Long long ago (like, almost a full decade), in a land far away (Chapel Hill), on a blog long forgotten (my old Livejournal) I posted this gem:
Wow, I'm twenty. 20. Wow. Freaky.
Yes, much younger me. Twenty WAS freaky, wasn't it? New decades are always freaky. Sometime between 11:59pm June 28th and 12 midnight June 29th in 2002 I entered my 20's and became a twenty something. Freaky.
The twenties covers a pretty wide array of potential experiences. For some, it's getting a job, working your way up the corporate ladder, traveling the world, non stop parties, finding yourself, shopping too much, drinking too much, trying on different possible futures, dating, separating from friends, separating from family, growing closer to friends and family, moving a lot, growing and learning and discovering and finally having your life as your own, finally having control over who you are and where you want to be.
So what did I do during my 20's?
Well, honestly, not that much.
Oh, sure, I finished college and worked a bit, but neither of those really held my interest. I don't really have lofty goals, I'm more of an "enjoy every day" kind of person. I only got drunk like 3 times and didn't enjoy it, don't like clubs or parties or entertaining really, and I've never been all that into fashion or trying on new hats. Sure I dated, but just the one guy and I kinda married him. Moved for sensible reasons only, started our family young, and have been happily living the SAHM life ever since.
Some days, when thinking about that huge birthday I have coming up, like, tomorrow, I've wondered if I wasted my 20's.
Should I have backpacked across New Zealand? Should I have helped run an orphanage in Haiti for a year or two? Should I have studied abroad, spent time in New York City, colored my hair, dated around?
The twenties are, in our society, your "selfish" time before settling down. I know that. I knew it then. But I didn't want that.
I could tell before our first date (before I turned 20) that if Nik and I got together, we'd likely just stay together. We're too lazy for lots of drama :) And I knew I wanted children, and that I wasn't really ambitious about any career path. Sure, I could commit myself to something and stick with it if I had to but really I just wanted to have kids and be with them, and figure out any future careers later with more life experience and exposure.
It's not like my twenties went exactly how I'd planned, nor would I want it too. Had it gone how I'd planned it, we would have two children through birth and be living in our little town home saving money planning to adopt in a few years once those kids grew up a bit more. We would travel more, which sounds nice, but really can be a pain in the bum with small kids. Oh, and I'd homeschool. Not that there's anything wrong with that dream, but I'm very happy with where life is and where it's going and really, I can't imagine it any other way. I can't imagine other kids, I can't imagine living in that little town house, I can't imagine traveling so much, I can't imagine homeschooling even if only because P and I really enjoy his school and the people we've met through it.
Likewise, I can't imagine having spent my 20's any other way than how I have. Sure, I have little regrets here and there. Wish we'd joined a gym sooner, wish I had learned to garden earlier, wish we'd repaired this thing first instead of that, but nothing major. And for that, I am extremely, extremely blessed.
Several months ago, after my 29th birthday, I began stressing. It felt like SOMETHING was missing, something wasn't right, and it had to be right by my 30th birthday. Something had to happen by then. When I finally put my finger on it, it stunned me.
I wanted to have experienced pregnancy by my 30th birthday.
But when it came to our infertility, I was never all that bothered because I was so young, in my twenties, and we had time to choose and try procedures if we wanted to. We wouldn't really worry about IUI or IVF or anything until after I entered my 30's. And suddenly, that end date, which had seemed oh so far away when I was 23 and first saying this, was nearing fast.
It was hard to swallow. Hard to admit that, while I was (and am) extremely happy with our life and with my two incredible sons who would not be ours if it weren't for our infertility, I still wished to become pregnant someday. And the closer I became to 30, the more I realized that it wouldn't be a "wait and see what happens" but we'd have to make a definitive choice at some point to actively pursue pregnancy if that was really ever going to be in the cards.
And then it happened. Like magic. Seriously.
I had actually spent many nights awake trying to psychoanalyze myself and get over this end date on fertility, just get over the time limit I'd set for myself, and instead of putting it behind me I, well, I actually got my wish. As frightening and bewildering as it was at the time, I actually became pregnant naturally while in my twenties.
And here I am now. A young (for more than just today) mother and wife, with a great husband who took us to lunch and two wonderful sons asleep in their beds like they should be, and a baby in my belly due exactly 4 months from today, who twists and kicks and reminds me of her presence constantly. Did you know that if a baby is delivered early at 23 weeks then they have a 50% chance of survival? That's Sunday. Sunday marks the first point of viability for this child. And for some reason, despite the birthday I have tomorrow that will bring me into another decade, that will make me a thirty something, all I can think about is her, is how this little baby is almost to the point where, should something horrible happen, she actually has a chance, and truly that makes me happier than anything else at the moment.
In those moments when I'm not thinking about her and not, finally, getting really excited about this, P pops in with plans for my birthday and so much excitement, proudly telling anyone who'll listen that his mom is almost 30 and she has his baby sister in her belly. And A just loves to sing Happy Birthday to me, or whoever, in the car. And my husband already bought me a ton of gifts, historical romance novels and an awesome U shaped body pillow. It's like, this whole happy existence thing.
So today, for the last day of my 20's, I'm not really doing anything. Just... hanging about.
Tomorrow will be more of the same, perhaps with a nicer dinner and a decaf latte.
Saturday will be a trip to the zoo where we'll all sweat buckets, then an overnight at a goat farm's Inn, because we're totally cool like that. Who needs NYC when you can stay at a goat farm in rural NC? I hear they make an awesome breakfast!
And then the celebration will be done and I'll be just another thirty something. But a young thirty something, who is totally cool and all that jazz.
Lily in a loafing barn
2 days ago