Boy shorts, a wedding ring, standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and getting kicked in the face by a bull have made for a pretty interesting decade. Believe me when I tell you I have stories to tell! As I tread 39 all too quickly, it is quite clear to me that life has gotten progressively better over the years. Each decade has kicked the other to the curb with its improvements. The thirties definitely put the twenties in their place – the past.
Looking back, it seems like I spent my twenties worrying. You know what I mean. Do I look fat in this? Should I wear that? Is anybody going to hire me? Should I take that job? Will there be something better? What was I thinking? Do you remember what happened last night? What’s left in the fridge to eat? Should I move? What are people going to think? Is this nice enough? Why does nobody want to marry me? How am I going to pay for new tires? Am I seriously the biggest loser ever? What is wrong with me? It was a decade of questions with no perfect answers.
But if my twenties were Me 2.0, my thirties have been Me 3.0: a definite step up. I got married. I got my Master’s degree. I went to France. I bought a house, and I most definitely gained a little perspective. It
occurred to me that I am extremely blessed.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in a mansion. I haven’t become a famous writer (YET – Did you hear me, God?). I haven’t hung out on a beach knowing I didn’t have to go back to work ever, but I have a guy who loves me even when I’m swampy and living in pajama pants, I can look at my checking account without crossing my fingers and peeking, and I’m not dying of cancer. What’s not to love?
See, we’re not just those people transitioning from Cosmo to Real Simple Magazine, from Beverly Hills, 90210 to NCIS, and kamikaze shots to a glass of wine. It can’t be said that we’re boring, it’s more to say we’ve had our moments, and luckily, most of the embarrassing ones happened pre-Facebook! We are the people that have seen just the right amount of life to know how special it is.
We were post-invention-of-the-TV and indoor plumbing but pre-cell phone. We know the thrill of getting our first VCR and the agony of turning the channel for our dads. We talked about the Duke Boys and had pictures of Malcolm Jamal Warner, Kirk Cameron, and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen taped to our bedroom walls. We lived for the Brat Pack. We thirty-somethings have seen the world go from 45 records to iPods.
We remember when MTV played music. We dared to sing “Like a Virgin.” We made Michael Jackson popular, and we were there to see his demise. We’ve gone from telephone operators to video chat. We remember our first cell phone which rivaled our can of beer in size, and we remember watching Zack Morris use his cordless in lustful admiration. We remember writing research papers on paper… with a pen. We had big bangs (and not the Sheldon and Leonard kind, the Poison kind). We watched Michael Jordan fly and Keri Strug land a gold medal on one ankle. We saw the Berlin Wall come down. We know exactly where we were on 9/11 and the inner pride of being an American. We loved Judy Blume. We remember our parents reading books to us when they tucked us in, and yet, at this point, we’ve learned enough to be capable of playing Words with Friends on our phones and asking Siri for directions.
We’ve seen the before and the after. We are at that meaty age of having stories to tell and knowing that the world has changed around us. We’ve seen it. We’ve experienced it, and we’re making our places in it. In fact, John Cougar told us life goes on, pretty fast at times according to our friend, Ferris, and that’s why we know we need to look around sometimes, and be thankful for it…
As a self-proclaimed herder of kids, cattle, and words, Bolton Carley is a blogger, writer, teacher, and farmer’s daughter keen on finding life’s humorous side. A jack of all trades writing-wise, check out her verse novella, life lessons blog, poetry and photography, advice column, and all other things BC.