There are some days where I look in the mirror and see my sixteen year old self looking back at me. And other days, I see the dark circles, the wrinkled skin, the tired eyes and I realize I'm not quite as young as I sometimes think I am.
A joke from my brother in law has stuck with me recently. He said that he felt he could pass for a college kid most days but then when he actually SAW a college kid, he had realized just how old he had gotten.
The saying goes that you're only as old as you feel. Most days, I still feel pretty young. Until I wake up and stretch my tired muscles, or I realize that 10:00 on a Saturday night is really pushing it for me. No doubt some of that is due to life with a toddler, or working a full-time job while also running a magazine "on the side". No doubt this season of life is just tiring and my body is reacting to that.
But I still think about it. I think about being 34 and being much, much closer to the dreaded 4-0 than I am to the young 21. I think about the fact that my youngest brother is nearly 30, and what does that say about me? Mostly I think about the fact that if we have a second baby, I may fall into the "high risk" category and will I have the energy to deal with another non-sleeping newborn.
Still, other days I'm happy with this stage of life. This age. 34. It's young and it's old. And yet, I've also come to the point where I understand where my life is headed, what I want, and who I am. I don't have all the answers yet, but (hopefully) I have plenty of time to figure out the rest. The dark circles might be there to stay, but this age has lead to more confidence and fulfillment than at any other time in my life. And that's a pretty great thing.