Folks, I am almost 30. When I was 21, just the thought of turning 25 horrified me. Twenty-five was the "scary" age, halfway to 30 and everyone knows what happens when you turn 30.
On the eve of your 30th birthday, you suddenly lose all of your youthful humor, energy, drive and sense of self. You wake up the day of your 30th birthday and suddenly all you can think about it is marriage, babies, mortgages, car payments and cutting grocery coupons.
Somehow, I managed to survive 25 and maintain my relatively adult-adolescent lifestyle. Working in the restaurant industry has certainly helped. I am with my peers -- all the other "lost kids" of Never-never land, who want to stay up all night and crow at the rising sun, not wake to rise with it.
It's amazing how quickly your 20s seem to fly by when they are solely based on what you want and how you feel.
I never had to worry about caring for someone else. It was always me, me, me, me, me! What do I want for dinner? Where do I want to go on vacation? How do I feel about this? How does this affect ME?
In my opinion, it's a great way to live and I'm glad I chose that path.
Some little girls grow up wanting the white picket fence, the big house and the babies. This little girl grew up wanting to live three lives, because there simply wasn't enough time to pack it all in before I turned 25 (the "scary" age, remember?).
Would that little girl be happy with the way things had turned out for her adult self? It's hard to say. But this adult is pretty OK with it.
Now with all of that being said, let me return to my original statement: Folks, I am almost 30.
Thirty is no longer scary to me. It's not the cliff-like drop off into a misty oblivion that I once imagined. It's not a storm brewing on the horizon. Thirty is just 30: a number ... whatever. Right?
Yet society cannot help but pester you about your age. By 30, aren't you supposed to have your life together? Shouldn't you be at least be THINKING about finally settling down, having that kid, buying that house, paying off that car and saving $2 on your laundry detergent with the purchase of fabric softener?
I have exactly four weddings to go to this year: three for some of my closest friends in the world and one for a former classmate, which I'll be attending as the date of my boyfriend.
It's a year for weddings, and I would be lying if I said it doesn't have me wondering if I am behind the curve.
I stopped planning my own wedding around middle school age. Of course, back then, the most elaborate things you would plan were who your bridesmaids would be and what color they would wear. Location, the groom and where you would live afterward would all be settled by a quick game of M.A.S.H.
In 2010, my best friend got married in Mexico. The night before we flew out to join her, I stayed with another friend, who happened to live closer to the airport. Before bed, in slumber party-like style, we sat around, chattering about the upcoming trip and nuptials.
My friend started talking about her own wedding --where she wanted it to be held, what kind of lighting she wanted, the time of year, and what color bridesmaids' dresses she wanted.
I hadn't realized she was in a serious relationship. When I asked her about it, she shrugged and said she wasn't, but it was still fun to plan these things.
Sometimes I wonder if there might be something wrong with me, as if the "domestic gene" managed to skip a generation. Almost every other female in my family seems to possess it (save one cousin, thank God). But I have never been big on wedding-planning and baby-holding.
You want to see me tense up like there's a live grenade in my lap? Hand me a baby.
I have certainly talked about my own non-imminent wedding, but mostly in jest. I have warned friends of its Halloween theme and the fact that they will all be leaving with pumpkins and bags of candy.
One friend told me she would not be dressing up as a Disney princess to attend my commitment of matrimony. I told her not to worry. Alice wasn't a Disney princess anyway.
All of this was fun and games when we were 24 and single. Now all of these women I used to run with, take tequila shots with and dance with until our feet were aching in our shoes, are turning those once-swollen feet towards the wedding aisle.
It's like I'm looking around the dance floor and realizing that not only is my dress out of style, but I'm the oldest one still dancing.
The good news is that I have found someone who isn't worried about coming out onto the dance floor to keep me company, no matter how corny or embarrassing my dance moves are. And he's in no hurry to sit down either.
With this in mind, I cannot wait to put on my dancing shoes and celebrate the love and happiness my friends have for each other, because there's no better party than a wedding, and that's true at any age!
So it turns out that if I ever get married, I will be a 30-something bride or a 40-something bride. And that, my friends, is more than all right with me.
Write to Amanda Marcisz at firstname.lastname@example.org