A week from today I will be turning 30. In the lead up to this "milestone" birthday, it's definitely given me reason to reflect upon the last decade of my life - where I've come from, where I'm going to, and other random musings.
I was really inspired to share my thoughts after going to get my lunch yesterday. I'd been busy moving offices at work and after hauling boxes about for 4 hours I was starving and somewhat grouchy. I apparently picked the exact time that the local high school let out to go get my lunch and when I saw the dozens of teenagers milling about, crowding the space I was in and generally being teenagers, I found myself thinking "why the hell are you not still in school?"
I have been having this kind of thought a lot more recently as I am apparently being launched kicking and screaming into the realization that yes, I am what they call an adult. In my own head, I am still a juvenile in so many ways. I still think it would be funny to take someone's office chair and hide it in one of the elevators in our building. I still think it's funny to play pranks on my co-workers, laugh at fart jokes, whine when I can't have ice cream...and I can't imagine not doing these things. Perhaps that's the true definition of being "youthful" - a brat on the inside but masquerading as an adult?
I don't remember taking the test for this! There's no class or lecture telling you how to handle it and it still surprises me a little bit that I could be considered responsible, mature, ok to ride without training wheels. I am firmly entrenched in the world of FHA, 401K, IRA, HOAs and other things with strange acronyms. I willingly took on a mortgage, discovered that Home Depot is my friend (or perhaps I just spend way too much time there), and actually get excited enough about plumbing products that I blog about them. When I get together with my friends, we sit and talk extensively about things you're not supposed to - like politics and religion. My girlfriends and I share a common state of marital bliss and spend much of our time discussing ovulation and which baby names our former selves would have made fun of. When did I start sounding like a potential parent? How can I even be considering when would be a good time to start having kids when I am a kid myself?
It's only when I look back over my last decade that I realize how far I've come and how much I've learned. Sure, I've made a ton of mistakes along the way but that's how we learn isn't it? I have learned that even if you are technically an adult, your parents will always think of you as their little kid...but no matter how old you get, when you get yourself in trouble, your parents may well still be the first people you call for help. I learned that I really am capable of so much and living on my own taught me that. I've learned that when you've crashed cars and been in car crashes, AAA membership is a wonderful wonderful thing. I've learned that there will always be people that you leave behind or lose track of in each stage of your life. As sad as that may be, treasure those that you carry with you. There are also those that you feel that have wronged you. I've learned that it's possible to move on and forgive. I've learned that when the doctor tells you that your body will "change" after the age of about 28, she's not lying. I've learned there is nothing wrong with acting like a kid - I'd rather have smile wrinkles than frowny ones. I've learned that instinct is an incredibly powerful thing and you should listen to it. I've learned that some jokes are timeless...as is some music (even if Salt'n Pepa's "Push It" is now 22 years old and you just can't figure out how the hell that happened). I've learned that the stranger that once told me "you're too young to die but never too young to rock" knew exactly what he was talking about.