Saturday, January 15, 2011

"When a Former Life Beckons"

I read this article in the NYTimes today - the title "When a Former Life Beckons" but it was the subtitle and tag-line that really made me decide to read.

The subtitle: Renewing a Tattoo

The tag-line: A youthful mark turns out to be a good inoculation against atrophy

Being as I have a tattoo I've been thinking of having up-dated and working at a medical school I was amused by the topic and word choice - my curiosity was grabbed.

I read through it and had an initial reaction of "Awww."

I cheered when she reclaimed her body and put a new and thought out tattoo over the old alcohol-induced-spontaneous one, "I decided to get a new tattoo. Or rather, I decided to reclaim my old one."

The romantic heart in me fluttered when the story ended with her husband asking her a question she wasn't asked before, "Did it hurt?"
*     *     *
Then I stopped. I began to wonder, "Would this be me?"

Not the regretting my tattoo or finding myself open to "something permanent" in the man I marry...but the feeling like I've "lost my swagger" or regretting a "Lucy Jordan" life.

Why is it that so many 30somethings (and beyond... 40s, 50s, etc) look back at their 20s and feel regretful, or at least shake their heads about the ignorance of youth?  Why are people waking up in their 30s to feel they spent a decade (their 20s and possibly younger) being a jackass and are ashamed of what they did? Why are some deciding once you become a 30something you hand over your "life-can-be-fun" card?

This is exactly the reason I started this blog. I'm just so confused as to what it means to be a 20something and what it will mean for me once they are over.

I haven't spent my 20s doing things I regret.
I haven't spent my 20s sitting at home under a rock.
I haven't spent my 20s in a drunk stupor swinging from the rafters either.
I don't plan to look at my 30s as the end of life.

I turn 28 in only a few weeks. My 20s are going to be over before I know it. I hope that once they are I can look back at them as a time of learning, a time of joy and sorrow, a time when I came into who I am. But equally I'm going to look forward to my 30s as a time of further growth. As a time of wisdom and another decade for more laughs, more nights out with the girls, more time to snuggle with the man I love.

I may not know what it means to be a 20something but I'm not going to regret trying to figure it all out.

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