As a teenager, my biggest concern was whether or not the Delia's catalog I was constantly ordering from was going to have my size shoe, or if that cute boy in my art class was finally going to ask me out, already (come on, man!!). I ran track, was really big into theatre and acting, and relentlessly flirted with lots and lots of boys. The days where finding a killer Prom dress seemed to be my biggest worry - and accomplishment. Not to mention, I could eat like I was going to the electric chair and I never had to worry about gaining an ounce. Those really were the days.
College finally arrived, and I began to learn what it required to live on my own, was forced to buy things like laundry detergent and stamps (you know, the really fun stuff), and I had to be accountable for, well, um, everything. As a poor college student, I had to live on Ramen Noodles and Pop-Tarts and study incessantly and it was incredible! I was a Delta Gamma, so I got to go to things like mixers and parties, and fundraisers, and dances. Some of the best years of my life were had in that first year of college.
And now - I'm (gasp!) 31. As in, THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD. I am an adult. A real life, bill-paying, condo-fixing, mother-of-two-spoiled-doggies ADULT. I can't even begin to tell you how saying this absolutely blows my mind. I don’t feel 31. Hell, nine times out of ten, I don’t act 31. How in the hell did I get to be in my 30's?! I go to work every day, deal with butt head complainers on a regular basis, have lots and LOTS of responsibilities - and even more bills. BILLS. Ugh, might I add that paying bills is a completely unfair (and tedious) task? It seems like there was always something that needs to be paid off or even more, repaired, and certainly at a price to me. Car repairs, home repairs, doctor bills, vet bills. I can't imagine how expensive having kids will be (and may I say, kudos to the parents out there working to make ends meet, just to keep their kids clothed and fed and in basketball/soccer/cheerleading/football, 'cause there is certainly nothing is cheap about any of that).
I will tell you that when I turned 30, this uncontrollable feeling of impending doom suddenly took over my once happy demeanor. Oh, and the little things – things that I hadn't really given much thought before - suddenly became life-threatening:
Oh no, could that skipping heart beat possibly be heart disease? Wait, could that constant dry cough be lung cancer? And hold on, what the hell is with all of these lines, wait are those…WRINKLES?! SHIT, maybe I SHOULD have listened to my mother and put on more sunscreen after all, instead of just telling her I did. OK, what's with that spot on my arm?? Could that be skin cancer?? Oh, thank God it's just an age spot. Wait, Doctor, did you just say I have an AGE SPOT? Seriously???
I will honestly but regretfully say that I have been to the doctor more times since I turned 30 than Heidi Montag with all of her plastic surgeries. It's absurd, really. It's amazing what turning 30 can do to a poor girl.
The whole idea of aging and growing up just makes me ponder the more profound questions in life. These questions go through my mind quite a bit now, especially when I see horrific things happening in our world today. I worry about things that I cannot control - I wonder why we are here and what our true purpose is. I also question why life flies by so damn quickly. This is especially the case when I am driving in my car for some reason; my mind has a tendency to wonder at that time. I have to wonder, is everyone like this? Does everyone worry about the things that they can’t change also?
I will be the first to admit that I am terrified of death. I'm even more terrified of losing the people in my life that mean so much to me. I lost my cousin - my best friend - my partner in crime - when I was barely out of high school and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder why on earth God could take such a good person (kid, that is) away, and why she didn’t get to grow up and experience the things that I was able to experience over the course of the past 12 years. None of it makes any sense to me. Maybe in the "end", I will finally get to see why.
Time goes back quicker now than it ever did when I was younger, when I spent so much of my energy wishing to grow up. I let it all slip right by me. I don't know that I ever really appreciated being so young and carefree. I will say, that now, everyday, I sure as hell try to appreciate what’s right in front of me. Everyday is truly a blessing.
And that's life, I guess.