I had a case of Peter Pan syndrome for about 10 years, from 18 to 28. Today, I’m turning 29. Only one more year until I reach the dreaded 30, and you know what? I’m fine with it.
Not a hundred percent fine. I freaked out when I found white hair among the brown. I noticed that my skin is getting less tight; wrinkles are coming. It takes me forever to recover from a hangover, and I know it’s not going to get any better.
There are a lot of things I wish I had done before I reached 30: have a solid career, have published a book (haha!) and finished many first drafts. There’s no way I can get a book traditionally published this year and I won’t self-publish. As for the career, well… I’m done putting my everything into a “meaningless” stressful job; all it did is get me depressed. So from now on, either I’ll get a low-stress job or I’ll get a (however stressful) writing job. I’ll put everything in my passion and see where it leads.
Now for what I’ve achieved: in my twenties, I found myself. That wasn’t easy. It might be my greatest achievement so far. I was hiding really well behind who I wanted to be, who I thought I had to become and who people thought I was. I was a hobbit hiding in her hole. Now, I’ve set out for the adventure of my life. I don’t expect it to be easy. I expect my fair share of trolls and dragons and wars… But any story would be boring without conflict.
I also finished a first draft of 83,649 words. I’m proud of it. I’m also thrilled to have finally found “how” to finish a first draft. I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo, and this year… I’ll finish it. I know it for a fact. I might not reach 50,000 words, mind you. But I’ll push through. Also, I started a blog and succeeded in writing new content 7 weeks in a row… and I even got 50+ followers from all over the world! I got to interact with many different people, to read their blogs, to share ideas. How awesome is that?
Oh, and did I mention that I learned to focus on the positive? So what if most of my first draft will have to be rewritten? If my NaNo novel has to be entirely rewritten? However bad a first draft is, it’s still better than a blank page. I’m taking baby steps toward my goal. It’s better than running in circles.
So sure, there are disadvantages to getting older. But I’ve become so much wiser, so much more at peace with myself, that it outweighs the disadvantages. For now. I’ll talk to you
again next year. *grins*
Oh, and here’s what the fortune cookie I got tonight at the Chinese restaurant sees in my future:
Prophetic or not, I choose to believe it. I might not get rich or do anything extraordinary, but I feel like now I have the right frame of mind to succeed both as a writer and as a human being.
It gets easier as you get older. You accept yourself for who you are – your flaws and your attributes. It’s easier to live in your own skin.