Thirty-one. It’s a scary age. I know it’s silly, but I use to think that life didn’t exist after 30. My bucket list was geared towards the energetic stages prior.
I hit me checklist. After undergrad, I pursued my MBA. I wanted to live in a city, and I wanted to learn. I felt like Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat, Pray, Love.” I didn’t want a marriage or the desire to procreate. I simply wanted to figure out what this life was all about and how to enjoy it.
My sole purpose is to glorify God or so that is what Rick Warren would have me believe. In order to do that, I needed to start with love, the greatest of faith, hope, and love.
When I was in my teenager years, I put a quote on my wall, “Don’t worry about knowing people; just make yourself worth knowing.”
And, at 31, I have done just that. Four years ago, I married an intellectual romantic. My husband and I live in an idyllic house in Chicago. It has pumpkin orange and olive-green walls. There are fresh-cut white daisies on the kitchen table. Each room has enough light to read with or without an intake of baby carrots.
I have one puppy—a furry fluff ball that drags me out of bed at four in the morning on a cold winter’s day.
I am an events coordinator at the Drake Hotel. My skirts flows to my knees and my shirts are never Oxford. Galas and weddings are my forte. Seeing people suave and elegant permeating their dollop of cologne, makes me feel like I am perpetually playing dress up. I spring from events dining with brilliant minds.
Every so often, on my lunch breaks I research articles for a non-profit magazine. I’m glad to continue writing in some respects.
I spend my weekends exploring museums and learning Italian. I also take out my Cannon and nonchalantly snap—capturing the moment someone discovers ice cream on his shirt. I especially love visiting the different ethnic pockets of the city to observe cultural differences and let my tongue journey through the world via cuisine.
I am quite far from family, which is sad. But, I occasionally send cookies to my nieces and nephews or babysit them via Skype. All of my siblings get together for an habitual hangout session courtesy of Google+.
Life is fresh. It changes with the seasons. I read the newspaper daily, and I can appreciate book club and cozying up on the couch with my love. Our Netflix queue includes classics like Casablanca and Sunset Boulevard as well as the cheesy romantic comedies and French films.
I once asked my friend, “What do you think qualifies as being grown up?” He answered, “Making mature decisions that focus on the future and not the present.”
So, I eat half a grapefruit every morning. My husband and I bonded over making a playlist as we train for our first 5K in a few weeks.
I am happy to report that I finally got cooking down. No more placing frozen bananas in the microwave to separate the peel from the actual fruit or hoping that pasta turns out al dente. Coming up with hors d’oeuvre to have during bible study is now my weekly creative outlet.
Fall is sweet. I tried to get the can of pumpkin and stir it into a delicious mock pumpkin spice latte, but my enthusiasm for trying to perfect them faltered in my twenties. Now, I have the upper hand.
Holidays and birthdays are still at the top of my list. Every Thanksgiving my siblings alternate hostess duties and this year, I am the lucky candidate. I love setting the table with fine china and placing the candlesticks in the center, letting the pumpkin and buttercream scent pervade.
When you are in your thirties, you feel like you have an obligation to be grown up—to either be making a family of your own or advancing in your career. I leave post it notes to tell my husband that I love him and to remind him to pick up the milk. I flip through the latest edition of Marie Claire and Real Simple on my iPad and then pick through the New York Times’ Sam Grobart’s brain. But let me assure you, despite my maturity, I look a little like this (play video below from NBC’s The Perfect Couples)