Finally reaching my prime

When I was in the Young Woman's program, my young woman's leader told me that the most beautiful time of a woman's life is when she is 30. I haven't done the math, I have no idea how old my leader was when she told me that, and she could have just been saying that to convince herself that being 30 doesn't actually suck rocks. Nevertheless, the conversation stuck in my 15 year old brain, and has ruminated there ever since. This woman told my gawky 15 year self, who was desperately trying to figure out when her boobs were going to come in (yeah, um, finally gave up on that one), that there is something about a 30 year old woman. She is wonderful, radiating confidence, finally satisfied with who she is, what she has accomplished, and she finally understands what it takes to make her beautiful. A 30 year old woman is, simply put, stunning, both inside and out. All I could think of at the time was something like, "Puleeze. 30 is, like, WAY old. Whatever. At least when I'm thirty I might have boobs." 15 years and the same bra size later, I look at myself at the mirror as I rapidly approach 30 and think, "Hmm. Is this really as good as it's going to get? This is my prime? Well, crap." Not that I'm totally dissatisfied with where I am. I've done some interesting things with my life, and I am basically where I thought I was going to be. But there are some things that I would have hoped I would have gotten over that still seem to rankle the soul. And I sure haven't figured out what makes me beautiful, having just gotten a hair cut that I now despise. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I'm just counting my blessings that hair grows. I mean, c'mon, I'm almost 30! I'm supposed to be in my prime, people! You would have thought I would have learned what NOT to do with my hair. (Ok, so maybe this post is really just all about my bad haircut, but bad haircuts can serve as jumping off points for many a soul searching rant, right?) I guess I just thought I would be...more grown up when I got to 30. I don't feel much different, really, and in some ways, that makes me glad. I'm still me--hooray! In some ways, though, I think, "Hey, I'm still me. What's up with THAT?" Is that what is going to happen when we die? We meet God, we get our celestial bodies back, and think, "Hey, I'm still me. What's up with THAT?" Side note: The whole getting our bodies back when we were in our prime thing. Does that mean I should run a marathon now so that when I get to the celestial kingdom, I get to have the body of a marathon runner for eternity? Just wondering.


Anonymous JKS said...

I'm 34. Of course we don't feel much different than we did at 18. We feel pretty much like ourselves....whatever age we are. Getting old doesn't change how you feel. Why is everyone surprised by this?
The only real difference is we are less stupid.
I like my older, wiser, less stupid 34 year old self.
I will happily for the rest of my life be proud of my age. I will be irritated when people say things like "I'm young at heart" or refer to an old lady as "young lady" or tell someone "you don't look your age, you look younger"
"Young" is not a complement! "Old" is not an insult!
Why did our parents, or their parents start worshipping youth? When did we let them say that "feeling young" was somehow different than how everyone feels all the time?
Why does "feeling old" mean bad stuff.
Age means confidence, wisdom, experience, life.
Age isn't just the better of the two choices....old age or death.

I would not change places with my 18, 22, 25 year old self. Who would? Unless it was to go back and do it all differently....which means you'd want to go back as your older, wiser self, doesn't it?
So you wouldn't want to go back either.

8/13/2005 02:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

I got married at 18 and had three kids by the time I was 24. I felt like I was in my 30's all through my 20's, so when I actually turned 30, I was happy. Finally felt my age.

Of course now that I'm 35 and my kids are teenagers I feel like I'm in my 40's. Ha.

8/13/2005 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

When I turned 18, I thought my face would magically clear up. When I turned 21, I thought I would magically be mature. I was scared to be 30, I thought I would magically be old.

JKS is right, now I'm in my 50's and I feel the same. Only I'm still pretty stupid. That is so disconcerting.

I so want to be wise and serene. Damn.

8/13/2005 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger lchan said...

I'm 36 and I agree with JKS. I still have days when I feel like a dorky 15 year old, except when I actually interact with the real deal and I realize I am so not a dorky 15 year old.

Just a dorky 36 year old.

8/13/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

Anne, LOL. Heather, I think for your YW Leader's generation that was true, I think for us it will be or 40s. Most of us have married a little later and are having kids later and older. That's what I'm telling myself - when I'm 40 I will be lookin' goooood. And I will have finally conquered a few of my 31-old flaws. Let me keep dreaming :)

8/13/2005 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...

Well, everyone knows....what's that saying? Something about being intelligent means knowing you know hardly anything?

8/13/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8/13/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Heather -

I think it's something about turning over another decade that puts a lot of people into panic mode. I'm turning 30 soon as well and I am constantly thinking about what I should have done differently with my life, how I could be happier, etc. This even though I am generally a very happy person. We are too hard on ourselves sometimes.

As my husband (who happens to be a year and a half younger than me) loves to kid me "Isn't 30 the new 40?"

8/14/2005 01:04:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Women really need to try to see themselves through mens eyes. Some of the hottest babes out there are around thirty. About the boob thing, well not all of us guys like the big ones. I like my wife for what she doesn't have up top (her breasts). Don't fool yourself and think you need to look like the plastic babes on tv either. I think if women knew how men think about them they would have alot more fun with them, in and out of the bedroom.

8/18/2005 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I'm 31 now and I still feel like a 12 year-old about half the time. I think it might be because I feel like there are all these things Moms (and grown women in general) are expected to do, do well, and know about automatically that I don't do, or do very badly, or find out suddenly that I should have been doing all along but it never occurred to me.

I'm also suspicious that my general demeanor probably displays my incompetence in these areas, because lately I've noticed that I still get called "Sweetie" or "Young Lady" alot (everywhere from the mall to PTS meetings. Sheesh!). The last time this happened, the woman addressing me couldn't have been more than ten years older than me.

8/18/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Allison said, "I think it might be because I feel like there are all these things Moms (and grown women in general) are expected to do, do well, and know about automatically that I don't do, or do very badly, or find out suddenly that I should have been doing all along but it never occurred to me."

Amen, sister. I'm constantly thinking, "Oh, I'm supposed to be doing that?" or, "Oh, that's how it's donw--who knew?" Somehow I always thought I'd have at least some of it figured out by now. Dang.

8/18/2005 06:06:00 PM  

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