Well, tomorrow I turn 30. A new decade for me. One where Boris will never physically be present. I am struggling with that.
Here’s what you should know about me: I am a planner. I love to make lists and keep a detailed calendar. Without it, things feel too uncertain and too messy. Before Boris died, I was very future-oriented and rarely lived in the present. I had a vision and goals for life, which gave me the energy to move forward. I had a lot of “shoulds” for myself. Lately, as I have approached 30, I have been thinking about how I used to hope that by now I would (and *should*) own a home, be married, have a career, have traveled the world, etc. Those things are not my reality, of course. I do not own a home, I am not married, I had a career for 3 years until I left it for a Ph.D. program, and I have only been to two continents. Life does not look at all like I imagined. My life did not happen as planned.
But, the fact that Boris isn’t here for our 30s is actually the only part about this milestone that is upsetting to me. I do not feel “old” or that life is over. I do not feel unaccomplished. I am not worried about what things should look like by now. I know that I have accomplished a lot in my 30 years. Most importantly, I have gone outside of my comfort zone, I have learned new things, I have loved my friends and family deeper, and I have laughed a lot.
Okay, I am not thrilled that I currently live in the basement of my parents’ house. I am not crazy about my graduate student income plus $75,000 in student debt waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. Let’s not forget that the majority of my life as a 29-year old was spent social distancing and wearing masks because there is a global pandemic! This is not the ideal situation for my 30th year on Earth. But, as my fellow widow(er)s know, difficult or unpleasant life events or situations are not that significant after your person dies. Suddenly and traumatically losing Boris at age 27 changed my entire perspective of the future and it really shook up all of those “shoulds”. I am not missing out on life because I am not married or do not own a home. But I am missing my person. A lot. He should be here for 30.
Boris was a few months younger than me, so I imagine that right now he would be making fun of me for being “old” and likely lamenting over being next in line. I wonder what we would be doing to celebrate. Maybe we would have taken a trip or something. I will always wonder what life would look like if he were still here. Those thoughts are pretty frequent and even more so on big days.
So, cheers to 30. It is bittersweet. But getting older is not the bitter part. In fact, that is the sweet part. Not everyone is lucky enough to grow old.
This photo is from a friend’s 30th birthday dinner (I think we were 24 or 25 in the photo). But, I am just going to pretend it’s mine for a few sweet moments tonight.