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My Solemn Vow

I've always been proud of my youthful appearance. When I first moved to Cooperstown (age 22) I was enraged that a gym employee told me since I was under 16 I couldn't be in the locker room without my mom. I chuckle to myself when college girls size me up on the treadmill as their competition for the muscle head grunting in the corner. Just last week a student at the college asked me for my dorm swipe card as I went for a quick lunchtime stroll. And, the best of all: I'm still carded at the liquor store.

I turn 30 this year and I'm not upset about it. No bizzar-o mid-life crisis for me when I'll decide to stop wearing underwear, sport super tight tops and stay out drinking after work trying to make out with desperate co-workers. I'm positive my 30s will be much better than my 20s. No more painful realizations that health insurance isn't a guarantee. No more owning a car without collision insurance and getting in an accident. Good bye first college loan repayment, first day on the first job and even first night home with a new baby. I'm an expert in such matters now, a real seasoned vet when it comes to paying back debt, accepting the 9-5 grind and dealing with a day after only 2 hours of sleep.

My almost-30s are presenting me with all new firsts. Scary firsts, actually, hinting at signs of my age. Last week I hurt my hip jumping out of a van. Hooray- my first hip injury! I tried to pull myself up yesterday using my left hand and hurt my wrist. I had to ask a student to help me read a street sign because, once again, my contact/glasses prescription has increased.

And the worst first: Shopping at old lady stores. H&M clothes these days are a little too small and my butt crack hangs out of the top of all their pants. Days of shopping at Charlotte Russe, aka the Professional Ho, are a sepia-tinted memory as I now peruse the racks of Coldwater Creek and Ann Taylor.

What other firsts will I experience in my 30s? First mini van? First mammogram? It's all so exciting! And what lasts are behind me before I even knew it was a "last"? Last up-all-night party, last college discount opportunity, last time I'll be a size 2.

I solemnly vow: As I enter each decade of my life I will embrace each of its firsts with the same level of pride as I once felt toward doing something new in my 20s, and knowing with age and maturity that each first could also be my last.

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