Yesterday I turned 23. This is the first birthday that I haven’t been really excited to put a new, higher number down in the “age” box. The late teens and early twenties are a pretty exciting time.
Turning 17 meant no more sneaking into R-rated movies.
18 meant I could buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, and porn – none of which I have ever bought, but still, just KNOWING that I COULD…
…19 was the last year of my teens…and I got engaged to the most wonderful man.
20 was a new decade, and I married that man.
I could drink when I turned 21 (another thing I almost never do).
I was eager to turn 22 because I felt more comfortable saying my age as a married person (I initially got a lot of comments like “…HOW old did you say you were? And how long have you been married?”)
But now that I’m 23, I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin. Yes, I still get questions about my age, but they just don’t get to me as much. I can see people doing the math in their head to figure out how old I was when I got married, and that used to really get under my skin, but it doesn’t anymore. I have FINALLY learned that I have no control at all over what people think about me - easier said than done! I used to let myself get upset over the fact that I didn’t really fit in with other people my age, and yes, being married in college was sometimes lonely. But you know what? Being married OUT of college is sometimes lonely, too! But I am happier with myself now than I have ever been. I love being married, I love owning a house, and I look forward to being a teacher. I have friends of all ages and from all stages of life. My life isn’t perfect, but I’ll take it!
I’ve seen other people post lyrics to songs on their blogs, and I never have because I never take the time to read anyone else’s, but these lines from a Jimmy Buffet song are really poignant to me at this stage in my life:
Hear 'em singing Happy Birthday
Better think about the wish I made
This year gone by ain't been a piece of cake
Every day's a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun
I'm just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning
And it's good to know it's out of my control
If there's one thing that I've learned from all this living
Is that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go
It’s funny to think that ten years ago, I was only thirteen years old, caught up in my teenage angst and convinced that my parent’s didn’t have a clue. What a difference ten years makes! The next year will bring a lot of changes for me, and that scares me a little, but if anything, it won’t be boring!