Thirties Versus Twenties.

As I am now officially “entrenched” in my thirties – smack dab in the middle and not looking back, surprisingly enough – I have a few thoughts about the State of the Onion. How I have evolved as a human bean. How I went from being Alpha Model Hillary to Beta Model Hillary and how I really do relish the difference between “girl in her twenties” and “girl in her thirties.”

Thoughts. There are many. Let’s do this.

SHIT HILLARY’S LEARNED.

1. I care less about many things and so much more about other things. I don’t sweat the minutia as much. The small things start to feel appropriately small in comparison to the things that REALLY matter – making rent or the mortgage, having food and electricity, providing for my household. Frenemy Julie saying smack about my clothes? Well, Julie is still a douchenugget, but who cares? Don’t call the bitch awhile. So she didn’t like my pants- oh, well. This is not the mortal blow it was ten years ago.

2. Friends have come and gone. The ones still here are gold. Cherish them. The friends I have from ten years ago still linger. I’m lucky that way – I haven’t had a complete overhaul of inner circle. I attribute most of that to Facebook keeping me in touch with those who scattered to the wind. But all in all, if the friends lasted this long? They’re long-hauling it. They’ve graduated from “people I bummed around with in my misspent youth” to “HOLY CRAP, I NEED THEM.” Also, because of existing friends’ awesomeness, I gravitate to a higher quality individual when befriending new people. Trial and error has taught me to avoid the toilet-lurking stinkrockets.

3. I handle money better. Also, I make more money. Bonus. I’m pretty sure this is an across-the-boards thing. I’m no longer struggling to rub two nickles together. I make more money and I now actually have a clue what to do with it – as in, I understand budgeting. I also understand living within my means. The idea of spending ALL THE DAMNED MONEY BECAUSE I CAN AND DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES is kinda over. I can balance wanting something versus needing something. Also, I have enough foresight to know how my stomach will drop when I see a future credit card statement so JUST DON’T.

4. My goals are simpler and more complex at the same time. Where before I worked to have enough money to go drinking, now I want MORE for myself. I can afford to drink without making it a budgetary concern because SEE ABOVE, but more than that, instead of putting money towards the little stuff, I want to travel. I want to make experiences for myself. I want to spend my money and time on things that create memories and enrich my life. Conversely, on Tuesdays, I don’t give a crap about the bar anymore and appreciate things like quiet time with my dogs and naps. I think people spend so much of their time rushing through their twenties that they don’t sit back and enjoy the loveliness of silence.

5. I put up with way less bullshit. I fear less. Yeah, people being turdmongers around me? Fuck ’em. Seriously. I’m no longer worried what someone is going to think of me if I have to tell them to have some manners at a concert (which I did Friday night) or to tell them that they’re complaining so loudly about not being able to see the concert going on in front of them that I can’t HEAR the concert going on in front of me (also Friday night.) I know how to kill people with kindness. I also know how to throw kindness out the window and put my foot down with an emphatic, “Fuck you, NO” when I have to. I know to put my money where my mouth is – something I didn’t particularly care or think about back when.

6. My wants are clearer. The emotional murkiness of my twenties is gone. What I want is much easier to identify these days. There are less nebulous FEELS. Peace. Harmony around me. I want to laugh. I want to savor experience. I want to know I matter to the people that matter to me. I want to feel pride in my accomplishments. And the big one? The REALLY big one that I’ve come to understand over heartaches and confusion? Being wanted is nice, but being loved is necessary.

7. I’m more comfortable with me. I’m self-aware enough to know my strengths and faults. I admit when I’m wrong. I’m okay with the fact that I’m imperfect. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to be better, but at least being cognizant of my pitfalls means I remember my propensity to overreact/rage out and sometimes, just sometimes, I’ll choose NOT to tell someone to go poop in Satan’s hat (even though I still want to – very much, even.) I also understand that how I look is okay. I’m a fat person. I can change that if I really want to, but if I don’t, that’s all right. Being fat is not the end all and be all. It’s not the shame-maker it used to be. I’m me. I’m getting better every day about liking me. Fat rolls and all. Snark-mouth and all. Flaws and all.

8. Not the sun at the center of the universe, but a star among stars in a galaxy. Sometimes, other people are more important than me. I’m okay with this now. I understand it and can even appreciate it. I will offer my seat to the elderly. I’ll give money to causes I support because I want to make life better for others. I’ll give up my space in line sometimes. I will help strangers more because I want someone to help me at some point, too. I give more. I take less. I also enjoy the giving more. Insert blowjob joke here.

9. It’s just a number. No, really. That’s what an age is. A number. Yeah, I guess I have a few gray hairs now, and maybe that’s the start of crow’s feet (maybe – I’m aging well like Gram and Mom THANK GOD.) But I don’t feel old. I feel sort of . . . ripe? A yellow banana versus a green banana. Perfect, really, like I got past a very awkward early stage and matured into something less gangly. It’s good. I like this. I have a sneaking suspicion when I make one of these posts ten years from now, I’m going to like it even more.

Onward and upward. Life happens. Life is good.

5 thoughts on “Thirties Versus Twenties.

  1. This all resonates with me pretty strongly, still being an early-30s gal myself. But even with the pending divorce and related upheaval I still feel grounded. Solid. I have a pretty good grasp on who I am and what really matters to me. And that is light-years ahead of my 22-year-old self who was alone in California and flailing around pretending to be an adult.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. I know what you mean. However, I look on my twenties as the black hole of my existence and try not to examine them too closely if at all. And the number bit? You’re absolutely right. I refuse to believe that I have to act like a woman in her sixties who’s decided to be retired. I feel more like a woman in her 40s or maybe 50s who has the wherewithall to do what she likes when she likes it, who enjoys being alone with herself, and who wishes her body weren’t betraying her so much by frickin’ aging before she’s ready.

  3. This is so well said that I wish I had written this. I’m in my mid-forties and I nodded, and damn near clapped, through the whole thing. You can bet I’ll be passing it along.

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