Recently I watched Liberal Arts. It essentially dealt with growing up. The main character is an admissions counselor at a school in NYC. He returns to his Ohio college for a favorite professor's retirement celebration and meets a current undergrad with whom he feels a connection. For me a pivotal moment was when the retired professor tells the main character that no one ever feels old, but at some point you just have to accept that you're aging and that you are actually 30 or 50 or whatever even if you still picture yourself as 19. This really rang some bells for me, because don't I know it!
I don't feel 19, but maybe 23. When Josh and I got married and bought a house I was thrown off kilter. Marriage was okay. We had been a couple for 7 years at that point and living together for most of those. It was the home ownership thing. I remember walking down the hallway feeling out of place. I just didn't feel "old enough" to own a house. Rationally I knew I was nearing 30, but I felt like a fraud. I was someone playing at adulthood. I wonder how many other people of my generation feel this way. As our late 20s melt into our 30s and then 40s we find ourselves bewildered that we could be here at this stage of life. Confused that our youth could slip away so quickly. Did our parents feel this way? Our grandparents?
I am acutely aware of my age. I am 33. In April I will be 34 and then in a year I will be 35, which is the beginning of what they consider Advanced Maternal Age. So far my 24th birthday was the worst. My grandfather had died a few months before and I was just feeling unmoored. Another 13 months of failed fertility treatment and 35 will definitely blow 24 out of the water.