August 11, 2010
I'm not thirty yet. I've got a few more months until that happens.
Earlier this year, when I'd think about aging out of my twenties, I'd literally feel like I was about vomit. But lately, something's shifted and I can't wait to turn thirty--and possibly get some kind of middle age looking haircut.
I'm not 100% sure where this excitement stems from, but I do know that the closer I edge to the end of the twenties, the less I care about what other people think of me.
I used to walk around with thoughts swirling around in my head like, "Am I too fat? Am I too thin? Do I look artsy enough? Maybe I'm too sporty? Is my job too boring? Am I dull? WHAT DO THEY THINK OF ME?"
Now I'm more like, "Does that taste good? Is that on sale? Oh my word, why won't you behave?"
Trust me, it's a far more comfortable place to be.
Mormons have this thing--we worry way too much about what people might think of our day to day habits. You hear it every Sunday in church, "Well I was at a wedding last weekend, and when I said 'no' to the waiter who was pouring wine, no one could believe it. They all asked why I don't drink and when I explained it, they thought I was so ridiculous! It was an awkward situation to say the least."
Um, okay. Trust me when I tell you that those people don't give half a crap whether or not you drink coffee, or wine, or goat piss from a sippy cup--they're wondering whether or not you stumbled across their I'M OBSESSED WITH ANIMAL HUSBANDRY fan site on Facebook.
Most people aren't overthinking your 'out of the ordinary' or 'far too ordinary' life--they're thinking about theirs.
I'm probably ten years late coming to a realization like this, but that's fine, because it's so ridiculously freeing.
Last weekend, Jared and I went out for our anniversary. We spent way too much cash on dinner and then walked around town, popping in to all kinds of art gallery openings. We walked to the back of one gallery and spotted this crazy upholstered animal head thing (seriously, follow that link and click on number 1) by Breon Dunigan.
I was dying over that piece, you guys. Dy. Ing.
I kid you not when I say that If I had 3,000 extra dollars crumpled up under my mattress, there'd most definitely be an upholstered ox head hanging above my bed.
Anyhoo, the gallery was packed. All kinds of beautiful people in circle-shaped tortoise framed glasses were milling around, vying for price lists, and there I was, wearing flip flops, a cotton skirt from Target and literally eating a Snickers bar while I died dead over Breon's creation.
Seriously, if you want a healthy dose of amazing in your life, go ahead and mix some nougat with some flawless art and salted peanuts. I think the Buddhists call it Nirvana. And the rednecks? They just call it a real good time.
I looked over at Jared, with my eyes super wide and said, "I'm having so. much. fun."
Because I was. I really, really was. I didn't notice their snack choices, they didn't notice mine, and a funtastic time was had by all.
Sometimes I think about the fact that I a completely crappy housekeeper--like I can't remember the last time I changed my sheets, I haven't put laundry away in over a month, and there's a very slippery fungus creeping up behind my bathroom faucet. It's not something I'm proud of, but it is what it is.
I used to talk about it all the time, to anyone who stepped within a 100-foot radius of my house. I'd be like, "I'm sorry it's so messy. I'm so embarrassed. I should do a better job. Really, I'm sorry."
Then one day my eighty year old neighbor stopped me mid-sentence and said, "Why do you think I care about your house? I didn't come to see if you dusted, I came to see your baby."
The truth is, no one and I mean NO ONE wants to hear me drone on and on about my horrible, messy house and how it makes me feel like a horrible messy person, and how I think my inability to clean is rooted in some deep seeded childhood trauma that I may or may not remember.
So, instead of putting people in the awkward and totally unenjoyable position of listening to my insecurities, I made the decision that I could either
A) learn to be okay with with my messy nature, or
B) change my disheveled ways, or
C) at the very least, I could stop talking about it all the damn time.
I've gone for a combination of A and C. And you know what? I'm willing to bet, that when people step into my house, 90% of the time they're like, "Phew, I'm not the only one." And as far as the other 10% go? Well, as long as it doesn't actually smell like poo and trash, I guess I don't really care what they think.
I'm not really sure why I'm writing this post today. Deep down, I guess I hope my kids stumble across it someday. Maybe when they're eighteen and fourteen, and they come to me complaining that they're the only Mormons in the entire school system, we'll read this entry and I'll follow it up with something amazing and wise like, "Listen, Sarah has two moms, Eleanor's covered in zits, Jason just got dumped by his girlfriend, Chris is the only Chinese kid in the State of Maine, and Zoe's dad drives a 1992 Caravan. You've all got your mountains."
Then they'll call me stupid. And I'll say, "Oh yeah? We'll talk about it when you're thirty."