Thirty five. 35. THIRTY FIVE. Let’s just sit with that one for a while. Relatively speaking, 35 isn’t a big number. But, when it comes to age, it kinda is. And when is MY age, it sure feels like it is.
For the first time, my age–a number— has hit me hard. Why? Because it sounds old.
The other milestone birthdays, while great, didn’t hit me like this one is. 18? I barely remember even thinking about the fact that I was legally an adult. I vaguely remember buying a few lottery tickets. 21 was pretty lackluster too. I was older than all my friends so there wasn’t a wild night of drinking. I remember ordering a drink at lunch with my mom and one again later at dinner with my dad, but no one carded me either time. Even 30 wasn’t tough for me. It was all felt very grown up and mature. I was a real adult now, even if I didn’t feel like one all time. I was pregnant with Gia and just about as happy as can be.
But here we are FIVE years later. I’m 35. I’m definitely not a kid anymore. I’m a legitimate adult who is halfway to 40. And middle age is right around the corner. Little kids think I’m old. I get called ma’am more often than I’d like to admit. I have a hard time seeing fine print. I can’t hang like I used to. (I enjoy going to bed at 10 pm, k?) But this is the first year the number sounds old to me.
But really, I’m just getting started. I don’t feel old, and I don’t actually think I’m old. In my head I’m still 28. And I certainly don’t mind getting older. For me, birthdays are always easier when I’m completely happy with where I’m at and what I’ve accomplished. And these 35 years have been very, very good to me. In terms of accomplishments: countless hours in school, a bachelor’s degree, two masters degrees, one career, a few condos bought and sold, one family home purchased and lived in, one marriage, and two beautiful kids is what 35 years has brought me. In terms of what really matters: education, love, a strong marriage and a beautiful family.
I wonder about the next 35 years. When I’m 70, what accomplishments will I reflect upon? Maybe I’ll get an EdD or a PhD. Maybe I’ll write a book. Maybe I’ll invent a great new product. And what will my family look like? Will I be grandma? Whatever the future brings, I know it’s a privilege to grow older and wiser.