Why I Miss and Don't Miss My 20s

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 into 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 my old writings, rants from my 20's.

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, bored with my mundane part-time job at the bank and the only thing I didn't complain about was hanging out with friends. I was "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.

Young, wild and free -- that was us.

We didn't care to limit our alcohol consumption for worry of tomorrow and never thought 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 sh*t.

A lady? What's that? I'm ME!

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 fell in love quickly and explored more freely. We were young, carefree and despite our occasional angry rants about 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 10 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 (two girls and one 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 would 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.

So do I miss my 20's? Yeah, I do.

Would I go back to the 20's just for a day? Yeah, I would -- so I can retake all my pictures without the clown makeup 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, mommy 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 ups and downs 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. Thanks to my daughters, my husband and I have created a family; one that is so imperfect that it just feels so right.

Nowadays, every day feels new and exciting even without all the alcohol (well, a glass of wine 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. What's certain though, is that I'm constantly learning and continuously evolving to be a better woman.

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

So yeah, I like my 30's more.


Iconic Images Of Women Throughout History

*Pama: Pama means "perm" in Korean. It's a cultural rite of passage where Korean girls get semi-permanent perms to make their naturally straight hair curly. Many older Korean ladies are known to wear this hairstyle to this day.

This story was originally posted on Mommy Diary, author's personal blog.

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