Lately I’ve heard much talk about how wonderful 30 is. How once we reach this brilliant age, all of the insecurities of our 20s will flit away as though never having been there in the first place. A newfound confidence will wash over us and we will walk with that 30-something bounce that makes all of the awkward 20-year-olds green with envy.
I will soon be the ripe age of 29 — my very last year as a 20-something.
And all I can think about is how much evolving I still have to do before I get to that awesomely self-assured lady of 30 I’ve been hearing so much about these days. I am nowhere near that person that everyone says I will miraculously become once hitting this very specific and very conceivable age.
Many times, I feel less like that person than I did when I was a weirdo teenager with no purpose on this earth other than terrorizing my brother and striking unabashed fear into the souls of my blameless parents. At least then I was comfortable in my skin. I was me. Plain and simple. And how beautifully simple it was. How easy it was!
Now on any given day I can wake up being a different Lindsay.
Most days I wake up as Mom. I groggily get out of bed swearing under my breath about tiredness and etcetera. I pour cereal and more times than not change a set of peed-on sheets before the sun rises. I make lunches and walk kids to school in below-freezing temperatures — coffee mug in hand. I plan play dates. I try to decipher what my lispy four year old is saying without hurting her feelings.
I end my days as Mom and I feel good. I’ve helped. I’ve assisted. I continue to do my part to raise this upcoming generation with love, intelligence and compassion. And at end of the day that is a wonderful feeling.
I wake up some mornings with the sunshine glistening through the cracks of our heavily draped window. I see my husband’s nose wrinkle in just the way I have learned it does when his deep sleep is disturbed by morning daylight. These mornings, I am Wife. I will gently kiss his clammy sleep-sweaty forehead to wake him for work and as he rouses, I will pour him a coffee in his favourite mug. I will send him to work and wait for his arrival home that evening expectantly.
I listen to his woes and support him in his decisions. We will make inside jokes and talk quietly about our budding life over wine, mussels and blue cheese on Ritz crackers. We will imagine the future and make plans for what’s to come.
We play fight. We real argue. We understand we are opposites but appreciate each other’s ideals.
And I will love him, because I chose him and he chose me and together we created two beautiful little human beings.
It is these days that I am reaffirmed that I am doing things right. I am doing what I was meant to do.
Other days I wake up with artful words plucking at my fingertips – waiting for that pivotal moment of release. These days I am Writer. These are the days I am invincible.
Some days I wake up and immediately am deemed Friend – I can be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent at. Or maybe simply just a friend to chatter with.
I am Daughter. I am Sister. I am Confidant. I am Secret Keeper. I am Gossiper. I am Feminist. I am Peacekeeper. I am Trouble Maker.
And with so many different personas that I take on daily, I can feel myself being pulled in 50 different directions.
There are days when I wake up wondering which Lindsay will be called upon first and I am overwhelmed by the possibilities. I find the idea of coming into one’s own a difficult to process.
It feels like now more than ever I am a hundred different women just trying to get through the day without falling over that proverbial edge of insanity. Because, god forbid, we offend the guidelines of what women of a certain age should behave like.
So yes, here I am in my bed typing away, currently indulging in my role as Writer. Maybe I will always be more than one woman. Maybe I will always find myself pondering the mysteries of womanhood and life in general. And possibly that’s OK, too.
Maybe it’s not about blindly listening to what we should be feeling by 30 but instead accepting the realities of who we truly are and embracing that to the absolute fullest.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.