Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A note about approaching 30...

Yes, I realize I once again have neglected all of my friends out there in blog world. School finished, but the holidays came whirring in. Between buying gifts, wrapping gifts, traveling to NY, planning to travel to PA, catching up on housework and taking care of 2 sick cats, I guess life has decided to keep me busy once again. School starts again on Monday and this semester I'll be commuting 2 days a week. Thrilling.

In either case, all of this is minor compared to the fact that I am approaching the age of 30 far more quickly than I'd like. In fact, I've only recently gotten to the point where I can admit to it without stuttering or tearing up. I've never been fond of aging. I distinctly remember the excrutiating pain I felt at turning 21. I cried for a half an hour straight the night before my birthday. It didn't help that only 3 days later, when I was finally of "legal drinking age", I went to Hannaford to buy a 6 pack of cider jack (I know, many of you true-blue beer drinkers are either scoffing or gagging right now). If you look like you're under the age of 30, you're supposed to have your ID checked. The clerk didn't check mine. Apparently, I looked over 30 at that point. The icing on the cake was when she called me "mam." I was no longer a "miss." I'm equally as afraid that something as depressing will happen to me as I near the big 3-0. Perhaps I'll get to the check-out at my favorite clothing store and be asked if I get a senior citizen's discount. Perhaps one of the people at the grocery store will offer me one of those motorized carts to help me get around more easily.

I know this seems absurd to many of you, especially my post-30 friends who feel that their lives have just begun and that they're in their prime. It IS absurd though. Even *I* think it is. However, combined with my long-time hatred towards my own aging process, I have to face the fact that I'm still nursing a college "career" at the age of 27 (well, OK, I won't be 27 for another 12 days but that's close enough). I sit through classes with people who are nearly a generation younger than I am. I see the differences between us and realize that I'm slowly becoming an old fuddy-duddy. That is the LAST thing I want to morph into. I can't really go in the opposite direction because I led a very different life at the age of 20 than most of them have, so I can't reach out the them and "get younger", so to speak.

On the bright side, when I'm in medical school, I'll be mixed with a melting pot of ages. Some people start med school at 22, some start at 52 - or even older! Many of the med students and residents I've met and work with are typically in their 30's though. I'll take comfort in the fact that in a few short years, I'll be exactly where I feel I should be. My late teens and early 20's were spent as being "too old" - paying bills, holding down a full time job, being responsible when all of my friends were still in college and partying constantly. My late 20's have been spent going back to school to do the things I wish I had done 10 years ago. This has the unfortunate side effect of making me feel like I'm still 23 or 24. When I realize I'm about to turn 27, I have to actually do the math and subtract 1978 from 2005.

Truthfully though, I still wouldn't change anything. I was pretty successful when I first started at BCI nearly 7 years ago. The odd part is that I was the youngest employee. In fact, I was the *only* employee under the age of 21 from the day I started on April 29, 1998 until my birthday on January 24, 1999. I was a bouncy red-head without anything to go home to at the end of the day, so they liked the fact that I would always be willing to work late - sometimes until 10 o'clock at night! This attitude and maturity honored me with 4 promotions in 5 1/2 years before I left the company in order to fully focus on my studies. Likewise, being a bit older in school has awarded me with the ability to befriend my professors in an honest manner (as opposed to a brown-nosing manner). To discuss politics, or psychology over a cup of coffee, or have them view me as one of the few people in the class who can help them out, or who they can recommend articles to simply because they know it would interest me has been thrilling. Looking back, I wouldn't trade it for the world - even if it does make me feel a tad old.

In only 6 months and 13 days I'll officially be closer to 30 than I am to 25. I suppose you're truly only as old as you feel. In that respect, I guess I'll keep plugging along but I'm going to reserve the right to do what my stepfather does: turn 29 on every birthday! :)

Ms. V

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

Having been where you are now not too long ago myself I understand how you feel.

I also remember having a particular resistence to turning 25. I kept asking my friends and then girlfriend if I could just stay 24 for an extra year and skip to 26 on my next birthday.

As 30 creeps closer and closer it grows into a larger and larger bitter pill to swallow. The good thing is, that after we hit the big "3-0" things start to turn around insofar as... it's not near as big a deal once we're there as it is getting to there.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that turning 30 is a much more bitter pill to swallow than actually being 30.

I hope my over-30 friends are right about that. They have the wisdom of hindsight and experience on their side so I am kind of looking forward to getting this "turning 30" thing over with so it won't bother me so much.

I get the vibe you're paddlin' in the same boat.