Thursday, October 11, 2012

Accepting Thirty: My Waring Twenties

Over the summer the realization that I was turning 30 on October 15th hit me. And then I freaked out.

The main issue I was having was that I felt I had accomplished very little in the first 29 years of my existence. Oh sure, I survived, but to me that isn't so much an accomplishment as a necessity. I did graduate from college, and have some wedding flowers I did featured in a magazine, and be honored on the field at the Utah Homecoming Game in 2009, but other than that I felt my life was rather accomplishment-less.

The other thing is that in the society which I live - in the "Utah Mormon" society - when you're an unmarried thirty year old woman, you're a spinster, the maiden aunt, a lost cause... there really must be something wrong with you. If you think I'm over-dramatizing, you've either A) never lived here as an unmarried thirty year old, B) gotten married at the "appropriate Mormon age" of 18-25, or C) never had to sit and watch all your friends and family progress with the natural pattern of life while you twiddle your thumbs, and possibly emotion eat because you've no one to talk to at the family Christmas gathering.

That was a tangent. Anyway, I was having a hard time. Even exclaiming to my family one night in frustration (because no one would go to New York with me over my birthday) "It's different for me - you'd all been married with kids for years when you turned 30! You don't know what it's like". Yeah, that happened. So self pitying and pathetic, right? Right. Well, one day I was watching "Ally McBeal" on Netflix (yes, it was voluntary) and the show came to help me realize something: My twenties were a horrible, awful mess. 

The entire decade was like something out of a Stephen King novel. Okay, now that IS over-dramatizing it, but you get my point, right? 3 months into my twenties, my kidneys failed unexpectedly. I spent most of the next 6 month in the hospital with every secondary condition you can think of - and in comas several different times - until Ben gave me one of his kidneys, which started to reject 5 days after the surgery. I then spent the next 3 weeks praying for death every night and being pretty angry when I'd wake up the next day. If that's how the decade started off, what did I have to look forward to, really, and why would I be sad/upset/despondent about letting it go?

I shouldn't be, is the right answer here. And so I decided I wasn't. I was measuring the value of my life by the things I hadn't done. Mistake. Some great things did happen in my twenties. Such as, I graduated from college while on dialysis. This is something I never imagined I could do. I met all of my best friends except for Jamey, whom I've known since junior high, and Carly, whom I've known since she was born. I learned the spectacular of London, and how you really can be homesick for a place you haven't lived. Had not one, but two siblings who donated one of their kidneys for me. The Poet Laureate of Utah told me I was a talented essayist. Took the LSAT. Take that test anxiety! Had my picture on as a "College Football Super Fan" with Jamie Bowen and Adrienne Carey. And so on and so forth. 

I had a lot of rough years in my twenties, but three or four really good ones. So I'm letting my waring twenties go and accepting thirty. Everyone always says your thirties are the best years of your life anyway. As my mom said to me the other day as we headed to Tiffany & Co so I could pick out my birthday present, "We're all just relieved you actually made it to thirty". Absolutely.      


  1. Yes, it's true. I'm more than 6 months past turning 30 now and I feel pretty good about it. I feel that I take myself more seriously and others do as well. It is a time to reap the rewards of the experience you gained...educationally, personally, your 20s, while still working toward bigger things.

    PS How was the LSAT? I might end up taking it in the next couple years.

  2. I'll talk to you at the family Christmas party. Maybe we can eat emotionally or unemotionally while we do it.

  3. We're always too busy mocking others to eat at the family parties :) haha. I like your Mom's response-- so true. And now, the best is yet to come! Also, what did you get at Tiffany's?!