Where I Thought I Would Be At 29

5 Feb


This week I finally set up my sewing machine.

I bought it something like eight years ago, at a time when I had more money and no student loans and was living in a much cheaper place. A time where I saw a sewing machine for sale at Costco and thought, “Sure! Why not?”

A time where I knew people with Costco memberships!

It sat in storage as I used my mom’s and grandma’s machines when I needed them.

This week I said no more! No more piling up of my flea market dresses, torn and old, needing repair. No more waiting for my mother or grandmother to step in and save me.

It was a grown-up moment.

Later I fixed my garbage disposal on my own. Hands in deep, with noodles and black beans and corners of carrots coming up. I fixed it and reset it and it’s working and I am an adult.

I’m saving myself.

Someone asked on Instagram today if we are where we thought we would be in life at this age. The answer is no, of course. Is anyone where they thought?

Even the people I know who had a very specific plan and who look like they’re on the road to that plan, have had enormous setbacks along the way. Unanticipated illnesses, pains, relationships much more terrible than they could have imagined.

No one is where they thought they would be.

And when exactly were we doing this thinking?

Was it when I was a young girl, when all I knew of the world was my mother and so I assumed my life would be just like hers?

Was it when I was a teenager and sure I would join the Peace Corps or run a Fortune 500 company, something Dramatic and Intense and Important?

Was it when I was first in love and positive I would get married and have children, support someone else’s dreams, but somehow maintain my own. The somehow the unanswered question.

There are so many versions of who I thought I would be and where I thought I would be at 29.

Many of them included marriage. Some included children or book deals or millions of dollars.

I have known what I’ve wanted and then I haven’t. I’ve known that I wanted Something More, the Belle complex. I’ve known that the somehow was important to me. That it was really the only question.

So no.

I didn’t think I would be here at 29.

I didn’t think I would be in a tiny apartment in a tiny beach town and have a really nice, writer boyfriend of three years.  I didn’t know we would spend date days going on walks and eating his pasta.

I didn’t think the idea of being a librarian, something so attainable, would give me so much joy. I didn’t know that writing would be so hard or that I would experience so much rejection. I didn’t know how much I would work on my mental health. How much I would like yoga. That I would give up pants. And bras.

I didn’t know I would love my hair or make smoothies for breakfast. That I would fix my own garbage disposal and sew my own clothes and it would still suck, even at this age.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to find my place in this world—geographically, emotionally, professionally–but that the fight, the fight to figure myself out would be the thing that was worth it.

Of course I didn’t know.

Thank heavens we don’t know.

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2 Responses to “Where I Thought I Would Be At 29”

  1. Tammy February 6, 2017 at 9:09 am #

    Lovely as always!

  2. Sarah February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Beautifully written and well done for fighting to find your place, happiness and what you want to do in the world. I’m 31 and still trying to figure so much out.

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