In two days I will be 28. Since I turned 21, I have the same nagging, anxiety filled thoughts the week leading up to my birthday. Am I getting old? Am I doing enough with my life? Am I where I should be? Am I starting to look old?
In my last two days of being 27, whenever these thoughts enter my mind, I try and observe them, but remain unattached to them. I am trying- but not completely successfully. The thing is, I am getting older. We all are. I am entering one of my last two years of being in my twenties, but truth be told, I am actually comfortable getting older, I just feel that society doesn’t want me to be. With each passing year, I actually like who I am and what I see more and more. Of course I look back at my 23 year old self and realize I really was lucky then to wake up every morning, have some goldfish for breakfast, not even consider working out and still wear a size 2. But that 23 year old self of mine was not nearly as aware of who I am and what I desire out of life as my soon to be 28 year old self is now. At 23, I still tried to hide so much of who I really was. At 28, I find myself having a love affair with it! Perhaps it isn’t society that is to blame for my fear of getting older, perhaps it is just what young women go through when they get toward the end of one decade and begin to contemplate another.
I actually laughed out loud the other day when I thought about how at 23, I told my boyfriend (now fiancé) that when I was 28 I would be too old to go to clubs so women that age and older really shouldn’t be going out anymore… I can’t believe I said that- and thought that! Women at any age should be doing whatever they want, however they want to do it! There seems to be a stigma with women getting older, but I am really wondering, do women actually feel this themselves or is it something imposed on us? I wonder if I have these fearful thoughts about getting older because I actually am afraid of it, or if it is because I feel that I am supposed to be afraid of it.
As I think about turning 28, I don’t actually feel fear, I feel excitement! I wonder if this excitement has more to do with me planning a wedding, contemplating starting a family, and finally working on my career. I wonder if I didn’t have these things- would I still be so ready for my birthday to come around again? Probably not. But then again, if my birthday didn’t come around every year, would I be in a place where I can have these things? Am I more OK with getting older because I am more OK with who I am and I accept that getting older is just another wonderful piece in this experience of life? I wonder if my life is in a really great place because I am comfortable with who I am, or if I am comfortable with who I am, because my life is in a really great place?
Regardless of the questions and nagging thoughts that fill my mind, I can honestly say with sincerity, Happy Birthday To Me. I am Happy to be able to celebrate another year on this earth, and happy to begin what is sure to be a fabulous year filled with ups, downs, lessons learned, struggles overcome, and hopefully, finally, starting to like exercise!
On my second to last day of being 27 I can say that I will miss this age because 27 has been good to me. I am becoming so much more me, and with each passing year, I feel more and more grateful for this. Thank you 27, it has been fun! But 28? Get ready! I am coming for you, holding my head up proud and tall.