Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

The End of My Twenties

on December 7, 2012

Earlier this year I began contemplating my 30th birthday, and wrote a list of the achievements I wanted to accomplish before my decade was over. Since I am constantly being reminded of rumours that this event occurs this week, I have decided to revisit how close I came.

This is the list that I had already achieved, even if some of them did not turn out the way I had expected:

  • Move out of home.
  • Travel overseas.
  • Buy a house.
  • Get an education.
  • Get married.
  • Feel confident and in control of my financial destiny.
  • Start my own business.
  • Be happy.

These are the goals I had not achieved:

  • Learn a second language.
  • Become a mother.
  • Publish.

For my second language, learning German was a natural choice. My boyfriend is German, and most of his family do not speak English. Regular readers will know some of the challenges and struggles I have had with this over the past year. My skills have increased dramatically. I still wouldn’t say I am fluent, but I am happy to say that I speak the language. There are a lot of insults that I can deliver flawlessly, and my jokes finally became funny. Small talk is good enough for me, and I can do that.

Starting a family truly did not work out the way I had expected. When I wrote the initial post, I had made a joke that I would need to get pregnant the following week if I wanted to beat the birthday deadline. Ironically, that is exactly what I ended up doing. Long time readers will know that the pregnancy did not result in a healthy birth, which was devastating for my boyfriend and I at the time. However, I can’t help noticing that I had framed the goal as “become a mother”. I had heard that women become mothers the day they learn they are pregnant, and that was true for me. For those few months I was someone’s mother, so I think I achieved this goal as well as I was able to.

Publishing has been a journey, and the intervening months have not been as expected on that front either. I finally decided to adopt a broader view of publishing success, and I have taken steps in that direction. Several of my short stories have either been published or accepted by multiple publishers. I have begun discussing a particular book with another publisher, who is interested in the project. I have not achieved the dream in its original form, but I have read acceptance letters, opened books to see my writing inside, and found multiple paths that I can follow. I have published over 100,000 words this year, and I am proud of my work.

I had expected 30 to be a harder birthday than it has been. For many people it appears to be a milestone where they realise what their life isn’t; for me, it has been a milestone where I realise what my life is. Every achievement on these lists is something that I have had to work hard for, and I am proud of myself for doing it.

This week I can bid a fond farewell to my 20s. Some bits were great, some bits sucked beyond belief, but they were an incredible ride.

2 responses to “The End of My Twenties

  1. Mandi M. Lynch, author says:

    I hate being 30. I need a basement and six more cats.

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