It sounds like a long time, but it doesn't feel like a long time. 30 years that is. I had my birthday recently. There is something foreign about stepping into a new decade, you spend ten years with a "2" as the beginning of your age and suddenly it switches to "3" and somehow it's like your identity is just a bit shaken up even though you woke up feeling exactly as you did the day before. I feel like I've always been 30 and yet I'm like "who is this person that is saying 30 years old?!"
Luckily, 30 isn't really that old. It just sounds kinda old. When I was a kid - back in the nineties when side pony tails were still in and being on Wild and Crazy Kids was the stuff dreams were made of - 30 might as well have been 70. I wasn't one to split hairs, old was old. A lot has happened to that opinionated child. Decades worth of interesting, boring, beautiful, hilarious, painful, and awkward experiences that have brought forth this person here today. Thank goodness I grew into perspective. I have also figured out how to tell the front of my underwear from the back, so overall I think I'm ahead.
So who am I at 30? Would my younger self be proud of where we are and what we have done? Or disappointed that so many dreams are yet unrealized? Would she understand that there are so many more variables than we ever anticipated? How do you even get on Wild and Crazy Kids anyway?! OMAR HELP US!
The answer is Yes. I think Shannon of yesteryear would be moderately impressed at our ability to maintain a stable life. She would be happy with the house, figure that cars are a given (turns out they aren't, you have to earn that shit), and her eyes would glaze over when I tell her how much I love our subscription boxes to Blue Apron and that we have a landscaping project underway. She would be proud to be a recycler (but probably convince me that I can do more to save the rain forest). She would be thrilled at the prospect of being married and living with a bajillion pets. She would think the baby is adorable, and be satisfied that there is only one of those.
She would be downright exasperated at the fact that we haven't done much traveling. She expected to have explored the world by now. All. Of. It. She would also be bummed about the career choices. I should be an ACTRESS, or a WRITER, or a brave ARCHAEOLOGIST/PALEONTOLOGIST (after figuring out which field was actually more awesome). But a glorified babysitter and aspiring appraiser? Not on the list. Also, how come my mom isn't my next door neighbor? With my dad on the other side and my imaginary in-laws across the street? That living arrangement was supposed to be a priority!
Overall, though, I think my childhood self would be pleased by where we have gotten to by 30. It has been trickier than I thought. I figured, at 7 years old or 8 or even 17, that most hardships in life are from a lack of independence and freedom and that with adulthood came the power to bend life to be whatever you want it to be. And maybe there is truth to that. It's just that the obstacles in the way of complete freedom are tedious, overwhelming, and a helluva lot more complicated than I could have imagined. I didn't know about politics, competition for jobs, or that not every wage is a living wage. I didn't know that having a dog could effect how long you could be away from the house, or that interest rates and credit scores have an impact on what kind of house/car/financial aid you could get. I thought you grew up, moved out of the house, ate whatever you want for dinner. Case closed.
Despite not becoming an actress, or learning French (yet), or traveling the world (yet), I have done my best to live a life that is as true to myself as I can possibly be. On the road to happiness I have followed my heart, and that's probably what childhood Shannon really wanted anyway (although to get slimed would still be ultra cool). I'm excited for my 30's. I feel like I'm getting to the really good parts, and am eager to see what happens next!
Perfect Stranger, how are you doing on your #lifegoals?