I didn’t think this is how it would be, turning 30.
I presumed I’d feel more accomplished, more professional, more in control.
And yet here I am, and this is me- I’m not working full time. I don’t have health benefits. I’ve never rocked a power suit and maybe never will.
I’m still evolving. My life is unpredictable. Just today I stepped in three different species’ worth of shit. And yet I had this presumption that there would be this gradual, but evident, shift toward stability at this age.
I thought 30 would feel polished.
Well, if owning one pair of sweat pants that triple as go-to pyjamas, work pants and school drop off attire counts for anything, then that’s the version of 30 years old that is winning, for me.
Now being nearly 30, I can wear said triple threat pants while balancing two bowls of heaping compost en route to the moving box of maggots, without yacking into the pile myself, so I suppose there’s been some personal growth and maturity over the past decade there.
And yet, the underwear I put on today were purchased in high school. The one sock I’m wearing has three holes. I am still so much a child.
There is no glamour, and no glitz to scooping poo or wiping it off of one’s lap.
I’m a shitty housekeeper and yet I’m home four days a week- I’ve had the time to practice.
But this is me, now.
And so, in some flashback to my former retail store days, I’m feeling the need to take stock of my current inventory on my 20s. To see how much I’ve done.
And in no particular order…
There was the time in Brazil where I got malaria for trying to save a buck on travel vaccinations and there were two pulled teeth for my inability to grasp proper dental hygiene.
There were three black cats, may they rest in peace, and there were two trailer homes.
I moved six times in my 20s, from dingy bachelor apartments to rooms with a view of the Northern Ontario landscape, and I went through eight different jobs, not counting this whole motherhood gig.
There was one personal business startup, one relationship which led to one marriage, two children and a whole lot of chickens.
There were failures and mistakes and tears. I’ve gained some friends and lost some.
I’ve traded in thong underwear for thong sandals, and my hair is straightened only via days of neglect and grease buildup.
Getting married, as it turns out, didn’t make me better at washing dishes. Or sweeping floors or scrubbing toilets, either.
There were unpaid bills and poor credit scores and forms to fill out.
There were many calls home to mom and dad.
I started making so much less money, and therefore I began learning how to get by with less.
There were deaths and there were births. Constantly.
There were happy days, life changing days, where I roared a baby out of my body or cried my way through my husband’s marriage vows, that I wished would never end.
I fit it all in. I lived.
But I did believe at 30, things would feel easier. As it turns out, that was a 20 year old’s imaginary illusion of what 30 ought to be.
30, in reality, is hard. There are heavy responsibilities and heavy emotional loads to carry, and you carry them for many people. But though the days are challenging, they are more meaningful.
And it’s seeing the beauty in why I live this particular life that I see my expansion, despite my list of whatever accomplishments society deems appropriate for me at this stage.
For me, the experimental days are not over with the closing of the 20s chapter. I’m still finding my way- but I don’t consider that to be a hardship. It’s in the acquisition and retention of more genuine relationships, and in having more genuine experiences, like the sandwich I find myself in now between two sleeping baby girls dressed in their mommy’s clothing, that I find my way towards my best self at 30.
My people hold me up, through the shitty bits. They need me, and I need them- and I now know how good that can feel you don’t need to go about anything on your own.
30, for me, is refusing to grow complacent, as I keep on discovering me, and not caring what anyone thinks about it. 30 is about shedding what’s no longer serving me, and lassoing the good and never letting go.