It finally happened. Yours genuinely graduated from the wild, salacious, manic sh* t storm of her 20 s.I’m now a smug, fully-realized 30 -year-old woman. I’ve officially traversed over from the ratchet, hellacious side of life to the soft,~ sweet~ side.
It’s no secret that I’m a wildly dramatic girl creature, so naturally I turned my 30 th birthday into a giant excuse to embark on a harrowing, soulful “life reflection.” Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of thinkin’ and drinkin’ about the last ten years. And wheneverI toss back the wine and feel those sweet sulfates godown my throat, my braincircles backto the same question 😀 o I have sadness?
Well, yes. I regret cutting my hair into that god-awful unflattering bob that attained me ugly for a year, and of course that one time I nearly OD’d by mixing Xanax and velocity( my mothers truly didn’t deserve that one ).
However, there is so much more that I DON’T regret. Like the colorful meltdowns, the temporary victory, the endless embarrassment, the rejection, the times I packed up my sh* t and started over, the bad dates, the bad sex, the brutal hangovers and, the majority of members of all, the sea of beautiful, screwy, wonderful people I fell in and out of love with.
The other day, I overheard a 24 -year-old muster up the following sentence: “Well, I need to start at least trying to meet the one NOW so I can be married BEFORE 30! NO ONE WANTS TO BE UNMARRIED BY 30! ”
I swear, I was so taken aback by her terms that I nearly spit out the $12 cold-pressed juice I’d been drinking.
What is this, the 19 -f* cking-5 0s ? I thought to myself, horror-stricken that women continued think in age deadlines.
I have this problem that when I’m deep horrified by a dialogue, I can’t assistance but chime in and insert my altogether unsolicited opinion. So I ejaculated, “Getting married in your 20 s is f* cking stupid! You don’t even know who you are! DON’T DO IT! ”
PSA: Do not voice your opinion on marriage to strangers, especially when those strangers happen to be perfectly coiffed sorority sisters. The Alpha-Beta-Whatever tribe doesn’t screw around, and hell hath no frenzy like a sorority girl on the spouse prowl. Before I knew it, a bevy of blow-dried babes were throwing me a collective gaze of death so severe, it nearly knocked me off my chair.
Sheesh. Lesson learned. Next day, I will keep my thoughts and sentiments to myself( and the Internet ).
I made a swift exit before their mean girl gazes triggered old feelings of being the 12 -year-old lesbian freak hiding in the library at lunch and took a cabuptown. As I watched New York fly past my mascara-adorned eyes, I truly tried to imagine my life if I HAD married in my 20 s.
As a kid, my mother viewed getting married before 30 as a sin even worse, itwould stimulate youworthy of being cut out of the will.
“ Zara, if you get married in your 20 s, you’re NOT get anything from me when I succumb. And I know you’re vying for my vintage Cartier watch, ” mother darling would purr.
“Why ?! ” my younger ego would ask, ready to be educated by the queen herself( plus, I truly did want that watch ).
“Because you need to be FREE in your 20 s. Darling, you haven’t even scratched the surface area of WHO YOU ARE in your 20 s. You think you’re ready to meet your life partner? Come along. Don’t be daft . ”Her English accent sounded like honey being poured onto crispy, golden toast.
I was a kid, but I knew in my intestine she was right. AndI’m so damn grateful I didn’t end up marrying in my 20 s.
While the raw essence of who I was during my 20 s has remained solid, my hopes, dreamings, longings and even my sexuality have been liquid and ever-changing throughout the last ten years.
At 20, I dated a son with a heart of gold who rode a motorcycle and listened to death metal. He was a superstar chef who bestowed me with one of the greatest gifts of my life: a deep appreciation for food. He taught me to always order whatever the “chef recommends” and that the best route to explore a country is through its culinary palate.He singlehandedly helped me get over the screwed-up notion that food was the adversary, and instead presented it as a gorgeous art form.
I can’t imagine the girl I would be withouthim.
But as I reached2 1 and2 2, I realized that while I loved this son, my animalistic, raw, deep-rooted lust and love would exclusively lie with daughters. I realized, Oh sh* t, I’m a dyke !
After this great epiphany, I was alone for a really, truly long time. I moved from sunny LA to dark, romantic London. I satisfied people, but nothing truly stuck. I didn’t have many friends, and I had no family to lean on.
Was it scary and dark at times? Hell yes. I was in a depression so black that I didn’t think I would ever see the light again. And I went through it all as single as a one dollar bill. I had no knight in glistening armor to pick this hot mess off the floor.
But, you know what’s so awesome about being single in the thick of your messy 20 s? You learn how to clean up the mess yourself, and you discover the great freedom ofknowing the only person who can rescue you is you.
Sadly, there is no shortcut to this lesson. It’s a f* cking painful, brutal lesson, but it’s one you gotta feel and experience in full if you want it to stick.Sometimes you have to think only in “I” and, for people like me, people who are deeply loving and tend to give, dedicate, give to the people we love, it’s impossible to believe fully in “I” when we’re in a committed relationship.
I entered my late 20 s pretty strong. I moved to Florida and ran a theater. I acted in movies, playsandcommercials. I moved back to NYC and became a writer. I fell in love. I had my heart smashed into a million little pieces twice .
Each of theserelationships taught me so much about who I am, what my criteria are, what I’m willing to put up with and what I’m not, and the kind of person I want to end up with long term. Whether the people I datedsparked up my sex drive, showed me another way of living or broke down a steel wall, theyhelped shape me into the woman I am today.
And I like the woman I am today. I didn’t think I would ever say that. But I’m here. No love ismore powerful than the relationship I was able cultivate with myself.And that’s a relationship that couldn’t have flourished if I was married.
So now I’m 30, and I know that I’m altogether f* cking penalty on my own. Marriage will be the icing on an already pretty f* cking amazing cake.
In my 20 s, I was afraid of love because I was so afraid of get crushed and hurt. But now that I’ve been crushed and hurt many, Many hours — and survived — I’m not at all afraid of love anymore. I know I’ll always be OK, and that changes the love game. It attains you fall in love for all the right reasons.
I will never, ever, ever be with someone for security. I will never, ever, EVER be with someone to fill the empty voids. I did both in my 20 s, and now I know the difference. Plus, I’m procure . I filled the empty spaces myself.
I will only ever wed someone because I want that person. Not because of a deadline, or a fear, or loneliness.And it’s because of the wild, single, heartbroken MESS of my unmarried 20 s that I get here.
I like it over here. In fact, I think I’ll stay here.