So, I’ve got this amazing group of girl friends (the same ones that inspired this little blog when I started the Bible challenge). We’d been emailing back and forth about the upcoming holidays, and I had a great idea. (well, great in my opinion).
Anyways, I got the idea to do a little series called “I’m a twenty something lady and this is my life”, because we’re all at totally different stages in our 20’s which to me is what you’re 20’s are all about. I was reading about this book called 20 Something Manifesto: Quarter Lifers Speak About Who They Are, What They Want, and How to Get It, (notice I said reading about this book, not actually reading the book, I’m reading too many things right now)— and there is a person in it that says,
“the most difficult thing about being twenty something is that this is the time when you build your foundation for all aspects of life, including job, love life, family and finance. It takes time to see the results, it’s difficult to focus on the ‘now,’ and sometimes, I want to give up because I start doubting that what I’m doing is for me”.
I think most of us in our 20’s could concur with that. So, I thought I’d feature some of the best 20-something women I know and give them a platform to talk about life in our 20’s (most of us nearing thirties).
Quick intro to the amazingness that’s coming up. Anna Murphy is one of my Camp Mikell lady friends who I’ve been close friends with for almost 10 years. She’s almost 30, so I made her post first for my little project. Hah, right now I could hear her using some choice words towards me for making her go first. Don’t lie Anna, you curse like a sailor. Here she goes…read her words. She rocks.
(note from Bean: maybe listen before of after, it’s super distracting from this awesome story)
As I approach end of my 20’s (DANG! Seriously!?!) I find myself constantly thinking, this is not my beautiful house, this is not my beautiful wife husband, how did I get here?
It is hard to believe that 29 is here and almost gone. Seriously, I’m not just saying that, I feel like I’m still in my early 20s and I still get nervous buying alcohol. On paper, I am totally put together; I am steadily employed with a big girl job, married with 2 kids and living in a house and paying its mortgage. I am living the dream…
But, to be honest sometimes the dream looks more like this:
This is real? This is all really my life? You really do get older, and life really keeps happening? Is this really what I planned for my life? Yes, I guess it is. I took the track I guess I had always thought my life would take. Go to college. Be awesome. Have awesome friends. Get a sweet job. Marry someone that is great and that I have fun with in my mid 20s. Buy a house. Make babies in my late twenties. I just guess I thought I would do all of this at the same time as those awesome friends. You know, best friends all making families at the same time and a great time all together. It was the next step, right?
I remember a girls night several years back, a discussion started about someone’s friend who was about to become a single mother, and how far off everyone was from making babies and how they “could not even imagine!” I just sat there thinking about how awesome that would be.
Dan and I had been married for a year or two, and I had recently decided that we would start trying to have a baby soon. We luckily had no problem reproducing and we even got to high-five for “makin’ a baby on purpose.” Soon we find out that we REALLY had no problem reproducing and we had twins on the way.
We had a totally normal pregnancy. Like everything else in our lives, we were pretty much average. As our doctor put it, after a typical quick check up with no problems, “you are very boring, let’s keep it this way.” I went along assuming we were good to go, even stopped going to the “high risk” specialist because he said we were good too. 28 weeks in I called the Dr because something was a little off, they made me an appointment for the following Monday. I thought good, must be no big deal if I can wait over the weekend. I went about my life, taught yoga over the weekend, had a luxuriously late start to my Monday and went to my appointment unassuming, figuring I would be back at work by noon. Instead I was admitted into the hospital within the hour in pre-term labor. WTF?! This was not part of the plan. The babies were due in March and it was only mid December.
Picture 1: Exactly 29 weeks. (Thanks again Whitney for those headbands, you saved me! Seriously, a shower would have been sweet.) Pic 2 is me telling them they are grounded and they needed to stay in.
Several details and a week and a half later Hunter and Jane came. Funny side story: we kept their sex a surprise and Dan had a minor freak out as they were being delivered that we had not decided what they would be named if they were 2 boys. Sweet guy thought he would be told to “NAME THIS CHILD” as soon as it came out.
A. Labor sucks B. Labor drugs don’t. C. When you are having premature twins there are just way too many people in the room. D. The first visit to the NICU was, to say the least, surreal. That memory will never leave me with dry eyes.
No more average for us, and no more being in charge of what life brought. I spent the next months going back and forth from the NICU to our house. This was our new normal. Thank goodness we we’re pretty close. We even made the trek through the ice. You better believe we will hold that one over the twin’s heads when they are teenagers.
Then one day, inexplicably, they decided we would be able to care for these tiny little guys ourselves, at home…alone. I repeat, WTF?! Seriously, this is up to us now? Have you met us? Not only are we responsible for a life, it’s 2 lives at the same time and they are seriously tiny! To this day people ask how having infant twins was, and how we got through it. And honestly, I’m still not sure. I usually blow the question off with a joke one-word answer like “carefully.” I remember going back to work in the spring when we still had to wake them up every 3 hours to feed them (oh, it’s the little joys of preemie-hood) and people looking at me like I was about to fall over, because I was. I have no idea how it worked but it’s just that life kept happening, we had no choice. These were the cards we were dealt and we didn’t know the difference.
Well, now they are approaching 2 and I still wonder who in the world let Dan and me be in charge of these tiny and awesome people. Yes, they are still real small, we are hoping to one day be on that growth chart, but we will settle for them being healthy and happy otherwise. We were incredibly lucky and thankful of their health despite the early arrival. While so many of our friends go out on weekdays, we scoff and relish in going to bed early. Our twenties have come into a new place of not being about us anymore. While we try not to let our lives revolve around the kids, they are the most precious and important things in our lives, and well, they have undeniable needs that they cannot meet themselves. It is when I realize that, that things get weird. Every now and then I find myself feeling really crazy nostalgic doing “real” mom things, like take them to daycare, and make Halloween costumes.
But, still most days I find myself (at least a few times a week) taking a step back and asking this. (Really that is a great song though, isn’t it?) Were my parents this clueless when I was a baby? They did this without the internet? Am I ever going to figure out what I am doing? Because, we’re pretty much running on best guess scenarios here. Is this seriously my life, aren’t I still in college?
Being a 20 something for me has been a whirlwind of life happenings. I have gone from single college student exploring life, to a full time working wife and mother of two ridiculously-awesome toddlers. So no matter what, life just keeps happening. (That is, unless, one of you has some advice for me to how I can avoid my impending age adjustment.)
Sometimes being a mother can be unbearably lonely when thinking of all of the things I gave up to have them, but when I realize all of the amazing things I get to do with them (including literally watching them become people- I mean I made them from scratch, best diy project ever!) it’s overwhelmingly amazing. There are not many things better than 2 tinies running up to you for a hug tackle or watching them giving each other kisses just because. I am so thankful for what my life has become. Thanks 20’s.
Creds/Comments from Bean:
-Anna Murphy, Art Teacher and friend extraordinaire–yes she made those costumes. –twoleafstudio.etsy.com is her etsy page. check it out—its holiday time!
-Yes, she loves the Talking Heads. Who doesn’t?
-NICU stay details: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hunterandjane
-Got questions or comments for Anna (or Dan)? Post them below!
-In your 20 somethings and wanna post? Email me!