Friday, September 14, 2012

The Dirty Thirty

I turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and it’s made me a bit reflective. Lots of people freak out about turning 30, but I haven’t really had the jitters about it. Maybe it’s because my other half turned 30 a while ago and it took some of the sting out of the whole thing. I like to think it’s because I’m mature and adult-like and don’t worry about things like aging or mortality.

But of course I do. 15 years ago I was 15, and it seemed like hot shit to be 15. Like a major accomplishment. It also seemed like a long time still to come before I would be an independent adult, free from parental supervision, with a life and money of my own. That wasn’t even on my radar. But those second 15 years flew by. I can hardly believe it. Time is nothing to me now; time just flows by unchecked, except maybe when I’m in the dentist’s chair.

I don’t want this to be my reflections on immortality here; I’ll leave that to Mr. Wordsworth. Instead, I’ve been trying to think of all the things I’ve learned in my 20s, my own belated coming-of-age. I’ve been an adult (sort of) for the last 10 years, and I think I have accomplished and learned quite a bit. Since I like summing things up and making lists, indulge me this once…

Things I Have Accomplished in the Last 10 Years:
·         I have traveled the world (multiple countries, 3 continents, several states)
·         I have brought my total # of languages to 5
·         I have completed a BA & MA & am < 1 year away from a PHD
·         I have fallen in love & gotten married
·         I have acquired a cat
·         I have won awards, published a paper, and presented at multiple conferences
·         I have befriended my grandmother
·         I have made some of the best friends of my life
·         I have gotten in shape (more or less)
·         I have lived in New York City
·         I have written a novel (even if it’ll never be published, that’s still an accomplishment!)
·         I have lived in Europe
·         I have joined a roller derby team J

Things I Learned in the Last 10 Years
·         Staying home on Friday night is nice
·         My parents were right about a lot of things, including making my bed every day
·         It’s not the end of the world when you lose a friend
·         It’s not the end of the world if people don’t like you
·         I really don’t care what anybody else thinks
·         It’s not where you live, it’s what you make of it and who you surround yourself with that counts
·         Every job has its down sides
·         Compromise is necessary and not always painful
·         There are better wines than White Zin
·         Quality over quantity
·         Research can be fun
·         People are unreliable, close-minded, and self-serving, but that’s not the end of the world either
·         Your true friends will always be there even if you lose a lot of friends along the way
·         Being disciplined is sometimes more important than being smart
·         Being smart doesn’t make you better than other people
·         There are many ways to be happy
·         My tastes, interests and dislikes are constantly changing and capable of being changed
·         No one has life “figured out” and there’s no pressure if I don’t either
·         I may never learn how to stop saying stupid things but most people are pretty forgiving

OK, enough with the nuggets of wisdom. I’ll stop here go back to my wine. Not White Zin.