Thursday, February 17, 2011

The End of Youth

Tomorrow I turn 30. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Part of me feels it is the end of something, that I'll really never be successful because everyone brilliant makes some kind of mark on the world before they are thirty. I know this is completely irrational and looking back I have no real regrets. I am a different, I think better person than I was ten years ago and were it not for the experiences I had, I would not be here today. I have two beautiful sons and a handsome, wonderful husband who for all his silliness is my best friend. I would not trade what I have now for grad school, or a PHD, or time spent writing a book. My days are spent reading Dino Baseball and The Little Blue Truck ad naseum, instead of Lorraine Hansberry or Gloria Naylor. I'm lucky if I have the brain power to work out a few lines of poetry, let alone think about the book that has been shelved pretty much since I was sick and pregnant with Wesley. And that is okay.

I have found a lot more peace in my life as I approach 30 than I had a decade ago. Then I was very thin and addicted to being so. I was confused about what I wanted, in myself or anyone else. I was at the time a history major (second in the line of three majors I declared while in university) but I was unsatisfied with my classes. When I see pictures of myself from back then I almost don't recognize myself, so much has changed in my life since then.

Things I think I have learned: to be more at peace with my body. After having two kids I am no longer the size 2/4 I was when I got married, and that is okay. Beauty is so much more than a number, it is the kind of person you are as well as taking care of yourself. I work out six days a week but never step on a scale, because the perfectionist still in me has a hard time negotiating numbers. But I feel healthy and strong and attractive, so that is enough.
I have tried to learn to look for the good in people, to be understanding, to have a kind heart. It is hard when people really are ridiculous not to poke fun. I still fall short and am not always as forgiving as I should be, but I am trying.
I have learned that sacrifice is an important quality.
I have learned most surprisingly that I can survive (although not happily) on very little sleep.

I am still very flawed, as I'm sure you are all quite aware, so thank goodness thirty isn't the end. And thank goodness for a kind husband who took the day off tomorrow to spend with me as I mourn my lost youth :)

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