Practice my "s"s to mimic Stacey's? I don't know what the hell you're talking about.
There are a ton of details I recall about it, details such as "minutiae of Claudia's outfits" (which, among others, probably take up valuable space where "parallel parking skills" and "the '12' multiplication table" should reside), but there's one specific thing I remember above all else: I distinctly recall reading about how they were in seventh (and then eighth) grade, and thinking, "man. Seventh grade. SEVENTH GRADE. That's SO GROWN UP." I held it up in my mind as the avatar of (young) adulthood.
Suddenly, I found myself IN seventh grade, and realized that -- unlike Claudia's fetching striped legging and spatter-painted parrot shirt combo -- it wasn't as sophisticated as I had imagined it to be. I pressed on, with 20 as the new bar of maturity, and soon enough found myself there, making incredibly unwise decisions, often involving amaretto. Also, public cry-fights. "Well, 30, then," I told myself. That's when you're really a grown-up."
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I know there's been a lot of talk lately about life lists, and -- without any judgment whatsoever about your feelings on the subject -- I have to say it's not for me. It's ironic, considering I spend untold hours writing and rewriting To-Do lists, even doing the ol' add-already-completed-item-to-list-for-express-purpose-of-crossing-it-off, but the thought of compiling a full-on list of what I want to accomplish in my life makes me (me) feel squicky. Had I written one in seventh grade, about what future me was to accomplish, it likely would've involved the Olympics (I was a gymnast), and becoming a --wait for it -- ROLLER COASTER DESIGNER.
Had I written it at 20, it would have involved law school, staying in NYC proper, and pursuing the decidedly wrong person for me. I had no plan for where I ended up, and no blueprint for what I consider to be a good, fulfilling life. It's not to say I don't make proactive choices; it's just that I can't see myself jotting down my wishes, because honestly, I'm not so sure we (I) always want what we (I) say and think we (I) want. I -- as a lot of people do -- made a series of decisions in my early twenties (some excellent, some not-so-excellent, and some likely inconsequential), that somehow led me to here: a successful career in a field that I never would've considered earlier in life, living in a town I never would've thought I'd live in, a fantastic marriage to a man who is unequivocally the right person for me, and two amazing kids who inspire me, challenge me, and constantly teach me how to be a better mom. It's my life, and while it's not the life I imagined, or would've plotted out on a list, it's absolutely the life I want, and am so thankful to have.
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Today I turn 30, and as it turns out, once again, I was wrong about this age being the one where you feel like a grown-up. I still feel like me. I have no idea what the next decades hold for me, but I now know enough to know that I'll probably never feel Like A Grown Up. The older I get, the more I realize I don't know. What I do know, though, is to just enjoy it as it comes, sans bullet-pointed blueprint, and to simply be grateful for all the good that's in my life.
And I am.