When I was a kid I thought there was this magic moment when you kind of went “poof” and turned into an adult. I thought your mindset changed and you instantly knew how to do things like pay bills and invest in stocks and bake gourmet dinners. And you knew how to take care of a family and plan vacations and you’d go to your dream job every day and come home to your perfect little house with your perfect little family.
It was a naive notion and if I told that little kid that at 31, almost 32, she hadn’t hit “poof” yet, I bet she’d be quite surprised.
Of course we know that “poof” doesn’t exist. It’s more like “steam.” We gradually rise from childhood into “adulthood.” Although I’m not really sure what that means.
I’ve grown and matured. I understand how to do adult tasks. I have a husband and a child. I work every day (dream job part did come true) and I guess by all society’s standards, I’m a well-functioning adult.
But I’ve never really felt my age. I still have the same crazy imagination and need for fun than I did at 13 or 18. I still worry about really dumb stuff. I still need to call my mom when I have a question. I still feel like I’m playing dress up sometimes. I still watch shows geared towards a younger demographic on TV and still relate to it all.
I always told myself that no matter how old I got, I’d never get too old for parties and fun and general rowdiness.
Of course those parties look a bit different from they used to, and my friends and I cannot believe what we thought was ok to post online back in those days. But I’ve still never really felt 31. Until a few days ago…
My husband and I were going to be hosting a little get together for St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday always celebrated in our household, and we were looking for some green attire.
Back in the day, you could find me in any number of get ups from giant green and white striped hats, to feather boas, and green hot pants, but I was just looking for a shirt this year.
We went to Spencer’s, at our mall, because they always have a lot of fun novelty shirts. They had a big selection and a really cute, perfectly sized tank top that said “Let’s Get Sham-wrecked.” Now a few years ago, pre kiddo and all, I wouldn’t have thought twice about buying that shirt. I would have totally bought it. But good old 31 crept up and I thought to myself, “You cannot possibly wear that, you are far too old. What if someone posts a picture of you and one of your clients sees it? Or one of Cenzo’s therapists? (Told you, I worry about dumb stuff. Honestly most of my clients would laugh and love it).
As I was looking over the shirt, caressing the awesome criss-cross shoelace detail in the back, I noticed a few teenage boys come in. They were looking at me like I was their principal and I swear kinda snickering. I was instantly embarrassed, like I had to get out of this store. My husband and son were perusing in the back, and I had to walk past the teenagers to get to them. I accidentally bumped into one of them as I was getting through the aisle way and when I apologized, he said, “It’s cool, lady.”
I feel like lady equals old in this exchange. I then became intensely aware that everyone around me looked super young, even the people working, and I kinda nodded at my husband and did the big eye thing, like, “Hey let’s get outta here.”
I know I was probably making all of this up in my head and no one was looking at me weird, and lady might be the coolest thing going to call a girl these days. But at that moment, I kinda went “poof.”
Even though I will always party and have a good time, (and let me tell you, our St. Paddy’s party this year was off the hook! Is that still cool to say? LOL) I know I’m in my 30s. I get it and I embrace it.
The day after our party, after a few hours of clean-up, and spraying lots of air freshener to remove the stale beer smell lingering in the house, we picked up our son and went to breakfast as a family.
At one moment during a break in the party recap chat, my husband and I looked at each other across the table and smiled. We both knew what it meant. We love the parties and the friends and the wild times. But there was nowhere we would have rather been in that moment, than right there, just the three of us, enjoying Sunday Brunch.
Cheers to the “poof!”
You hit it on the head here! 🙂 I’m feeling that anxiousness/worry with you about age…but doesn’t seem like there are still people around you that are the same age and don’t have those worries?
Yes, Zach! I envy them. Thanks for reading and sharing! 😄
Oh Tara, this is so good! I enjoyed this. The poof is ongoing. Each decade seems to bring another poof.
Thank you so much, Karen!! You are so right.