For those of you who were here last week, I mentioned that I freaked out a bit about turning thirty. This not-quite-mid-life-crisis lasted about two weeks, and then I realized something.
I'm an adult. I can do whatever the heck I want.
I'm not saying I don't have to be a decent human being, or that I don't want to live up to the things that I believe in. But as long as I'm responsible at work, committed to my marriage, and kind to the people around me, I'm pretty much free to shape my life however I choose.
I'm no longer a child being trained by parents. I'm no longer a teenager navigating high school. I'm no longer a twenty-something trying to figure out who I am.
My peer group is no longer limited to school or work or my neighborhood. I don't have to try to fit in anymore, or worry about being lonely if I don't please a narrow sub-set of people. There's a whole world out there, full of interesting, quirky people and some of them will like me.
(Some of them won't, but that's okay too. I don't like everyone I meet either.)
I'm thirty. That means I've been practicing life for thirty years, and I have a pretty good idea about what makes me happy. And if I know that, why not just go with it?
So I'm simplifying, cutting out things that don't make me happy. I'm letting myself off the hook for not being a perfect housekeeper, or a educated career woman. I'm owning the things I love, like listening to country music in the car and watching 80's televisions shows. Reading fantasy and YA and mystery and old Tom Swift books. Dancing whenever good music plays, whether anyone is watching or not.
And you know what? I can't wait to be forty and fifty and sixty. I'm getting better at life, and better at writing. I'm a happier and more content person now than I was ten years ago and, God willing, I'll be happier and more content ten years from now.
The world tells me that the life I love is not everything it should be.
But I'm an adult. And my favorite thing about turning thirty? I don't have to listen.