I'm feeling rather philosophical this morning over my cup of coffee as Forrest is quietly playing in his play area, and the dog is soaking up the sun rays as she lays on the floor. Stu, my husband, will be turning 29 this month. Then it will be my turn. Several people have asked me how I feel about spending the last part of the decade of being twenty. Some others have joked about me turning 30 soon especially so my brother, Alex (very funny, my friend, because you are up next). Truthfully, turning 30 soon does not phase me. Matter of fact, I am quite glad about being almost done with my twenties.
My twenties was a big jumbled mess of emotions, experiences, and a lot of confusion along with self-discovery. Really, reading that sentence may have led one to think that living the 20's meant a bad thing. It wasn't. It was a beautiful chaos of growing up from being an adolescent into an adult that I became today. I spent a lot of my early twenties partying, hanging out with my friends, and doing a lot of self-indulgent things. It was all about me, me, me, me, me, and me. I was invulnerable, apathetic, and um, emotionally immature. It was funny because I was very mature for my age, yet also, very immature about life. I didn't really care about anything outside my bubble like many other older teenagers were especially so during early years of college.
Then my bubble slowly changed as the years progressed through my first four years in college. I went to a college that I did not like during my freshman year, and had a tough time adjusting because I was not good with changes. I partied too much, and focused too little on academics. I became something of a social butterfly, which I was not during my high school years, and indulged too much in that. I also sort of went to that particular school because my friend went there, and I did not want to be the "only" Deaf person there. I ended up making a choice to leave that school, and transferred to another school before my sophomore year began. It ended up being a life-changing decision...and a good one because I met my future husband there. I also learned a balance of having a social life, and an academic life.
After college was done, I decided I wanted to go to graduate school out of the state, and it was a big decision. I knew I needed to do it in order to find myself. I had to break away from my comfort zone. It ended up being the best two years of my life. It was very hard to be away from Stu, and to maintain a long-distance relationship. I had only seen him at least maybe four times in two years because it was not feasible to meet up whatever we had liked due to time, and expense. We even reached that point in our relationship where we had to question whether we were going into the same direction together, or if we needed to take different paths in our lives, and not to be together anymore. It was a pivotal point in our relationship, and we had to make an adult decision. Ultimately, we ended up staying together, and really grew as individuals as well as a couple.
It was also hard to be away from my family. I grew very appreciative of them, and realized how important they were to me whereas, in the past, I somewhat took them for granted because I knew they were always going to be there. Then I moved out of the state, and they were no longer there physically. So yeah that changed how I see things in life. This was also reinforced by Sweet Mama's death. I had to fly home from school for two weeks. It was long coming, and very expected death. Nonetheless, it did not make it any easier. I had some wishes that were never fulfilled by her death, and it made me regret not spending more time with her especially so when she was dealing with such debating illness with Alzheimer. I took her for granted because she was around for so, so, so long, and in my mind, I almost figured she was always going to be around even if she no longer remembered me. Even with her death, I did not process it emotionally, because I was so busy with school, and dove into school. Anyway, being away, then Sweet Mama's death made me embrace my family much more.
The concept of family also grew. My close friends became family even though they were not my blood relatives. They were always there for me, and that mattered a lot to me. Even friends that I had lost remained my family. My house was always open. Eating supper at the dining table without television going in the background became important. It was time for us to sit down, cherish our time together, and connect for a half hour in our otherwise busy lives. Materialistic things no longer mattered. Love, faith, and connection meant more because they lasted forever whereas materialistic things got lost, replaced, and rejected. We wanted our kid, and future kids to really instill this value as they become adult, and begin their own families.
Post-college years were the most formative years for me to become an adult because I was thrushed into the real world situations. I went through some tough time emotionally. That really forced me to process my feelings that I had held in for so long. In a sense, it was when I really grew up. It literally took up all of my twenties to find my voice, to figure out who the hell I am, and to be really okay with who I was. Once I figured that out, kind of, I felt ready to become a parent, and we dove into the murky waters of parenthood. Becoming a parent reinforced everything. It became a glue to my beliefs, ethic, and moral values. It really concreted who I was.
I was very glad that I waited until when I did to become a mom. I was able to process through my life, and do things I wanted to do. There was no regrets, unfulfilled promises, and wishful desires to complete what I needed to do before I settled down. Sure, I would have done some things differently, and made different choices. However, if I did that then I would not have reached to the place I did today. It would have been nice to have a kid earlier, have that luxury of time to space kids further apart if I wanted to without worrying about my age, and be done by end of my twenties. At the same time, it was not me. Time has changed; women are able to have babies later in their years due to education, and marrying at later age, and it did not make any difference. I had a baby when I was ready, and that was what it mattered to me. It was a mature decision to wait until I was ready emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and to resolve my baggage.
As my twenties draw to its end, I am grounded, and stable in where I am today whereas earlier in my twenties, it is very tumultuous, wild, and chaotic. I am content because my checklist has been all checked off. I am ready to have more kids, and teach pass on my knowledge of life. I want a family. I am happy--that deep rooted happiness from inside of your gut--and I don't feel lost. I know there is more yet to come. There is some things I want to accomplish, to separate myself from just being a mom, and not to lose myself completely into motherhood. I need to take care of myself in order to be a good mom for my kid or any of my future kids. I know it will happen whereas in the past, I'd be worried with the direction I'm taking, and where I will end up. All I know that is I will always have my family no matter where I go, and that is very comforting.
So yes, my 30's is going to be much better because all that bullshit of finding who I am, confusion, instability, and not knowing where to go next is all done. I'm not naive to say that oh, there won't be challenges to go through, and there won't be some struggles. There will be. The point is, I'm comfortable with facing the challenges, and I am grounded to myself. I feel authentic of who I am, and I'm confident. My confidence is going to help me soar through all the challenges, decisions, fears, hopes, and get through unfinished business. That is life.
Matter of fact, I am actually looking forward to turning 30.
For a long time, ti seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life.
but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last, it dawned on me that those obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. happiness is a journey, not a destination....