August is for me a good time to reflect. Once up on a time it meant Back to School, signaling the beginning of another year in a time when we measured that passing of time by what grade we’re starting. Those years have taught me to sense in my bones that it’s nearly the end of summer.
Now August means that I’m about to click off another year. It’s still the marker that another year has passed. But now it doesn’t mean that there’s one less year til I graduate, or one less year til I have to figure out how to make it on my own. Now I’m simply being propelled through Life, which since I was a kid I was always looking forward to getting to. It has taken me a while to understand that it’s here.
This morning I read an article in Shape about what foods to eat in your 20s, 30s and 40s. And it hit me with the force of a Nebraska summer thunderstorm that this is it: in two weeks, my 20s are officially over. That time allotted for defining myself, for figuring out what I want in life, for trial and error in personal and professional development – done. Or at least it feels like it should be by the time I turn 30. No pressure.
The strange thing is, I feel like I’m there. Maybe it’s the result of the good and bad of the past year (I started to list those things, but I didn’t like how much more of the bad stuff that’s there). Or it’s accepting that we’ve been in one place for 5 years and feeling like we’ve got a good hold on what our life is. Or it’s anticipating the arrival of our first child in November and wanting to have it all figured out so that I can be a good mother to our son. Perhaps its simply having endured my 20s. Or understanding how much I’ve grown over the past decade.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I feel old. I might just say that I feel like I’ve finally grown into myself. That contentment still feels foreign.