On Leaving Behind my Twenties

Today is my birthday!

And I’m leaving a decade behind. So here’s the thing: my twenties were awesome and awful in almost equal measure.

The good:

I met my husband when I was 19 and my twentieth birthday was the first one we spent together. It’s super special that we have been together for a decade and that he’s been with me through the good and the bad.

I also married my husband in my twenties. (23)

I had my first child in my twenties. (25)

I had my second child in my twenties. (28)

I started writing YA in my twenties, (26) and signed with my amazing agent (29)

I bought a house in my twenties. (27)

The bad:

I was hit out of nowhere with an anxiety disorder in my twenties. (23) Like so many sufferers of mental illness my twenties were a time of feeling hopeless and desperate and in pain and questioning my future. But here I am. I’ve made it to 30. I hardly ever have a panic attack any more, and none of the little blips I experience are anywhere near as intense as the ones I had when I first started having them. (Almost daily.) I always say 23 was a shitty year. And that sucks, because it’s also the year I got married. But that, too, was excruciating because I was so fearful leading up to the wedding. I was so fixated on how I would be standing in front of a hundred people and I wouldn’t be able to leave. I knew having a panic attack during the ceremony would ruin the day.

I had a HORRIBLE job in my twenties. (24) I was a preschool teacher at a daycare that seemed to care little about the children placed in its charge. The director was awful. And she criticized me as “hugging my kids too much” and “not being tough enough on them.” THEY WERE TWO YEARS OLD! They missed their mothers! I was constantly told I wasn’t good enough.

I questioned if I would ever find a career. I loved my first job teaching preschool. I was so blindsided by how awful my second job was. I had bounced around between the arts in college. Music. Fine Art. Theater. And writing. And I felt like I was good at all of them, but not good enough.

So here I am. Thirty. Pursuing a career as an author. Loving every second I spend writing and talking to writers. I’m parenting two wonderful kids. I’m married to an amazing guy. I have purpose. I have made peace with a lot of my struggles. I’m hopeful.

Onward!

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