I was talking with a friend and fellow writer this week about the strange phenomenon of seeing multiple fulfilling personal projects falling into place at once. We’re both in our mid (okay, late) thirties, neither of us working any longer in the careers our expensive educations prepared us for. And yet, there are some successes, opportunities, arriving even when we’ve not really been looking for them. The odd thing is, even though we both feel like we have quite a bit of knowledge and experience by now, we still feel like we’re improvising.
We talked about how so much of our twenties we labored under the suspicion that one day, someday, we would arrive as if opening a door into a chosen profession, a marriage, a schedule, children, a community. We looked ahead believing there would be ordered days, or at very least, no more looking at the Help Wanted section for just the right vocation.
But now that we are, presumably, here, the truth is, we never arrive. There’s always some aspect of life yet to be figured out. There’s weight to be lost or computer files to organize or friendships to rectify or home repair projects to complete. Businesses you started yourself aren’t quite yet what you want them to be. This hobby is neglected or that one.
I think this is the value of being in my thirties. I don’t have to wander around anymore waiting for the world to stamp my passport and let me in. I’ve seen behind the curtain, and we’re all back here improvising, making it up as we go along.