Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thirty is the new Old

This is one of those weeks where, though it's only mid-afternoon Tuesday, it feels like Thursday already. How does this happen? I guess this is what happens to we of the non-regimented schedules. NOT that I am complaining.

I just realized today that I am already less than six months away from my 31st birthday (August 30th, if you care to know). Another surprising shocker. How did that year go so fast?? It seems I was just standing on that precipice overlooking the last few steps of my twenties, wondering if, at long last, thirty would bring with it the promise of more serious attention in the eyes of the world, or any strange moles, fat rolls or unexpected, newfound aches.

And while I'm usually the first person to say you're only as old as you feel, and that it's just an arbitrary number, thirty has been signficant so far. I feel like an adult. Maybe it's just that the adult I was always precociously behaving like as a kid and finally caught up and integrated with my actual age. At any rate, I find that I feel old around my teenage siblings; "old" in the sense of "out of it," "unhip" and someone to avoid telling their teenage exploits to. I even feel old around people in their mid-twenties, particularly if they are single. When I say "old," once again, I mean that I feel as though there is a chasm between the worldview and behaviors of me and "them." In some cases not a very big chasm, but in other cases, one big enough to make me notice it.

In June I am going to be graduating from this two year long Masters (MFA) program in creative writing from Bennington College. Even six months ago that idea made me terribly sad, but I must admit that now it feels me with equal parts pride and relief. I look forward to this final residency and I look forward to being done with being in the subordinate position. One can only handle so much mentorship, you know? I feel that I've started to curb my usual freespirited writing in favor of trying to please my professors. I know that this is nobody's fault but my own, but still, it's troubling. Yet, scarier than the idea of giving my lecture is the feeling of wondering what will come next. How will I feel when there is no two-week sabbatical in Vermont? Will i return to my old style of writing, my prolific style. Will my novels sell? I think the answer to all of that is yes, eventually. Over time, these things will come to be.

I leave you with my guiding quote of the month, if not the year, from Goethe:

"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred...unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way."



At 1:38 PM, Blogger Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thirty was a real turning point for me, too, at least mentally. I'd been in school my entire life at that point, and that's when I realized it was time to get on with it. I think 30 is when real adulthood begins. Of course, it still took me another three years to finish my dissertation.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Sharon, I think that in this culture at least, 30 is adulthood. For me, I really felt a sense of relief that I was turning a "mature" age, and yet strangely, I still find that people think I'm "young." So it's all relative.

Thanks for stopping by.


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