For the first time in my life, I am approaching a decade birthday where I can recognize pieces of myself forming 10 years ago. The difference between being 10 years old and 20 is developmentally huge. I suppose the same could be said for the 20 to 30 leap, but I was afforded the rights of an adult a decade ago, and have taken steps to earn the esteem of adulthood. I am able to look back 10 years and mostly laugh at what I thought about my life and the world. Which leads me to take myself less seriously today. Just imagine what 40-year-old Sarah will think of what I'm up to these days!
|Ten years ago: showing off|
At 20 years old, I was living on my own for the first time, in a teeny tiny apartment in the By Ward market with my friend Cat. We spent all our money each pay period, worked on top of full-time class loads, partied really hard, and laughed our days away. I began running, played underwater hockey, worked as an editor, was attending journalism school, and became engaged to marry Rich. I took the bus everywhere, I rationed my money between rent, groceries and beer money, and have no idea how I managed to still go to movies, buy new clothes once in awhile, and eat out. I have kept my writing, so I can look back at my poems and journaling to see that I was really quite set in my opinions!
I thought I had things figured out. I had plans, direction, ambition, education and the freedom to explore any future I wanted (limited to what I could afford). I know if I met that girl today, I would be kind, supportive, forgiving and patient, but I would not offer advice. That girl had a lot to learn, and so much growth was in the learning. In 10 years I have married Rich, moved to the Yukon, had four babies, written professionally, travelled, and learned a lot of hard lessons. I think, more than anything, this last decade has shown me what I'm made of when the chips fall, and how to stand on my own two feet. Rich and I have grown a great partnership, but personally, I have developed a great confidence in my abilities.
With this perspective, I smile to think that the things I worry about today, and put effort into, may seem so misdirected in another 10 years.
I get that turning 30 can prompt some to feel anxiety, that deadlines are looming, that expectations have not been met. There might be fear of aging, that time is passing too quick. I feel those things sometimes, too. For the most part, I feel excited for this passing from one decade to another. I feel like I will enter a new awareness, a new level of wisdom, a graduation from the natural self-centredness of my twenties to the autonomy of 30 plus.