On Turning 30
I am turning 30 in three weeks.
I’m kind of freaked out. See, I’m not the person I want to be yet. My wise husband says, "Duh, we are never the people we want to be," and I suppose that’s true. And it’s not that I’m not, for the most part, happy with who and where I am. I am. But.
Example: I created this 30×30 list of things to do before my bday, lots of lovely cultural things, and I will accomplish maybe 2/3 of them. It turns out that I am not that cultured, gracious woman who visits museums on her days off, knows all the latest exhibits, sees a variety of performing arts and reads literary fiction and wears white and heels while she does it. I admire people who do any or all of those things. But I don’t. I mean, maybe, someday…but probably not.
I feel like the core of my me is fairly developed by this point. That means choosing to do and be some things over others; it means not being able to be EVERYTHING I want. I hate that.
So who am I? I am never as zen as I want to be. My house is a mess unless people are coming over. I comfort eat and I love the idea of yoga but not the discipline of actually going to classes so I have this total mind-body disconnect going on right now. I’m not an everyday writer. Small talk makes me anxious. Sometimes Twitter makes me feel lonely. I want to dye a bright pink streak in my hair but I’m worried what people at work would think. I sleep in until noon on weekends because I stay up too late during the week. I procrastinate when I’m scared of not being good enough. I’m usually five minutes late. I loathe mornings and Mondays and mushrooms. I have too many shoes that I never wear.
But that’s not all. I’m a really good friend. I can critique a play or a book tactfully but helpfully. I’m fascinated with exploring why people choose the paths they do, what their passions are, families, gender. I love knowing that everyone has a story and I want to hear yours and tell mine. I love YA and lending books to friends. I love reading but I hardly ever see movies. I love music. Once I get attached to an album I will play it for weeks on end (right now it’s the Glee soundtracks). I love pink and yellow and red, all bright colors. I’m crazy enthusiastic. I could pretty much live in jeans and v-neck t-shirts and red converse and headbands. I love my house and drinking wine with friends on the porch and game nights when all you’re focused on is the next turn. I want an iPhone. Sometimes I drunk text my friends to tell them how much I love them. I have at least two cups of tea a day and green ginger is my current favorite. Rings are my new favorite jewelry but I hardly ever paint my nails. I want to be a published author when I grow up. I like being a pescetarian even though I still eat pepperoni. I love organizing things. I go for massages to treat myself and I am so getting a hot stone massage when I send this revision to my agent. I have an excellent memory for names. I’m excited to be a mommy someday and I love the name Lila Spotswood so I really hope we have a girl. I love the magic of theatre but I’m glad I’m not doing it anymore myself. I love reading Steve’s plays and having writer dates with him at coffee shops and talking about writing.
I am way more comfortable in my own skin than I was ten or five or even two years ago. Still, I focus on that first paragraph, what I’m not, what I haven’t achieved, my flaws, over what I am and do well.
What do you think? Do we ever actually become the people we want to be, or are we always reaching, dancing on the edge between ambition and contentment?