Yesterday evening, I gave a private yoga class and several amateur tarot card readings to a gaggle of 20-something gals.
The yoga took place on their rooftop at sunset. We had a panoramic view of the lake, volcanoes and green cliffs—complete with a rainbow arching across the sky for most of the practice. It was, all around, a lovely final class of 2013.
I am now 33 (and a half). Translated literally from Spanish, you would say, “I have 33 years.” My late 20s weren’t all that long ago, but it’s been a decade since the roarin’ days of my early 20s.
So, lately I’ve been hearing myself saying, “When I was your age,” when talking to millenials.
When I was their age, I partied a lot, at least compared to now. I was out and about, part of the scene, always going to bars and live music venues in downtown Austin. And I had tons of fun. But, I was also a lot more insecure, immature and egotistical—and therefore unhappier—than I am now.
Here’s a list I created of the most wonderful aspects of being in my thirties:
1. I don’t care what I’m doing on Saturday night.
My favorite weekends are the ones when I have no plans. Which are most of them. I used to be super busy, by choice, both with work and social events. Nowadays, I’m just about as free as a bird. And I love it.
2. I don’t wear makeup (or high heels).
Long ago, I wore makeup and high heels and fancy clothes. Over the years, I have gradually given it all up. Every last tube of lipstick and uncomfortable pair of shoes or pants. Not putting on makeup is part laziness, part feminism, part wanting to be au-natural.
3. I don’t shave.
For the same reasons I don’t wear makeup. I find it quite liberating. I’m lucky to have fine and lightly-colored leg hair. As for armpit hair, I figure, unless men start shaving their armpits, why should I? Luckily my husband doesn’t care.
4. I accept my body and am grateful for it.
6. I know myself better.
Through yoga, meditation and just everyday life experience, I learn more about how I work, what my triggers are, what my strengths and weaknesses are, who I am and what my purpose is. As wonderful and exciting as childhood and youth are, this is the priceless gift of age.
7. I can say “back when I was your age” to people in their 20s.
And sometimes they say, “that’s good advice.”
Honestly, I did not see this one coming. But she is here, and she’s almost a year old. It is a strange and fantastic trip, parenthood. I’m loving the experience of being married and a mom, though of course it can be incredibly challenging at times.
9. I am an agnostic flexitarian.
Throughout my twenties, I struggled a lot with my religion and my diet. I sampled many belief systems, read up on most major religions and tried to figure out what my spiritual beliefs were. I became a vegetarian at 21 and tried everything from raw veganism to secretly snatching turkey after Thanksgiving dinner.
Now, I have given up those struggles. I say yoga is my religion, not altogether facetiously. I identify as a flexitarian (mostly vegetarian, sometimes vegan, occasional carnivore).
10. I was a child of the 80s.
I played outside with the neighborhood kids. I rode my bike and made forts and played with My Little Pony, the original Nintendo and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
11. I was a teen of the 90s.
I didn’t get email until age 16 or a cell phone until age 18. There was no Facebook. There was no cyber-bullying. We went to the movies and to concerts and house parties. It was pretty great.
12. I was in my 20s in the “naughts” (2000-2009).
I was 21 when 9/11 happened. Most of my twenties were tumultuous, to put it mildly. I had a nervous breakdown and a handful of dysfunctional and difficult romantic relationships. I struggled with my career and body image.
I also had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I am grateful for my twenties; I’m also glad that they are in the past.
13. Okay, so my body is more creaky than it used to be, but I am still thrilled to be 33—and counting.
Age is a just a number. It is how many calendar years we’ve been on the planet. Wisdom comes with age, but so does physical deterioration.
I sometimes feel it in my body when I practice certain asanas. Or when I get a mild muscular injury and it takes longer to heal than it used to. I still feel vibrant and fit, but sometimes it is clear that my body is aging.
In general, the older I get, the more I can just be cool and accept the natural unfolding of life.
Today’s penultimate #reverb13 prompt: Write a list of 13 (or however many) things that are great about being your current age.
Reverb is a means to reflect on the year that has passed and set intentions for the coming year.You are invited to participate as privately or publicly as you wish.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
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