I’m 33 years old, I’ve been married for 12 years and I have two children. I’ve been out on my own since the day after my 18th birthday, and I’ve been saying for years that I feel like a much older woman. But when I turned 30, that feeling started to seem a bit more like reality.
It wasn’t just the number, it was also the grey hairs and how different my body felt during a pregnancy at 30 compared to a pregnancy at 26, it was my sudden preference for the easy listening station on FM radio and my inability to relate to the college girls I see prancing about in the next town over.
While I don’t exactly take issue with any of these things, the cerebral realization that I no longer consider myself young has had an emotional effect on me, an identity-altering effect if I’m being completely honest.
I still have the desire to be appear youthful and be full of hope and promise, but the reality is, that person peaked at the age of 24. I don’t see myself that way anymore and neither does society. I’m someone else now, I’m just not sure who.
So here I find myself at a bit of a crossroads, something similar to what children experience as they enter adolescence, or perhaps even a midlife crisis.
I’m not technically old, but I have a distinct sense of being older — of no longer being young — and I don’t quite know what to make of that. I don’t know how to embrace it.
Sometimes I want to run out to the mall and buy all the trendy new makeup I can get my hands on, but most of the time I want nothing more than to be at home alone on the couch in my 15-year-old sweats with a glass of cab sav in hand.
I flounder around pretending I know what I’m doing, because I’m a grown-up and I’m supposed to, but oftentimes I feel just as green as ever before.
Is this something that happens at the start of every new life stage or is midlife extending to a younger generation as our culture continues to place a greater emphasis on youth and beauty over age and wisdom?
I’m not sure, but I’m hopeful I’ll find out before I am in fact “over the hill.”