I am almost two months into being 30 years old and still I have the same feeling I had before turning 30, an anticipation of waiting for something to happen, a mental or spiritual metamorphosis that will suddenly make me feel wiser, older, more like what I had imagined this age to feel like when I was a child. Yet, I still do this silly gallop from the car to the house, and sometimes when alone I will catch myself running from the kitchen to the bedroom just to run. Though we beg our kids not to stampede across the pier and beam hardwoods, I can understand that impulse to bolt on a whim just because you can, hurry or no hurry.
Childish pleasures– getting engrossed in a Sponge Bob episode or sleuthing for creatures under rocks in the backyard– are just a minor part of this age-time limbo. The other part is a self image of being seen by others, usually family elders, as still a fledgling despite my achievements so far. I know I haven’t lived by, or up to, their standards, be it my lack of a college degree, career choice, or heaven forbid, my teenage pregnancy.
I was born when my mom was just eighteen and I too had my first son at eighteen. Despite her youth, in my eyes my mother was a superwoman. I had no notion that she was too young to have a baby. She just couldn’t be defeated. It is only now, after getting past the hardest times, that I wonder if she too felt the same way as I do. I would guess that most girls who have a child at such a young age have had their share of darker days, and though I don’t know too much about her early years, the gauntlet of my childhood into my late teens was unrelenting. When your miles unproportionately outnumber your years, you get left floundering for a balance between the past and now. When you are supposed to be young, you feel older than you should and when you are supposed to be older, you feel young.
Does this confusion sound familiar and if so is there a chance that you too may have had a dose of too much too soon early on in life? I don’t know, maybe everybody feels this way, whether or not their beginnings were idyllic or tragic. I’m just wondering, are you like me?