26

A conversation with my friend Kathy got me thinking about something.  I have some friends that are several years older than me.  I’m 26, they are in their 30s.  It seems that some people have this idea that once they are in their 30s, it’s time to get “old.”  Comments like, “that’s what happens when you get older,” and “when I was young like you” seem to find their way into conversations.  Some of them seem to have this line in their minds between me and the other people in our 20s, and themselves who are in their 30s.

I am only 26.  The longer I spend “in my 20s,” the more I realize how young I am, how much life experience I need before I could be considered wise.  So I realize that these thoughts are coming from a place of inexperience, maybe immaturity, definitely lack of perspective.  If you think about it, I could easily spend another 5 or even 10 years as a single girl, and not be “late” to get married and have kids.  Later than most, perhaps, but not so late that it would likely be difficult to have children, or that it would be completely unusual to be new parents.  I’ve also discovered “in my 20s” that the phrase kids grow up so quickly these days simply isn’t true.  Not for me, anyway.  I was definitely still a “kid” as a college student.  You do so much growing up in your first years of adulthood.  And it really depends on the person.  Some people are completely ready for adulthood, and marriage, and even kids, when they are in college or shortly after.  I definitely wasn’t.  I didn’t realize that at the time, but in hindsight I am so glad that things have worked out this way so far.  So maybe I won’t realize where I am now until I’m past it, but I think right now I’m a very young adult.  I’m ready for all that adult stuff when it comes around.  I’m scared of it, but I’m ready to give it a try.  I also love this feeling that I have all the time in the world!  It takes the pressure off.  It will happen when it happens, but for now I can just have fun.  Truthfully, that’s what I plan to do no matter what season of life I’m in!  You can always be reaching for the next season.  Parents of preschoolers and babies can look forward to all the kids finally being in school.  You can be anxious for your kids growing up and moving out, or being grandparents, or retiring, or whatever is coming next at that particular stage.  But focusing too much on the future means you might miss the present.  I don’t want to miss this, right now, whatever season I’m in!  I heard a saying once, “Remember fondly the past, prepare diligently for the future, but focus fully on the present!”  Or something like that.  It makes a lot of sense, to me.

My point is, I hope I never get sucked into that mentality that you have to be a certain way just because of what decade of life you are in.  I’m 26, yes, it’s true.  But it’s just a number, it doesn’t mean anything.  It doesn’t tell you anything about who I am, what I like, what I need in my life right now, who I love, what I want.  When you meet me for the first time, I don’t want you to think, “I think she must be in her mid-20s.”  I want you to see those other things, the things that show who I really am.  Much more important than how long I’ve been on the planet!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tara
    Jun 08, 2008 @ 16:20:01

    How was the wedding? Chad was going to go, but he was too busy 😉

    Reply

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