I think I’ve always been an old soul. I’ve always wanted a fulfilling, meaningful life and have worked hard to achieve that. To focus on the things and people and activities that matter the most. And part of that has meant doing things different and sooner than a lot of my peers.
While people my age were still in college, I was getting married.
While people my age were living with 6 roommates, I was buying my first house.
While people my age were getting drunk at music festivals, I was trying to get pregnant.
And I liked to think that way. I liked comparing myself to my fellow twenty-somethings, thinking how much more advanced, how much more mature, how much more settled I was. I liked priding myself that I was wise beyond my years. I didn’t want to be a young adult, wasting time acting my age, spending my life and money on things that seemed futile.
But then my hopes and efforts to avoid acting my age didn’t pan out how I thought they would. My desire to be a young mom with a ton of kids began to slip through my fingers. My plan to be an anomaly in my generation by forgoing a career and staying home to feed babies, cook food and do laundry seemed to backfire. My pride began to catch up with me.
So last weekend I decided to do something a little crazy: I embraced spontaneity and just did whatever I wanted. Greg and I had tickets to see The Rocket Summer (our favorite band) last Sunday night. We dug out our old band tees from college, drank coffee at 7:30pm, waited in line at a dive venue with a bunch of college students, spent money we shouldn’t have at the merch table and sung our hearts out late into the night. It was amazing. I haven’t felt that alive in years. In fact, I felt so alive that I agreed to go to Nye’s Polonaise Room after the show at midnight. The iconic restaurant and bar was closing that night and I wanted to say that I made it there before they closed their doors for the last time. I sat in a sparkly gold booth seat and watched the amazing mix of people the place attracted and flirted with my husband and pretended that I didn’t have to be at work in approximately six hours. And on the way home we stopped at Taco Bell for a chalupa and some cinnamon twists, because we could (and because after midnight is about the only time Taco Bell tastes good). In short, I acted my age.
And at some point during the evening, when I realized how happy and free and in love I felt, I told my husband, “There’s nowhere I’d rather be than at home, sleep and shower-deprived, soothing a screaming baby right now… But this is pretty good too.”
It sounds pretty simple, but this was a big revelation for me. Even though I’m busy waiting for my miracle, waiting for God to fulfill the desires of my heart, I can enjoy my life. I can do things just for the heck of it. Even things that seem silly and take me out of my comfort zone. It’s ok act my age.
And here’s a little reminder for next week, when I begin to panic that I’m 26 and my dreams and hopes haven’t been granted yet and I still don’t have all my crap figured out yet:
It’s ok to be 26 years-old and long to be a mother. It’s ok to be 26 years-old and stay out into the middle of the night. And it’s ok to be 26 years-old and want both of these things.
So maybe it’s time to redefine what it means to act my age.