12 January 2014

This is Really Going to Suck, Isn't It?

My husband and I moved two weeks ago. During the move, I twisted my knee on the stairs (I'm ridiculously out of shape). Then, two days later, I got a cool trip to the ER on New Year's Day to deal with four badly burned finger tips. This was quickly followed by the absurdity that was the "polar vortex, which forced school to be cancelled for two days because the wind chills hovered around -60 degrees, prompting my car to go completely dead. Add to all this endless problems with our cable/internet/phone company, the financial strain of moving, and 30 sophomores who won't stop crabbing about the trauma that is their life (apparently), and now 2014 is about to get worse.

Because tomorrow, I turn 30.

I recognize 30 "is just a number" and that the "only alternative to getting older is death" (that gem comes from my uncle), but it's a sucky number, and I feel as though there should be other alternatives, so I'm still going to complain. Cuz that's how I roll.

I'm an adult. But 30 is real adult. Thirty is a new decade, one that doesn't include nights at the bar or binge-drinking with roommates. (Okay... it might for a certain kind of 30 year old, but let's ignore that for now). It's solidly in the middle of life. When someone hears that you're 30, they don't say, "Oh wow, you're so young!" Now they say, "Wow, you look really young for 30!" And while that's better than looking old, the subtext of the observation is, "Wow, 30 is old, and you don't look that old!"

Yet.

While I'm not okay with being 30, there is (apparently) nothing I can do about it. Seriously. I've checked. I fully intend to do some hardcore wallowing between now and tomorrow (I have exactly 12 hours left in my 20s! In true I'm-in-my-20s-style, I'm going to lay around, do nothing, and wallow in self pity about how unfair life is) But tomorrow, I'm 30, and I need to do the very thing I tell my students to do when they whine: buck up and start acting like a real person. So, I'm looking on the bright side. Er....brighter side. Uh... okay, not-quite-so-dark-as-the-rest-of-this-life-sucking-hole-of-loathing side...

Anyway, here's what I am looking forward to in my 30th year:

1. Continuing to settle in to a new home. Which looks freakin' fantastic, if I do say so myself.
2. Starting grad school and pursuing my *first* Master's degree.
3. Finally getting the pet I've been pining over for years...even if it is a cat.
4. Learning how to make fresh, homemade pasta. This year, I'm finally doing it!
5. Truly getting healthy with exercise. I don't need to lose weight, but I'd like to be able to walk up the stairs without getting winded.
6. Really start working on my Italian. I don't care if it's an app on my iPhone, it works!
7. Starting the saving process for our trip to Rome, my Master's degree graduation present.
8. My job. Because despite all the things I gripe about, it brings me so much joy.
9. Summer with my sister and nieces. July is the highlight of my year because of them.
10. Getting back to one of my first love--writing. Even if no one else ever reads it.

So...bring it 30. I don't have to like it, but since everyone insists there is no life-sustaining alternative to aging, I'll accept it. Besides, I think once I've admitted that "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" on NPR is the highlight of my week, I can't really pretend I belong in my 20s anymore.

But let's be clear. For the next 12 hours... I'm 29.