A friend posted today on one of my favorite topics - which decade is "better" age-wise, the roaring twenties, or stable thirties?
It's a good piece and immediately begs the question "what does better actually mean"?
I will tell you that I am happier and more fulfilled now than I have ever been, but I can't put my finger on exactly why I would refer to this decade as better.
Evie, the author, points out the seemingly obvious trade offs. As a paraphrased example, feeling truly and desperately alone after a breakup in your twenties versus rarely enjoying five peaceful minutes of alone time in a locked bathroom when you have little kids, for example.
When I think of who I was, personally and professionally, in my twenties, juxtaposed against the person I am now, I have no sense of regret. I always live my life as fully and honestly as I can. I make decisions and I don't look back. If I make a mistake, I convince myself it was a necessary and teachable moment. I move on.
Evie makes a point about wanting to pull back some personal time and it's not lost on me.
My biggest issue with the current decade is that with little kids, there aren't enough hours in the day to do what I want, and so I am forced to compromise with my own wants and needs. I like projects - writing, entertaining, discussing politics and other things that really don't matter for endless hours over too much wine ...
Still, you couldn't pay me to be 24 again. Have you seen Girls? The slightly more realistic Sex and the City type show about twentysomethings in NYC attempting to live the dream?
It's taken me the better part of the last decade to resolve my inner Carrie Bradshaw. I find Girls to be an hilarious expose on why being a woman in her twenties is comically and emotionally BRUTAL - even if you're pretty and popular and smart and thin. Or ... not so much. Lena Dunham is a real-life genius so definitely tune in to season two later this month if you are so inclined.
I love the 36 year-old me more than any other me. I'm not as hot as I used to be (working on that), but I'm smarter, happier and have more money and more responsibilties in all areas of my life, than I did in my twenties.
A lot of pain and growth went into the last decade and I wrote about it so I can remember it all one day. Here are my thoughts:
I love my life and I sincerely hope I feel exactly the same way when I turn 40 three years and five months from now. And, I hope I'm still enthusiastically inclined to tell you about it.