.
So my thirties has taught me that it’s OK to believe what I believe and be the person that I have become. And I understand that people don’t agree with me and that’s OK. I don’t expect them to because I don’t necessarily agree with them. It’s simple that way. It’s grown up, even.