Yesterday was my 27th birthday. Because I’m in the habit of thinking of myself as the age of my upcoming birthday about four months beforehand, I’ve been thinking about 27 for a while. I realized that I was starting to get to the age where you don’t want to get older anymore, or at least you no longer feel entirely neutral about it. You know, when the saying "I'm not getting any younger" has some meaning for you.
(Before any of you say anything, I know, I know, a 27-year-old is a baby. But it feels a lot closer to 30 than 26, and 30 feels like a significant step. And yes, I know 30 is super young, too. But there’s a reason that people say they’re 29 forever.)
For a while I was feeling a little freaked out about it, but lately I’ve been feeling great about being 27. The more I think about the insecurities and uncertainties I had when I was in my earlier 20s, the less I feel a desire to be that age again. Of course, I still don’t know a ton of things, and I still have plenty of insecurities and uncertainties. But they’re not the exact same ones. Most helpfully, I know who I am better than I did before, and also who I’m not. That makes everything feel better in general.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this Shauna Niequist quote from her book Bittersweet that sums this all up pretty well:
“For a while in my early twenties I felt like I woke up a different person every day, and was constantly confused about which one, if any, was the real me. I feel more and more like myself with each passing year, for better and for worse, and you’ll find that, too. Every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin and your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom and peace and groundedness, and every year the trade will be worth it. I promise.”
It is worth it. So happy birthday to me, and to all of us.