Lessons learned from turning thirty-four:
- You are deep in adult-land now. This means your potluck dinner party will be better, because people will bring actual food.
- You are deep in adult-land now. This means your potluck dinner party will be worse, because everyone will pass out when the clock strikes ten.
- Blood is thicker than water. But sometimes water can turn into blood, and blood can temporarily stop flowing. Family ties are cut and rebuilt. Friends drop the ball and other friends move in to pick up the slack. This constant ebb and flow is part of life, and your best bet is to go with it. You can do your best to be honest with your emotions and boundaries. You can make a distinction between the people filling your life, and the people who make you want to live it more. But even if you know exactly who you’d like to keep close, you can’t control things on their end, nor are those things always related to you. People really do come and go.
At the end of the day, if you put a big long table in your living room…the people sitting down to eat, drink, talk and laugh with you are your real friends. They’re a precious commodity. Keep them well fed, and they might stick around.
- On that note: In your twenties it’s okay to resent your family or friends and make space to find yourself. Your thirties seem like a good time to make peace again. With them, maybe, but more so with yourself. Residual bitterness is yours alone to carry, and yours alone to let go. That’s what being an adult means: no longer relying on anyone else to be responsible for your emotions. It’s scary, I know. But if you manage it, you’re truly on the path to happiness.
- The older you get, the more important it is to keep your mind and heart open. Always try to disagree with your own opinion at least once. You might learn something. Also, it’s fun, and people will find you enigmatic. Or hilarious, depending on how well they know you.
- Age is nothing but a number. As long as your fifty-nine-year-old friend, who was just talking to your thirty-six-year-old boyfriend and your twenty-three-year-old half sister, bakes you apple pies with smiley faces on them, you’re doing something right.
My fabulous mom with her ‘lump’ of a daughter,
as she lovingly called me:).
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