No Birthday Blues
Age is just a number
By: Kristin Johnson
I’m a big fan of my birthday. It’s my favorite day of the year. I never stress about getting older or worrying about what I need to accomplish before I turn over another calendar year. I’m just excited to have a whole day of people celebrating the joy that is having me on this Earth.
I realize not everyone has this same philosophy. For some people, each passing birthday is another year in which they didn’t scratch those important things off their life’s to-do list. Or it can serve as a reminder of the things you hoped to have done by a certain age.
Last year I turned 30. The dreaded, big three-oh. But, as with every other birthday, I looked at it as a chance to have a big party and be the center of attention for the whole day. In addition, it was time to say goodbye to my 20s and to move on and become a more mature adult. Because didn’t you know? These things magically change when you turn a certain age. Like the flip of the switch. Or so we’d like to think.
This weekend I helped a friend usher in her 30s. She was none too pleased with entering a new decade of her life. She was dwelling on the past and all the things she had hoped she would be and would have done by the time she turned 30. Namely, she was thinking she should already be either engaged or married.
That’s what we grow up thinking. I remember when I was a little girl, 30 seemed so old. I would think about what my life would be like, all those years and years down the road. And like most little girls I thought that when you turn 30, you are married to a fabulous husband who looks like Ken, live in a life-sized version of your Barbie dream home and have two kids–one boy and one girl.
Turns out, that’s not my reality. It’s not a lot of people’s realities. And I am more than OK with it. I enjoyed my 20s immensely. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of my life to be in a different place than I am in right now. No, I’m not married. I have no kids, and I still rent. Some would say I’m treading into “spinster” territory and might as well get myself a few cats. But, for me, this is where I’m supposed to be in life. And I’m just now finally getting to a place where I feel ready and mature enough to handle those grown-up things like marriage, a family and a mortgage.
Not everyone is the same. Some people can handle kids and marriage right out of college. I have plenty of friends who have taken that path and it is the right path for them. But just because you aren’t on the path that you thought you’d be on, or the path that society tells you that you should be on, doesn’t make your life any less important.
My wish is that more people wouldn’t worry as much about how old they are, but enjoy every step of the journey that is life and live it to its fullest. It’s truly is all about how old you feel.