Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Thirties

I turn 40 today, and I'm feeling reflective. I've been busy these past ten years:
  • I finished an undergraduate degree in English education.
  • I traveled abroad ten times (three trips to Ireland; two to Northern Ireland; and one trip each to Britain, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Italy, and Vatican City).
  • I moved from New York to Pennsylvania to Utah within the space of a year.
  • I met my husband and got engaged and married within 18 months.
  • I started two graduate degrees, finished one, and am nearly done completing the second (I'm revising my thesis).
  • I taught at four colleges in three states (Long Island University in New York; Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania; and Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College in Utah); I taught part-time at a high school that was not a good fit before being offered a full-time position at a high school which is a better match.
  • I presented at professional conferences, including NEWCA, several times as an undergrad and once as a graduate student, and NCPTW just last year, my first time as an actual teacher based on research I had done for my master's thesis.
Hopefully, I'll be finishing that second master's degree by the end of the year, barring any weird unforeseen issues. Ed and I had hoped to have the experience of adopting and raising a child, but so far that hasn't worked out. I'm not sure that we'll adopt a child at this point, but it's still something we're still considering - perhaps an older child.

That which I have accomplished in my 30s are things that many people do in earlier than I have; I'm only now becoming more comfortable with the way things have worked out This was difficult for me to accept because I felt I was consistently surrounded by people who were doing things the "right," more traditional, way, although I'm seeing more people who get married later, don't have children, who have children later, who adopt children, have fertility issues, start and finish college later, etc. I no longer think there is a single right way to do these things. The pressure I feel is largely completely internal and not the result of anyone else, but in my mind, I still feel the pressure I felt in high school to have done these things 10-15 years sooner than I actually did do these things - yet I look around and see that I have things others don't - a house paid off; student loans have been paid off or altogether unnecessary; cars paid off; the ability to travel. It's been a good decade. I'm finally beginning to feel settled.

No comments:

Post a Comment