Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 25 of 365: No Pressure

I turn 27 in a little under 3 weeks.

It's a random age -- it certainly does not fit into our love towards the multiples of 5 and 10 -- but I can't help but trip out about it. It's not a bad tripping out, per se, but it's a type of tripping-out that would make all the acid and 'shrooms blush.

I remember having an existential panic at 20. The realization that I wasn't a teenager anymore threw me for a loop and I went through what only can be described as an early quarter-life crisis. Realizing that everything I did would impact the rest of my life had me doubting every little turn I made. As a result, I was worried about how I'd react to 25. My twenty-fifth birthday came and went and I found myself reacting in a completely different way.

Instead of throwing me into a tailspin of doubt and anxiety, turning 25 gave me a confidence boost. I looked back on the past 25 years and knew I was on the right track. I had graduated college summa cuma laude. I was certified to teach in one state and working on my credentials in another. I was unemployed a grand total of a month between moves, and was starting to get the swing of things as a substitute teacher. I had written my first manuscript and was in the thick of agency-hunting. I was learning yoga and tai chi and even a little ice hockey. I was married to the one guy who could complement my crazies and keep me center. If anything, 25 solidified that I was going about my life in the right way.

I'm thankfully not having a repeat of turning 20, but I am still having a moment of realization. Maybe it's because 27 means you're in your "late 20s", when, truth be told, I don't feel a day over 23. Maybe it's because I went through so much change in a few months.

Or maybe it's because I'm closer to trying to start a family than I am to how old I was when I got married.

The on-going joke with my in-laws is "no pressure". It started off as an innocent comment: my mother-in-law joking that, "I don't want you to feel pressured, but when you are ready to have kids, we certainly are ready to be grandparents." That night, my aunt-in-law made a comment about when I have a baby (since Isaac and I were the only pair out of the group of cousins who are married at that time). She stopped what she was saying, turned to me, and said, "No pressure, though!" Which sent in immediate in-law family into a round of laughter.

The joke has evolved to the point that all my sister-in-law has to do is type "#" in a comment or text (which is short for #nopressure). The joke has taken on a life of its own, which I take in stride, since I'm not actually being pressured to have kids.

I always imagined starting a family at 28. The older I get, the more that age bumps up to 29, but even then -- that's barely 2 years away. In fact, if you factor in trying for a kid (and not magically getting it on the first try), that's only a year away. Even if I wait until I turn 29 to even attempt, it's still a shorter amount of time between now and then (2 years, 3 weeks), than between my marriage and now (2 years, 3 months).

If there is anything I've learned about growing up, it's that none of us actually grow up. We just look around and go, "Well, guess I'm an adult now," and act accordingly. There's still so much to get done before motherhood (including, ideally, a half marathon and two marathons, but my knees are begging to differ), but it's going to come before I know it.

No pressure, of course.

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