I don’t know what I imagined 31, or 41, or 51 would look like. When you’re young—really young—you just imagine that you will always be exactly as you are then. Or at least I did. And maybe that’s why I’m not surprised by 31. I really had no expectations about what it would, or could, be.
Probably around 23, I began to understand what aging meant. That my metabolism would slow to a crawl. That sleep would become more crucial. That one day I would inevitably take on the characteristics of the other women in my family. This is the same moment when you start to realize they didn’t always look like they do now—and that soon I wouldn’t either. Little wrinkles have begun to emerge.
31, in many ways, is miraculous. To feel accomplished and productive. To have carved out a place for myself. To have built a home on my own time and with my own rules.
I’m better at spotting inauthenticity. I’m wary of people and projects that wear me down without filling me up. I’m cautious, but not jaded. I still want to do the most good.
I don’t know what 31 was supposed to look like, but from where I sit, 31 feels just fine.