I don’t really have a particular point to this post, other than to try to describe something that’s been on my mind. I have essentially dedicated the last year of my life to being a mom and, as I start to wean Jack, I’m ready to carve out more time for myself again. We haven’t had that much separation from each other, even though I think it’s healthy to do so, for both of us. (The more we’re together the scarier it feels to be apart 😢.)
Anyway… As I’ve been thinking about this particular stage of my life, I have been struck by how wonderful it feels to have a decent amount of security and stability. It’s my favorite part about being in my 30s. I like that I feel established in my career. Even if it’s not something I do forever, I am proud of all the things I’ve accomplished and know I have a ton of skills that could translate into different jobs if I needed to. I like that I know the general area we’re living for, probably, forever. I have moved so frequently in my life that it feels nice to be able to plant actual roots. We’re a young family, but we’re a family.
With that security and stability though, comes a little bit of a lack of flexibility. I can’t just pick up and move somewhere if I want to. I have a husband, a child, two dogs, a mortgage… I can’t even just go to the grocery store without being strategic around nap schedules and childcare. The lack of flexibility in my everyday and big picture life is a little… I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying “annoying” because I do love my life and the stability and security are great… but maybe limiting.
When I think back to my 20s, I had all the flexibility in the world… but that came at a tradeoff. I didn’t have a ton of security or stability. I felt like I had to work extra hard and couldn’t afford to do as many things. Especially in my early 20s when I was living on my own in NYC. The world was my oyster, which could sound exciting from a certain angle, but I found it terrifying. Sure, I could go on a trip without having to run it by anyone. I could go anywhere during the day and run errands when it was most convenient for me. I could spend all day reading if I wanted. Or all day watching Netflix.
On my best days, I would happily give up the flexibility of my 20s for the stability of my 30s…. but sometimes I do daydream about missing that lack of responsibility. But yea, then I think about the stress and pressure I felt trying to figure out ~my future~ and I’m grateful for the stability again.
But really, when I reread a post like this that I wrote nearly a decade ago (nine and a half years!!!!), I can feel the anxiety I felt at the time. 23 and I felt so unsure about it all and I turn 33 in less than a month and I feel just so much more at peace.