From the age of 22 until age 27 I told people I was 27. I had a high-level, high-pressure job, a husband and child for most of those years and felt that 27 was a more socially accepted age at which a person acquired these traits. When I actually turned 27 and had to start aging again I was taken aback at the idea of growing older. Owning my age, choosing it, seemed so much more dignified than letting the earth’s rotation dictate the number.
My saving grace for getting older was that right around my 27th birthday I found out that Ninja boy was alive and kicking (presumably kicking, he was the size of a baby carrot). When I was around age 8, playing with my Barbie dolls and developing their life stories, I always had my girls graduating from college at age 21, getting married at age 23, having a child at age 25 and their second at age 27. Ninja would be the final piece of the Barbie Dream House puzzle – I would have the exact life-cycle (albeit not perky breast size or ski chalet) of my dream life. For that, getting older seemed like the perfect thing to start doing again.
Yesterday was a quiet yet perfect entry into my 32nd year of life. My husband and I had a meeting at our children’s new independent school. Knowing they will be going to a Waldorf School where their childhoods will be celebrated filled me with extreme joy. I went into work to find my office full of balloons and a banana cake (my favorite) from a local baker waiting for me.
After work I walked into my home for the best surprise of all. For eight years, for every holiday, I have told my loving husband that all I want is a clean house that I do not have any part in cleaning and dinner waiting for me. For the first time in all the years I have asked for it my dreams came true. My house was spotless and our dinner was made before I arrived.
My life, my age and my expectations for myself are fully synced now. I like being in my thirties, like having my children in school, having a marriage with some distance already etched into its story, having a career with two branches and a life with multiple purposes. I think the 8-year-old me, playing with Barbie dolls and wondering how to fit as much awesome into life as possible, would have been really excited to see where the story arc went at age 32.