I’ll be 34 for one month tomorrow. That’s a lot of time to take stock of my life thus far. How far I’ve come. What type of person am I? Am I proud to be me? Am I happy? What can I change?
I often have these discussions with myself when I’m driving home from work and I was meaning to write it down on my actual birthday but as with all things, I blinked and it was a month later so here’s who I am now at 34.
My taste buds have changed. Let’s start with the easy stuff. One day I woke up and I realized I can’t eat eggs anymore. I tried for a few weeks but I simply can’t stomach them. I tried all the different ways of cooking them and lately I’ve managed to find a way to choke down hard boiled eggs but even that I don’t do often. So eggs, no thanks.
Obviously, my body has changed yet again. Every year, once you hit your 30’s, things just start changing. I do feel like some things don’t have to take a downturn, though. In your 30’s you’re young enough to take control of your health so you really shouldn’t be complaining about 2 day hangovers, just stop drinking like you did in your 20’s. Stop complaining about being squishier and don’t eat like you did in your 20’s. But there are some things that change no matter what you do. My new thing? Heartburn. I just randomly get heartburn for no reason now. First it was when I drank dark coloured alcohol. But now I have to take a mental note of what I eat so that in the event that I get heartburn I can narrow it down to possible culprits. I have it narrowed down to carbs now. One of my favourite things in the whole world. It’s really depressing. Why can’t eggs give me heartburn?
I’ve said “no” to more people than my younger self would be okay with. A friend recently asked me to go to the beach with her and I was so proud of myself when I looked her right in the eye and said “no”. Okay, it was more of a “Hmm, weeell, actuallyyyy, I don’t really like the beach”. I immediately broke into a cold sweat as I imagined her breaking down and crying “Whyyy? whyyy don’t you love meee? I thought we were frieeends! I’ll never be able to forgive you!” but all she said was “really? okay”… What? The world didn’t come to a stand still? She actually texted me a few days later to chat, so she wasn’t angry with me? So weird. I decided to try it again. Okay another lie, I did not enjoy saying no but I have been saying it lot more often, thankfully via text. My fear really is that people won’t like me if I say “no”. But it turns out people’s lives don’t revolve around me being there so I guess people pleasing is something 33 year old’s do and I’m a little relieved. Very little. Okay, I would still prefer to people please a little bit but I am happy I don’t have to go to the beach anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean. I feel better if I live near the ocean but going to the beach is too much work. It’s too sandy, the sea water makes my skin sticky. I get motion sick when I swim. It’s just not my thing. But I digress.
I am not the best wife. I haven’t been married for a long time but it’s been real. Like really real. Marriage forces you to be introspective and it forces you to be better. Not better for yourself only but for your partner since you’re a team now. Sometimes my husband complains about things and only lately has he changed his language from complaining to explaining (because he’s trying to be better too) and now I’m realizing I haven’t been working for the team as much as I should be but now that I know, I can start trying.
I have become my mother. It happened. I thought it wouldn’t but it did. My mother and I both do this thing where we rock back and forth for no apparent reason when we’re sitting down but now I notice that aside from our mannerisms being the same, I feel like we’re intrinsically becoming the same person. I worry, like she does. I’m a big softie now. I’m always crying. I frown and purse my lips at bad behaviour like she does. My friend jokingly calls me auntie all the time now. But I also love my family so much it hurts and I care a great deal about people. Everyone loves my mother so I’m not too mad about that. I would be even less mad if I had her legs.
I am very afraid of losing my parents. This is new to me. I don’t know if it’s because I live far away from home or because my parents are always travelling and making me worry (see above about me being a worrier). They’re only 65 but I feel like they’re so fragile now. Sure they’re older and slower but they’re not at all fragile. I don’t know why, but I constantly worry about waking up to a message about one of my parents dying and I don’t like it. Thankfully, they’re always just a Skype call and a Whatsapp message away. Love those two, man.
I’m more okay with myself now. People will tell you the best thing about hitting your 30’s is that you become more comfortable in your skin and as a result more confident. I think I may have misinterpreted that a bit. I think you become more self aware (thank goodness) and hence more accepting of who you are and then more comfortable in your skin and in turn confident about who you are and what your abilities and shortcomings are. I was under the impression confident meant being able to talk to strangers and being wise and all knowing. What I’ve learned is that I am not at all good at talking to strangers. I may never be and I’m okay with that. What I’ve learned is that I’m not wise at all. I am the sum of my experiences and I have experienced only a fraction of what there is out there. How can I possibly be wise? I can appear wise to other people younger than me who have walked a similar path but honestly, everyone’s path is so different. What I’ve learned is that I probably know less than Jon Snow and I’m comfortable with that. What I’ve learned is that I know what I’m good at, I know what I’ll never be good at, I know where I can improve and I know how to do it. And that’s where my confidence lies.
So yes, thirty four has been good to me so far. I highly recommend it if you haven’t done it yet :). It’s scary that we only get to be an age once for a very short time, seeing how fast time goes lately, so we really have to appreciate every second. Haha, that’s such and old person thing to say.