I turned 34 in January. For a few months now, I’ve been joking with a friend that forty is starting to feel really close. I’m loving my thirties, but forty seems, not old, but maybe like I’m not wise enough to be approaching it. I thought I might be nearing middle-age since I’m turning 35 next year and I still part my hair on the side (I don’t have TikTok but I know that GenZ says that’s a “no” now). Then I did some googling and realized that no one else thinks that middle-age starts until 40 or 45. I have years to go…even though forty still seems close.
I want to own my age whether I’m 34 or 45. I want to mature and not just get old. I’ve never been one to crack jokes about being eternally 29 because I want to live these years and grow and mature and enjoy being that person versus the one I was at 29. (I’m hugging her in my mind as I think of her.) I remember being barely a teenager and there was an older teen, honestly she was probably in college, that I admired. She dressed well, seems poised; in other words, she was all the things I was not at 13. In a tiny way, it was a vision of hope for the future adult I might be.
When I was in my 20s, I remember multiple occasions when I looked around for the adult in charge, and realized that I was actually that person. It took me by surprise then but now I need to be prepared for that. I need to invest time and energy into wisdom and maturity so that I have what the people around me need, so that I am becoming who God is making me. To stay immature is to be selfish, unwilling to be uncomfortable and inconvenienced for the good of others. This shortcut to nowhere cheats myself too.