Today I turn 30. Gosh, that sounds kind of old, doesn’t it? At 20, it sounded so far away. Being 30 means you’re done with college, in a career, probably married, own a house, and maybe even have a kid or two. It means you’re a “real” adult now.
Well, guess what? I have most of those things. I graduated from college in 2011 after making mistakes that prevented me from graduating on time. I was rejected from the credential program and had to get in through taking the CSET (yes, that hard test). Luckily, I passed on the first try. 🙂
I’m a music teacher. In fact, I teach middle school music. I know, I know–what am I thinking? Who on earth would want to teach middle schoolers? What happened to the plan to teach high school? Student teaching happened, and I discovered a love for the weird creatures that are middle school students. I can’t believe it either. That job helped you buy a new car in your first year! You’ve moved up to the middle class–yes, you have $30,000 in student loan debt, but you made it.
I’m married to one of the old brothers from KKPsi. You won’t meet him for a few years, but he’s worth waiting for. Yes, you’ll think you’re interested in somebody else next year, but he’ll abuse your friendship and kind heart, use you as a girlfriend figure without the relationship, and ultimately he’ll tell you that he’s not into women in the first place. That’s okay. Don’t get caught up over it.
I’ve owned a house for a little over a year now. It’s pretty cool to have one. I even have two dogs! They’re wonderful little guys (yes, they’re smallish-medium dogs but you’ll love them) and they make our home a wonderful place.
You don’t have any kids, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Honestly, get in shape now if you can. Don’t wait until you’re my age to try to get in shape. It’s harder now than it was when I was your age. But you still have hope that you’ll figure it out someday soon.
Things aren’t all positive, though.
Next year, you’ll get into a car accident that totals the Beetle. It sucked, and it really made you anxious about being in a car. You’ll still have anxiety about it sometimes at 30. Ryan totals his car and ends up in a coma for five weeks.
Daddy dies and leaves you a wreck. You’ve lost a parent, and that realization hits you hard. It’s worse when the county doesn’t let you have a proper burial and buries him in a numbered slot somewhere in Riverside County. I have no clue where he is and may never know.
You get a job at the new Apple store opening in the mall. Wayne (in Arkansas) dies and you go back to his funeral. Aunt Wanda dies two months later. With the stress of work and school combined with all of this grief, you have a hard time functioning. You think about ending it. It’s all too much to handle. Luckily, a friend gets you into therapy and you learn to cope with the stress. You get a chinchilla and name him Chalupa. You still have him at 30 and he’s pretty awesome. 🙂
That year screws up your college plans a bit, but you do push through and you end up finishing school. Mom has gastric bypass done as a last-ditch measure to get the weight to come off and to stop the T2 diabetes from killing her. The neuropathy is taking over her feet and she can’t stand it anymore. The surgery was botched, leaving her extremely ill after it was all over. For years, you worry that she could die any day despite being at her lowest weight in decades. Her kidneys fail. She finds herself facing congestive heart failure in 2015. It’s not a good situation.
But…you meet your future husband at a party in 2009 and hit it off. You get fired from your job after 58 months for what you feel is an unfair and unjust reason in 2012, but it gives you time to do your student teaching. You love your student teaching placements out in Sanger and fall in love with middle school kids. You get married and have a wonderful honeymoon in Hawaii and at Disneyland.
Things go well…and then Mom dies in January of 2016. It’s so hard to handle, but you are working hard to deal with the loss. It was a surprise–she was recovering from surgery after falling and hitting her head and next thing I knew, she had a severe infection and total organ failure. Between Thursday and Monday, she went from talking to not waking up to her heart stopping. You didn’t have to pull the plug. You didn’t have to make the decision. Please know that. Her heart stopped on its own before you could make that decision. She was looking out for you and made sure you didn’t have to do something you’d regret for life.
Do I have regrets? Oh, yes. I wish I took the time to appreciate what I had in my twenties. I regret letting anxiety dictate how I lived my life. I regret not being close enough to my parents. I regret not losing weight and taking care of myself. I regret not asserting myself and making my voice heard more often. If I could go back, I’d change those things. If I could tell you to change anything, it would be those things.
It sounds like things are rough for me now, and maybe they seem like they are to you. Just know that you come out so much stronger than you ever thought you could be. You are more adequately prepared for adult life than you thought you were. Always keep dreaming, always keep pushing forward. You can make it through everything even when it seems like the world’s going to come crashing down. You are so strong and resilient. You are intelligent. You can be and do anything you set your mind to.
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- Review: Own It by Sallie Krawcheck (B4B) - April 9, 2017
- My favorite quote - March 1, 2017
- 17 for 2017 - February 22, 2017
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- About Blogging for Books - February 12, 2017