This is my favorite time of life. 29, going on 30.
I feel immense gratitude for being 29. There is something beautiful about it. Something sweet. I can see myself crying at 26, smiling at 28, coming to a rest at 29.
A soft halt.
I’m at rest in front of a large, dark gray, splintered, wooden fence. It’s as high as the Wall in Game of Thrones. I can’t see anything on the other side, only sky when I look up. There’s a door in this fence, and the sign above is white with red lettering.
All it says is ‘THIRTY’.
And I’m just sort of standing in front of it, smiling at it.
Behind me is all desert. A dry, vast, but very bright place. I’m not tired or bruised, but I am a little winded, in a good way.
I can’t imagine what’s on the other side of this door. A decade lies behind me, and a decade before me. Behind me, the decade has vanquished into dried bits of sand that stir up in a great wind every so often but only if I allow it. I’m in charge of the weather here, so for now it’s all settled.
Standing in front of this door, I know it’s not quite time to open it. Nothing’s really stopping me, but it doesn’t feel right. I’m still happily 29, at the end of a road that was sweet in all of its lazy pushing around and casual purgatory. Looking back is like watching a baby go from infant to toddler. It’s a really subtle change. A baby is so delicate and small forever it seems, until one day you see that baby in front of another infant and you realize your baby is gigantor compared to that other baby seed.
But altogether I realize it’s not quite like that. It’s like changing color. Like getting darker. At 21 I was a bright pure white, and now I’m more of a dim gray. And not even in a bad way. I don’t see going from white to gray as negative or dark or bad, that’s just the color I feel when I think about it. I feel like I’m going into a darker color of myself, but darker isn’t always bad.
Dark is always associated with a kind of depression or menace, but that’s not at all what I feel. I feel a soothing dark. A calming dark. A relaxing dim. Like turning down the lights in a bright living room because the light is now hurting my eyes a bit, and isn’t it time we just relaxed under a dimly lit night shade instead of a high-wattage burn?
I’m starting to realize this is my favorite time of life, and my favorite time of woman. My favorite time to be a woman. I’ve been a woman a lot of years, and this is my favorite part. I know this isn’t quite accurate, but at this time of my life I hear the words no more surprises. Granted, marriage, kids, menopause…that all awaits me. And I’ve no doubt it will take me by surprise. But something just tells me like…you made it.
You survived. You grew up. You’re ready.
You went through a lot of growing pains, but here you are. You know how to handle things. You know what to do with your life. You know who you love, and you know who you want to be. You know what’s bullshit and what’s not. You know where you want to spend your time and where you don’t.
And still, there’s so much ahead. And that’s why this is my favorite time of woman, the best time of woman, the time when you feel like you’ve finally come to the place you’re meant to arrive at, and you KNOW it, to truly know where you are in your life, and to be aware of it, is the best feeling ever.
The best 29 ever.
And that’s why I fucking love this age, and all of its sweetness. I’m Monique Muro, I’m 29, I’m 29, I’m 29. I’m still in the desert of 29, but I’m not longer immersed in its heat, or its dryness. In fact I’m toiling in the sun.
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