I turn 27 today. It's a weird age, and not really a big deal I guess. I haven't felt my age since I was 23, and ahead of the curve as it were. It's a weird number, and not at all as satisfying as 25, or even 26.
But it's made me think about those little things I tuck out of my mind, and leave for later- pick a new career track (oh, later.) Start saving to go to Europe, finally (but I like spending money now!) Start thinking about kids (pch, I'm still young!)
But I'm not that young.
I've noticed the changes in my mind as things become less affronting than they once were. I am more able to live and let live, to understand that we are not all the same so militancy is often off-putting. I have a better handle on my emotions and their causes, better scope and scale of experiences and what not to get bent out of shape over. It used to infuriate me when my Dad would shrug and say, "C'est La Vie!" Now I find myself muttering it under my breathe to younger friends who see molehills and think Everest. Maybe this isn't even age. Maybe this is just me getting tired, buckling under the weight of shitty things. Whatever it is, I quite like it!
My body is getting older too. I've noticed the lines in my forehead becoming deeper, and catching concealer in strange ways. The corners of my eyes are starting to wrinkle. My breasts are getting heavy, and aren't as perky as they used to be. I used to be able to prance around all day with no bra. Now walking up the stairs without a bra requires me to cup them and push them to my chest. Even wearing a teddy requires a bra now. Most days it doesn't bother me, but every once in a while I will look down and cringe and think, "This is why women lean over bars, and tables, and beds when they do this in porn."
I had my days of dancing topless in the rain, or streaking and playing strip games with my friends. My breasts have been seen. No pictures exist, but I am confident that burned into my High school friends' memories are images of my breasts at their 19-year old perky best.
I wish I had taken more pictures. I wish I had the courage to take pictures now. But a lack of self-confidence means I haven't shallowly valued my body except for in retrospect, when I can look back and think, "Damn, I really was thin. I should have taken more pictures."
My hips and my thighs have widened and spread, and my breasts have gotten heavy. I have the body of the women in my family, but most days I still feel like a child. My mother was a year younger than I am now when she had me. She owned a house, had been married (twice) and was done having her babies. After me she got a tubal ligation.
I haven't even begun to tackle these things. I may never own a house, definitely won't where I live now, and babies are a pipe dream for the next half a decade. This isn't at all where I expected to be at this age. But life happens, and sometimes it's shitty and knocks you off course.
At 23 I was engaged, finishing my Masters, settled and looking forward to my future of a house in the woods that my fiancée had inherited, two brown haired brown eyed babies and maybe a mini-goat or two. But cracks were already showing, and that partner who had always been an addict, ended up being an addict and an abuser. I started listening more to that voice I had heard all along that told me he wasn't my person. That familiarity and growing up together wasn't the same as sustainable, romantic love.
Then my thesis advisor did a 180 and made my life hell. I graduated, but with a bitter taste in my mouth and an aversion to Academia.
Then I turned 24.
Then my break up, when my fiancée couldn't handle me being sad.
Then my assault happened when my ex decided my No's didn't matter.
Then we were back together, but not back together.
Then I drank, and partied, and slept with a lot of people I might not have slept with had I not been drinking, and partying and trying to forget.
Then I met my boyfriend, and I stopped to actually feel. I was already on my way out of the web, but he was the final, solidifying nudge I needed to decide "Fuck this."
I spent my 25th birthday with him, getting sushi, watching a rare West Coast thunderstorm, and starting to put the blocks back together into a life that I actually wanted.
So here I am at 27, feeling a little behind the curve. My mind has gotten older, and softer. My body has too. I am content, my life is good and I have lots of people who love me, but I can feel the ticking. I really want to make jokes about it and be factitious, but it's true and for whatever reason birthdays make me feel vulnerable. So I'm gettin' my lament on.
I just want more years. Or maybe I want those six back that I spent with the wrong person. Or the nearly 12 months after that it took me to actually DTMFA. I wish I had spent the time wiser. I wish it wasn't taking me so long to heal. I wish I had taken more pictures of my body. I wish I felt the confidence to take them now. I wish I didn't feel silly for thinking all these thoughts. 27 is young. I don't need my 86 year old Omi-in-law (her preferred title from me) to laugh at me to know I'm being myopic. I almost wish I didn't have that self-awareness so I could be silly in peace.
This is universal, right? Everyone feels this way at one point or another? I know it's not unique, and in lots of ways I even feel guilty because I have lots: a loving partner, a kitty who tolerates me, a steady job and roof over my head.
But at the same time, it feels good to whine to friends xo