The Roaring Twenties

Are you pondering what I’m pondering, Brain?

I’m 29.5 years old…

Now that I’m in the last few months remaining of my twenties before the dreaded 3-0, I am growing ever more curious as to how my life will change and how I will feel about life in my thirties as opposed to the tumultuousness of my twenties. To be honest, I don’t actually feel much “dread” over the idea–on the contrary I have high hopes for my thirties. My mom once told me she enjoyed her thirties much more than her twenties because the twenties were so hectic and uncertain; by her thirties she was more settled and had found her niche in life (career, marriage, kids, etc.) and had achieved a much higher comfort level with herself and her life in general. I understand now what she was talking about.

Now, that being sad–I did freak out a little when I turned 26 (which hit me very suddenly and unexpectedly–I mean, who the heck starts to worry when they turn 26? No one I know. But then I always was a strange kid.) All I could think about was that I was officially closer to 30 than I was to 20, and that scared me. At the time, I felt the burden of unrealized goals weighing on my shoulders and I was starting to worry I’d wander aimlessly forever and never amount to anything special.

“…Already 28, still haven’t saved the world…”

~Jupiter Sunrise, ‘September Girl’

I had worked hard, stayed out of trouble, and gotten through Grad School (with a GPA that never dropped below 3.97 *toot-toot*) with a Masters in Teaching Biology, but had nevertheless spent the last 2 years searching fruitlessly for a job as a Science Teacher and turning up nothing. I had only just managed to move out of my parents’ house the year before and was living with a GUY for the first time ever, which was a very interesting/fun/complex adventure in itself. My entire social calendar had blown up when Mike and I moved into our apartment in Troy in the thick of everything, and my hard-core introvert tendencies were in an endless struggle to find balance between endless opportunities for socializing and my need for personal space and solitary downtime.

“…Woke up this morning to nothing I recognized,

Everything changed and I never saw it coming.

Now there are 5 billion disappointed souls scraping around in my disappointed mind…”

September Girl

From about that time right up through the present I have also had to watch several of my close friends experience some major life events and personal paradigm-shifts of their own; some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly. Relationships have shifted and changed and evolved due to this, which has also been an ongoing struggle for me, because I value my relationships with other people more than anything else in life (although my introversion often prevents me from showing this) and it has been a bit of a mind-f@#% watching a slow-moving avalanche of the respective rocks I’d built my sanity around. My sanity is always a little in question. (Have I mentioned yet that I like rocks? This is almost certainly not the last rock analogy you will see me make.)

But wait! This story does have a happy ending…I did finally land a job working with the NYS Department of Health, am now married to my adorable Mike, and still living in that lovely little brownstone in Troy. We have developed a happy routine of sci-fi serial marathons in the evenings, weekly trivia nights with friends at local pubs, and gallivanting around the Troy Farmer’s Market every weather-permitting Saturday in the summers. I feel better about my ability at this point in life to roll with the punches. I intimately know my strengths and my weaknesses; when to hold em, when to fold em, and when to run. And it only took approximately 4 years, but I finally got around to unpacking my extensive rock collection that I’ve been building up since the 8th grade, and it now holds a prominent display in the Living Room along with Mike’s extensive glassware collection. And finally, as I’ve told him several times already, Mike is very good for my sanity (such as it is), and like Chicken Soup for my Soul.

So now that all that traumatic upheaval is beginning to wind down and the dust settles…a moment of quiet is at hand.

Until house-hunting and baby-making begins, that is. Gulp.

Until next time, that’s all folks.

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