Why I Miss (And Don’t Miss) My 20’s.

I used to blog before the word blogging existed in a place called Xanga. Last night I put my daughters to bed and in a state of nostalgia, decided to log on to my old account to read the ramblings of my 21-year old self. Of course I didn’t remember the password and retrieving it took so long I almost gave up and watched a Korean drama.

Good thing I didn’t though, because one email and a few clicks later, I came across an old blog written by my 21 and 22-year old self.

There it was, an unfiltered and unedited chronicle of my past– a story of my college years full of dumb choices and ceaseless longings. College was a time of  transition from adolescence to adulthood and as expected, my life was full of uncertainty, anxiety, broken hearts and broken promises.

I was resentful and heartbroken over ex-boyfriends, unhappy with my crappy part-time job at the bank (Oh, the wicked mornings with bad hangovers!) and the only thing I didn’t complain about was hanging out with friends, ‘attempting’ road trips (Thank God we never followed through with that cross-country road trip after a night of drinking) and shopping for that perfect over-the-top Halloween costume (I was a french maid. Must delete from memory.)

We were untamed, raw and daring. We used words like f*ck and sh*t proudly and loudly at stupid boys and into thin air. We didn’t worry about what others thought about us because we were happy with who we are. We didn’t care to limit our alcohol consumption for worry of tomorrow and never worried about taking daily vitamins or exercising because you know, yoga is for old people. And we didn’t care to act properly like a lady because we simply did not give a shit.

A lady? What’s that? I’m me, bitches!

We were adventurous and bold. We were willing to take risks in love and in life; willing to try something new at least once and not afraid of making mistakes while doing so. We can fall in love quickly and explore more freely. We were young, carefree and despite our occasional angry rants toward life, love and men (I mean boys)- we loved life because everyday was a new adventure.

And we were young.

I miss the early 20’s. I miss its passions, its angst, its carefree joys, even its pains.

If you asked the 21-year old me where I would like to be in ten years, I would’ve probably said happily married with my perfect husband in my perfect home raising my perfect children and perfect dogs who never pee on the carpet or chew on my sunglasses.

I would have three children (2 girls and 1 boy, in that exact order) plus a perfect well-paying job and my home would be furnished with all things expensive and white. It would be immaculate, shiny and look like it leaped out of a home décor magazine. And there will be no toys or Rainbow Loom rubber bands strewn all over the floor. Nope, never. Not in my home.

Ten years later, I find myself on my husband’s computer because my Macbook is dying on me. This desk is cluttered with junk and piles of papers that I once used to clean but gave up a long time ago. My two toy poodles desperately need a bath (that’s two more beings to wash- sigh) and they are napping on our affordable and functional brown leather couch that has been jumped, spilled and written on for years.

I miss my children while they are in school but once they return, war ensues. It’s a battle that is ongoing and never-ending, a daily battle that has now become the reason of my existence.

It’s the battle of TV vs. No TV (But this is for 7 PLUS and I’m SEVEN!), Healthy snacks vs. Sweets (Can I just have ONE? Please,  please, please?!!), Juice vs. Water (I promise I will only drink ONE cup. Please, please, please?!), Playdate vs. Rest day (But you NEVER let me play with my friends. You are SO MEAN! So NOT FAIR! Umph!), and Laundry inside the basket vs. Around it (But you told me to put it away so I DID!!)

And this is not even half of the battle.

So do I miss my 20’s? Yeah I do. Would I go back to the 20’s just for a day? Yeah, I will; so I can retake all my pictures without the crazy make up and tiger-striped highlights in my hair. But do I really want to go back?

Hmmmm. You know what? No, not really.

In a weird and twisted, mom-kind of way, I love my life and the 30’s, even my brown leather couch and the dirty floor. Even the wrinkles and thinning hair. Even if I have to do *pama and yoga like an old person. I still love my life.

Despite the up’s and down’s of motherhood, my two children mean the world to me and I to them. Thanks to them, I now have the title of a mother- the most important role in the universe. (And no, that’s not an exaggeration). Thanks to my daughters, my husband and I have created a family; one that is not perfect according to my plan, but God’s plan. It’s not exactly what I envisioned but it just fits and feels right, you know?

Thanks to my children, everyday feels new and exciting, even without all the alcohol (well, a glass or two never hurts). Some days feel like another chapter of a Choose-Your-Adventure-Book and other days feel like another chapter of a self-help therapy book (more on this later). What’s certain though, is that I’m constantly learning and continuously evolving for the better.

And I think I finally act like a lady (for the most part).

So yeah, I love my 30’s even more.

[*Pama= A cultural rite of passage for girls of Korean descent who usually have super straight hair. Perhaps other Asians do this as well. Older Korean ladies are known to do this once they start losing volume like I am. ]

* This article was edited and published in Huffington Post.

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