It is frequently noted in numerous magazine articles and TV shows that 50 is the new 30. With the calendar flipping closer and closer to October and my half-century birthday, I think I can safely say, that at least for me, this is not true.
When I was 30 I lived in a high-rise Manhattan apartment with my husband and our cat. I worked in a beautiful Park Avenue office and was going to college part time. I wore pretty clothes that had to be dry cleaned. I went to movies with my husband and lunches with my girlfriends.
At 49 I live in the suburbs with my husband and three kids — 16, 13, and 10. Sadly the cat died five years ago. I am a part-time blogger/writer and a full-time mom. I spend most of my time behind my computer or in my minivan. My wardrobe consists primarily of mom gear that can be dropped in my washing machine. When I do need to get dressed up for the occasional work-related event, the whole family views it as a big deal.
I don’t feel at all like I did when I was 30. I do however feel an awful lot like I did when I was 16.
Don’t be so quick to scoff at this idea. Stay with me on this one.
At 16 I wore braces and spent a lot of time flicking them with my tongue. At 49 I have a partial denture while I wait for my dental implants. I spend a lot of time flicking it with my tongue.
At 16 I wondered what I would be when I grew up and spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. At 49 I am still wondering what I would like to be when I grow up, and I am spending a lot of time trying to figure it out.
At 16 I had to wait for my parents to leave the room so I could make out with my boyfriend. At 49 I have to wait for my kids to leave the room so I can make out with my husband.
At 16 I knew I was entering a new phase in my life, but I didn’t have a clue what that meant for me. At 49 I know I am entering a new phase in my life, and I don’t have a clue what that means for me.
At 16 my hormones were all over the place and affected everything from the texture of my hair and skin to my waist and chest. At 49 my hormones are all over the place and are affecting everything from the texture of my hair and skin to my waist and chest.
At 16 I daydreamed about living in New York City and ditching the suburbs. At 49 I daydream about living in New York City and ditching the suburbs.
When I was 16 I felt restless and on the brink of something amazing. I knew I had my whole life ahead of me, and I was anxious to see how it would end up. Totally appropriate for a teen.
But at 49? My life is as settled as a married mom of two teens and a tween can be.
Yet, I do feel on the brink of something new. At times I find it thrilling, and at times it scares the heck out of me. Though my youngest won’t be starting college for another eight years, I no longer am in a sea of babies and toddlers. I can envision a life beyond my role as mom. Unlike my younger self, what others think about the way I look or the way I choose to live my life carries very little weight. There is a freedom that comes with age. Not unlike the freedom we feel in our teens. The heck with feeling like I’m 30. 49 is the new 16.