Middle 30s

I've been getting Dressbarn emails. I'm powerless against Bath and Body Works hand soaps. Hangovers feel like a medical emergency. And by "hangover" I mean the repercussions of drinking up to 3 oz of any alcoholic beverage after 9pm. Diagnosis: you 30, boo. It'll pass in 2-4 calendar days. Speaking of 9pm, that's the top end of my bedtime. The back cracks and knee pops that sound like gunfire pair perfectly with my non-true crime shows and probiotic infused tea. Tolerance for inauthentic anything and small talk: non-existent. Tolerance for eating leftovers so I don't have to cook more than twice a week: off the charts high. You know, standard 30s stuff. But what I wasn't prepared for as I turn 35 next month, is what feels like an existential crisis. That sounds a bit dramatic for what this is but it's the closest I can think to describe how I'm feeling.

 

2 years old introvert ready for her cake  

 It's not that I'm sad about turning 35. In fact, ever since I turned 25, I'm shocked I didn't die in the preceding 365.25 days! Kindly refer to my last post to give some insight into this. Hear me y'all, when old church folk say "He woke me up this morning and started me on my way," that's real to me. To live a whoooole 30 plus years? Friends, I'm pleasantly surprised and grateful every year! But this turning 35 made me realize that I could actually be halfway through my life and that's IF I live to see 70 years. The point is, no matter how many years I will get, I'm getting closer to the end of my life. We can all agree on that. And that's fine. I'm cool with that. I found an email from 2014 I sent to my mother-in-law about which funeral home to use in case of my death. Guys, I recently watched my husband agonize a few days to decide on an air fryer. I'm sure as hell not gonna leave that poor man to choose where to cremate me. Please believe he has an updated email in his inbox I sent last year. Trust me, I've come to terms with that for a while which is precisely why I was taken aback by these feelings of...uncertainty.

4 years old, cheese in hand, cake at the ready

So here I am, almost 35 years old, and I'm in full life re-evaluation mode. Mind you, I'm in a night dress,  yesterday's sweatpants, robe, my husband's socks and hair looking like I don't even know what. There's much to reflect upon starting with how I dress. I'm at the point in my life where I'm wondering what's next? I've lived the beginning, I've planned the end as much as one can (more on this in another post!) but what's in the middle? What does 35 to 55 look like now that the degrees have been earned, the children have been birthed, a career has been experienced and I've recently re-watched the Twilight series? What  now?! And I realize the answer may simply be: this is it. I just stay the course. But what if it's time to shake things up, do something different? And what a privilege to even be able to entertain these thoughts. That's not lost on me.  I'm not dissatisfied with my life or anything of the sort. I'm blessed and I know it. I just want to be intentional about how I live the rest of what I'm allotted.  

 

5 years old and we've narrowed it down to the essentials of cake and a bottle of Papillon

There's nothing magical about 35, it just so happens that 35 coincides with a time in my life when I can really stop to think about this next phase of who I want to be and things I want to do. Pre-35 Nia did her thing, super proud of her. She kept up with her friends, had excellent boundaries and tried to learn about people different from her to become a more empathetic human being. Most significantly, she attended her first Celine Dion concert. But can she be better? Probably. Okay fine, definitely. I want to be more disciplined with food. I want to be bolder instead of panicking every time I speak or write. I want to find brassieres that actually fit. While those things will take serious work and supernatural intervention (re: the brassieres) there are practical things I can now do. For instance I have a "post-baby" list on my phone with 3 items on it: bone marrow donor, kidney donor and general organ donor. I'm in the process of getting on the bone marrow registry through Be The Match. I had that on hold until after babies but now I can actually act on that (yes, all these things have been discussed with my husband). Muffins, I also have a "Prison" list before you start thinking I'm a saint. And yes, "good lotion" is on that list as well as on my living will. I refuse to be ashy! My point is, I like to plan for the future and now the future is my present. It's a weird place to be. A weird and good place. I'm glad to be here. We all know someone who didn't make it to our age. I'm not about to gripe about getting older...lies, I save that for my friends. But seriously, I try to not complain about it. 

 

30 years old

I'm sharing these thoughts because, as much as I talk about death, I am equally passionate about living. That's part of why I care so much about end-of-life planning - it's pivotal to living my best life now. But that's just me. If you've never taken time to assess the rest of your life, perhaps you should. At any age/stage. Pay attention to those moments that may feel like internal tension, like something new could happen. An existential crisis can be a positive thing. A moment when you can change course and paths. Where you can do an intentional life assessment. Is it time for a career change? To ask him/her to marry you? To exit a relationship? To work on your end-of-life affairs? Read a book or watch a film about a different culture? Or, like me, you may start the journey to waxing your own eyebrows. It doesn't have to be deep, y'all. So here I go with my face serums that span the alphabet and new wax pot, looking forward to this next part of my life. Let's raise our 2.9 oz of single malt scotch at 2pm to turning 35! Cheers!


34 years old. Photo by EffJay Photography


Comments

  1. Such a good read Nia, I felt similarly as I approached my 35th birthday... Happy birthday when it comes........Tanya Williams(Hampton class of 2002)

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    1. Thank you, Tanya (form captain :)). I appreciate you reading and your comment.

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  2. Girl! Eeekkkk! You hit the nail girl! Bang.

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