|Me at 13 at my Bat Mitzvah.|
Seeing it in theaters as a teenager was fun, but rewatching it recently, it didn't seem like such a fantasy movie after all. I turn 30 on Saturday, and it kind of feels like I was a teenager yesterday, blinked and woke up like this.
Looking back on the past seventeen years, so many things are still the same...
- I'm still struggling with many of the same obsessive fears.
- I still want to turn to an adult for answers to like 95% of questions.
- I still doubt myself and feel like I have no idea what I'm doing basically ever.
- I still have not mastered eyeliner.
I don't feel like an adult. I'm about to be 30... shouldn't I feel more together? Shouldn't I feel more competent?
At the same time, when I talked with some 20-year-olds the other day, I felt 500 years old. It feels like being stuck in-between where I was and where I should be.
Time feels like it's racing faster than I can keep up. My mom tells me to "make the most of what your life brings" and "enjoy your life," but this is sometimes easier said than done. I'm an emotional mess a lot of the time now! I see the path to sentimental old lady: each day I feel one step closer to becoming my great grandmother who cried at greeting cards.
Getting older can make anyone existential, and with OCD and anxiety it can be especially hard not to focus on fear until it poisons the happy moments (Jennifer Scinto writes beautifully about this in an article for The Mighty). As far as goals for my 30s, I hope to find more inner peace. I hope to do a better job of actually applying suggestions from therapy even when it's hard or daunting. I hope to spend less time worrying and complaining and more time finding joy in my day-to-day.
Sometimes, when I think about my birthday, I feel overwhelmed and like crying. But, as my dad has reminded me, getting older certainly beats the alternative. For anyone freaking out about aging, I feel the most empowered when I embrace it with pride. The years of life experience have value and there's no need to shy away from them.
I've been putting off starting the gratitude journal my therapist recommended, but I know there is so much to be grateful for: I have a husband who understands and supports me. I have wonderful family and friends. Even if I can no longer drink without a hangover, I can still walk and swim and play with my puppies. So this Saturday, I hope to put on a dress and my birthday crown and smile.