Is thirty-six old?
I don't think it is, but I'm noticing friends seeming to think it is. Today, I posted on Facebook that it's been 30 years since my first piano lesson (which is true, and completely awesome-weird). Someone responded, "You just dated yourself!"
...Okay? I mean, if you are friends with me, you likely know that I am thirty-six years old, about two months shy of my thirty-seventh birthday. I suppose you could say I'm "pushing forty," even. It seems that a lot of my peers of the same age are dreading this "getting old" stuff, but I have never felt better.
Of course, a lot of this is because I spent the first half of my thirties losing a substantial amount of weight and my mid-thirties crushing my own life-long ideas of who and what I am. "I'm not a runner!" Oh, yeah? Run a couple of half marathons, then. "I will never teach high school again!" Hahahaha, two years and I absolutely loved it and hate to leave it.
I was excited to turn thirty. I spent most of my twenties feeling like no one took me seriously. "Oh, you're just a young thing," my older acquaintances would coo at me. (Or, even worse, "You're just a baby!") It didn't matter that I spent my 20s having adventures like a semester in London to start, and a year living/teaching in England in the middle. Or that I graduated from college, established a teaching career. I was still a baby. When I hit thirty, I felt like people finally noticed that hey, I'm a grown-up.
Yet, I don't feel old, in any way. I feel like I'm in a really prime part of my life, and if my ovaries are at that point where they're reminding me that should I ever decide I want to produce offspring of my own, I've gotta watch the clock, I'm also not feeling like I've got some imperative forcing me to act now before they shrivel up.
On the earlier-mentioned Facebook status, another friend told me I don't look a day over 29. Well, thank you, that's lovely, and it's true that people are often surprised (especially post-weight-loss) to find out I am, in fact, thirty-six. I chuckle and think, "Oh, good, those lines around my eyes aren't that noticeable, then," and it's true that I dress "younger" than my age, if you follow fashion blogs that advise women to refrain from wearing leggings after their 30th birthday. Which I don't, because I wear what I want. You can peel my leggings off my cold, dead legs. And my skinny jeans.
Really, age is just a number. How many trips 'round the sun have I taken? Almost 37 of 'em. And it's been fun. I hope for many more, and I hope that each one is just as enjoyable and challenging and full of learning as all the previous ones. I don't want to sit here and worry about the years passing by, and what it means for my life. I have far too many other things to accomplish.
So here's to being young at heart, and being taken seriously. Here's to being healthier now than I was ten years ago. And best of all, here's to being a lot wiser. ; )