The clock has struck 8:30pm and the bams (that’s what I call my babies) are getting in bed. I give them hugs and kisses and my oldest asks me,
“Mommy, why do people change houses and move?”
“Well, sometimes families grow and they need more space so they move to a bigger house or sometimes they need less space and they move to a smaller house,” I answer.
“Well, I know I want to have a house with an upstairs and downstairs,” he replies.
“I want a house with an elevator and a robot vacuum!” m youngest interjects from the bottom bunk.
“I know, me too…” I reply, “But right now our house is perfect for us three.”
And then my oldest, with his finger on his chin says,
“Well that’s why you should get married Mommy, so we can have more people in the family and move to a bigger house.”
I chuckle, “Well babe, people don’t get married because they want bigger houses, getting married takes time.”
“I’m just saying Mommy, you’re almost 30. It’s taking forever.”
WHAT!?!? I scream in my head…….I manage to say,
“Hey! 30 is not old. Some things you have to be patient for and also it’s about finding the right person who is equally yoked to be…..you know what? Now it is not the time! Sleep time. Goodnight mister.”
I exit the room and ask myself,
“Did my son just call me a spinster?”
At the time, it had been almost two years since their father, (with whom I was never married) and I had split. That night, I couldn’t help but feel a stiff dull ache in my heart that my son in his innocence, thought I should be doing more regarding something that requires no settling and so much patience. I mean damn, don’t I do enough? And that there was urgency because of my age…
While it’s easy to understand a child’s skewed perspective, I stopped to think about where it came from. That maybe he didn’t just come up with that one on his own, maybe in one of his many ear hustling sessions, he overheard one of my conversations with friends about our impending 30-hood. Worrying about the “shortage” of men that actually want to be in a committed relationship without playing games. Talking about our career plans and wanting more babies. Essentially giving a lot of energy to a ticking bio clock that our culture presses upon us making us prematurely grey. I don’t know why the 80’s babies/ 90’s kids that are stepping out of their 20s are ready to get what we want and letting what is meant for us finally unfold in our lives. Above all else, It’s about finding a balance. We are smarter after 20-anything.
30 is a pretty number. The curves of the three look tenured. As if each one symbolized the decade that preceded it. The zero is a reminder of the fullness of that which is new and also that even though you made it to the next level, there is still much you don’t know. In the first year of my thirty-dom, I have realized through a set of definitive moments that made me say Man….I’m a grown up. They come in snapshots, surreal experiences and complete stand still moments you muse over while drinking wine at the kitchen table or standing in a dark room watching your babies as they sleep.
I don’t know how we as women get sold on the idea that youth is the river that leads to the sea of happiness. As if being fresh out of the childhood, one would have the slightest clue how to navigate a raft should there be rapid waters. Stop and think about the layered set of lies that are dropped at our feet as we enter our 20s. We suddenly move from the searching for “belonging” in the high school experience to breaking away and now searching for self.
Finally, I just have to laugh. It doesn’t take long to laugh about it. It doesn’t take long to see what has happened.
I have lived.
I still have much more living to do. Much more things to see, but I have some reference for things. I’m still young enough to enjoy a great time, I’m just old enough to really understand what “a great time” really is. I care less and less about the idiosyncrasies regarding this 20 something = YOLO BS. That’s the trick of the 20s. The teens are about trying to break free. The 20s are the “I’m free!!!… but now what?… ANYTHING!!!” The 30s have introduced me to: This is the “Anything” you chose, now what will it be?
It’s funny how we worship intelligence but not wisdom. We are looking to feel astute when it comes to the rhythm of life but it is the wise that recognize you will reach 40, 50 and then some before you will have figured it out. Wisdom doesn’t always translate into a fancy degree or accolades. Wisdom is born of developing the type of character that makes you slow down and listen to the game the Universe is trying to put you on 24-7. For the most part that type of character is seldom built in what we do right rather in what we do backwards and how we recover. Being 20 anything is the beginning of understanding that for most. I personally have written my 20s off to being ill timed and rebellious. I can’t say I knew what was the right move to make the entire time but what can you do about what has already happened? It’s simple.
You can learn.
I have never been more in tune with what it takes to be me. I am less afraid and less unprepared to face who it is I want to become. More importantly who I am and will be regardless of what I set out to become. I am a mother. My sons see me as driven, capable, and the most beautiful girl in the world (bless their sweet little hearts) they are watching me chase my dreams and hope the best for me, while I do my best for us. I can SEE my happiness now. It’s no longer some distant place beyond the young adult hell on the road to get here and now I only have to say,
My 30 is beautiful with rough edges.
And it a good thing. Rough edges come in handy when you are about to break through.
by Tierra Johnson, 30
Tierra Johnson is a writer and aspiring author residing in Seattle WA, developing a writing career while transitioning from working in the 9 to 5 world. A single mother of two boys, she has had two pieces published in Nia Magazine and is working to complete her first novel in the next year.
BUSINESS/CAREER GOAL: Freelance Writer & Author
SCHOOL: Studied Business Administration at Evergreen State College
RECOMMENDED READ: Let’s Get Candid: 7 Freelancers on How Much Money They Make
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