I had a birthday last week. I turned 38 with very little in the way of pomp or circumstance, which is probably as it should be. 38 seems like a very boring age to turn. My husband and kids gave me some presents and we had take-out for dinner and I enjoyed the usual flood of Facebook greetings.
Since then, I’ve been thinking off and on about what, if anything, will be different about my life at 38 versus 37. I’m hard pressed to think of anything but then I started thinking about all of the changes I’ve made in my adult life so far and I realize that I am rather terrible at predicting the future. Last year, for example, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be changing jobs and yet here I sit, two months into a new gig.
I think sometimes that I want a year of no change, a year of things holding steady. But this is my track record:
Age 21: graduated from college, moved 2000 miles for a job, got first apartment on my own
Age 22: got promoted, moved 120 miles for a job
Age 23: started graduate school
Age 24: had quarter-life crisis, quit job, took leave of absence from grad school, moved to South Korea
Age 25: came back from South Korea, started a new job, met a cute guy, moved into a crappy apartment
Age 26: got engaged, got married, became a step-mother
Age 27: got a new job
Age 28: bought a house, finished Master’s Degree
Age 29: got pregnant, had a baby
Age 30: Got a new job, moved 1500 miles for new job with six month old baby in tow
Age 31: Moved again
Age 32: New job, moved again
Age 33: Got pregnant, moved again
Age 34: had a baby
Age 35: started graduate school again
Age 36: new job, new state, moved again
Age 37: finished graduate school, new job
When I look at this list, I’m kind of exhausted. For those trying to keep track, in 17 years I’ve lived in two countries, four states, six cities, 12 apartments/houses, had nine jobs and two babies.
I’m honestly not if this is just what life looks like for most people in their 20’s and 30’s as these are prime career growth and child-having years or if I am an abnormally change prone person.
So, I’d like 38 to be a year of stability but I’m not sure such a thing exists. I would be very curious to hear from others though– do you have years where nothing much changes beyond the expected growth of children and such? I feel like these are such blurry years- I fear I’m going to look back and this time is just going to seem like a rush of major life change after major life change.
I think I’d like to read more, play more, and breathe more this year.