I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid. I sing this song in my head whenever I think about the fact that I’m going to turn 35 this year. According to Marie Claire, this is the age when I’m supposed to have all my stuff together. In some ways I do, in other ways I really don’t. I would like to say that I was one of those people I so envy. The girls who went through college unscathed, got their master’s degrees and went on to have wonderful careers before meeting their equally wonderful husbands. Then they bought enormous houses with their stellar credit, took amazing vacations and sowed their oats before settling down with their equally marvelous children at the ripe old age of 35. Yeah, that wasn’t me.
I took the six year plan to get out of college. Never did make it to Law school. Had a series of train wreck relationships that culminated in a train wreck of a marriage, got divorced and remarried (with kids). I have student loan debt and crap credit. Oh, and did I mention I just now figured out what I want to be when I grow up. If you’d like to call me a late bloomer, I’d be okay with that.
The problem is, I look around at all my friends and acquaintances, they all seem so “adult”. These are the same people that used to get so drunk they pooped their pants on the way home from the bar and now they’re telling me that I can’t say the word crap around their kids. When did “crap” become a bad word, at least I didn’t say sh**. Everyone is so serious, seriously boring and I still think farts are funny. When did all my friends grow up and how did I get left behind?
I guess my problem begins with the fact that when I look in the mirror I still see a girl of 18. Fresh out of high school, ready to go and conquer the world. The problem is when I walk out of the bathroom, I have three kids who want breakfast, need a homework check or their butt wiped. World domination will have to wait until nap time. A lot of things will have to wait now, it seems.
I wasted the majority of my youth. I didn’t travel extensively like my friends did, I didn’t sow my oats. I spent my time working and trying to graduate college, the other half of my 20’s I spent chasing men I shouldn’t have been chasing. My 20’s were filled with low self esteem and the poor choices that came with it. “If I knew then what I know now”, should be the tramp stamp I carry on my backside.
I find myself now planning adventures with my husband, like our recent trip to Times Square to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. Nothing makes you feel more middle aged than standing out in 20 degree weather for hours on end. I have never been the person who let the rising number of her age bother her. In fact, I so often tell my husband, now 40, that I couldn’t wait to be that old because I had hoped to be more mature by then. Now, I’m eating those words.
I don’t want to be 35 when I still feel 25 in my heart. Tomorrow I should wake up and this all was just a dream. I was Freaky Fridayed, forced to swap bodies with some strange 35 year old woman and now I can return home to my 25 year old self. Granted, there are perks to being 35. It took me all of my 20’s and part of my 30’s to get comfortable in my own skin. It took having kids to realize what’s important in life and a near death experience for me to give me the push to go after what I want. There’s a lot of life in those 15 years and a lot of lessons learned the hard way.
I want to be one of those women, the ones that grow old gracefully. I’m not just talking about physically but emotionally. I don’t want to feel like I’m the odd woman out because I still laugh at farts or pull the same pranks on my husband that I used to pull on roommates in college. I don’t want to get to 40 and feel like it’s all downhill from this point onward. I don’t want to enter a different phase of life either. Honestly, I just want to stop time and hang out for awhile.