I often laugh out loud when I think about what being an adult would entail when I was a teenager.
I pictured soft jazz playing. Either being married or single (I was never too attached to either way of life so I could be satisfied with either) and both my SO and I would be successful people. I would be a history teacher and I would get a degree in anthropology. My SO and I would take turns cooking and cleaning. I would not have children because I was going to travel every chance I got. All of my money would be thrown into travel and fancy drinks with fancy meals. I would see the world because being worldly helps when you're a historian and successful anthropologist. I read all of these books about these people being approached to drop everything and go on these big important trips because they knew things. I wanted to be that person that knew things. I wanted to be published by 40 and settling into my dusty library-looking office by 50 as a world renowned historian/specialist on... SOMETHING.
Technically I could still become a specialist in something and maybe even well versed in a subject that local officials may consider asking me my opinion on by the age of 40. Maybe. I did have kids though. I did get married. We are not super successful in anything we've done. I mean, Hubby is a mastermind at sales but it isn't something he's passionate about. This isn't about him, anyway. It's about me. I'm turning 30 in a few months. (Four, to be exact) I feel like I've been 29 years old for the last three years though so you could say I've come to terms with getting out of my 20s already.
I sometimes feel like I'm seventeen with the shaky legs of a newborn calf. That may be because I'm attending community college and am figuratively trying to unbury myself from my shitty teenage grades. I'm doing much better in my classes this go-round but it's a slow climb out of the hole I've buried myself in over ten years ago. I'm somewhere between a high school senior (with my math) and a second year college student (with english and humanities) and it's just weird. Teenage me totally thought I'd have a degree in something by now. Probably history and teaching. I want to do neither of those things now. Sure, anthropology is still very interesting to me but I just don't have that Indiana Jones feeling anymore. Now I'm happy with just getting away from my kids for a few hours as an adventure and that's completely okay with me. Teenage me would totally not view that as acceptable and probably a bit lame.
I guess you can say I settled. I don't feel like I settled though. Settling to me is like staying with someone that treats me bad just because they help pay my bills. Settling is staying in your relationship even though you aren't happy. Settling is itching for a change but never taking that first step. Settling is making your aspirations last while everyone else's comes first. Settling to me is picking the car your husband really wants just because you know it'll make him happy even though you really want the buick instead. Settling is letting your husband get a vasectomy when you, in the far reaches of your mind, want a third child even though you know that two is plenty and your life can be just as full with two children. Okay, so I may have settled on a few things in life... but not on the important things. I'm happy with my life-- generally speaking. I like who I'm married to. I like how my kids are turning out (They aren't babies anymore! Ahhhhh! I'm so happy/sad about it all.) I like where I'm living. I have a car, we have lights and water on. I feel supported and loved. Math, allergies and my bruised calf muscle (a small work-out injury) is honestly the worst aspects in my life right now.
I won't become famous on youtube. I won't become a reality star. I may never publish a book about the anthropology of an unknown tribe of people that I discovered myself while hiking the swiss alps. Knowing these things doesn't mean I'm settling. Knowing these things means I'm letting go of silly dreams to embrace and aspire towards the reachable things. I will get an Associates Degree in Science. I will become a Funeral Director. I will pass all of my classes this semester and I will become a certified Mortician. I will raise my kids and help them graduate with a high school diploma. I will love my husband for as long as he lets me and as long as he deserves it. I will do what it takes to accomplish these things.
I'm not where I thought I'd be at thirty and I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with being thirty at all. It's one of my biggest pet peeves when a woman is ashamed of her age. I'm actually very pleased about being out of my twenties. It's about damn time! I feel like I've lived five lives in my 20s.