When I was 25, I smoked Marlboro Lights. I could go out to a bar and drink four gin and tonics, eat very little, and be home by 4 a.m. with the ability to catch the bus and get to work at 9 a.m. My heroes were Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones.
At 35, I smoke fools on my bike. I can drink a gin and tonic or a glass of wine at home, eat every crumb out of my refrigerator (starving from workout), be in bed by 10 p.m., and get up to drive myself to work in a compact SUV and arrive promptly at 7:30 a.m. I'm don't have any specific heroes, but am inspired by everyday people who are awesome. Carrie Bradshaw isn't real, and I now realize that there is no way a lawyer, a housewife, a PR mogul, and a writer could have time to meet in a coffee shop once a week. It just wouldn't happen. And Bridget Jones is pretty much a basket case. How she ended up with a barrister is beyond me.
At 25, I had just moved back to California from Las Vegas. I took the $400 I had in my bank account, asked a friend to help me put my belongings into a moving truck, and moved the F#$% out of that town. Vegas has the diversity of the Bay Area, but drop the education and common sense by about 80% - and there you go. I probably contributed to that while I was there. Not my place in the world.
At 35, I'm "making it" (whatever that means) in the Silicon Valley and seriously kicking ass. I surround myself by quality people, because I aspire to be a quality person myself. I have a much better understanding of my place in the world.
Ten signs that I'm officially in my mid-30's
1.) I drive a compact SUV. It's a total mom car, except my children are bikes and wet suits. I love taking the kids to Tahoe!
2.) I seem to be suddenly more attractive to men in their 20's than when I was in my 20's. I also seem to attract men who could be my father. Eeewww.
3.) Eating whatever you want is a myth. Even if you work out, you can't eat whatever you want. Not at 35, or any time after that. I've heard that your appetite is supposed to decrease as you get older. This has not happened to me. I'm only getting more hungry. It will be interesting to see how much I eat when I train for Ironman Canada next year.
4.) My skin is on a revolt against my face. What I thought were cute freckles ten years ago are not - it's melasma (look it up)! Also, I'm having a strange case of adult acne.
5.) I bought a basil plant. I thought it was ridiculous to buy a pound of basil for a recipe that needs only a tablespoon, so the $2.99 plant made sense to be both sustainable, and economical.
6.) I considered cat ownership. Then, I thought about what it means to be a cat-lady, and decided that this is not the direction for me. Cats are pretty cute, and I saw one walking outside of my house last night (It's a sign!). I will resist the temptation for a furry friend. I would much rather have a dog anyway.
7.) People at the grocery store officially call me ma'am. I don't get ID ed either, except at the airport.
8.) I recently went into H&M and was horrified by what I saw. It looked like a garage sale multiplied in there. No wonder you can get a pair of pants for $5! I've been told that I am not old enough to shop at Chicos. . . although that blazer is really cute. So, I have found a fashion stepping stone! My new locale for age appropriate clothing is J Crew. That's right. I'm preppy.
9.) Speaking of preppy, I've decided that the term "yuppie" does not apply to me. Yes, I am still upwardly mobile, but I am not upper middle class - at least not in the Bay Area.
10.) I lived through three complete decades, and feel I can finally use terms like, "Back in the Day" or "Kickin' it Old School", and it is age appropriate. No one "kicked it" until the 80's. So if you don't remember the 80's - stop using that term. (Love, the Bitchy 35-year old.)