Today is the last day of my 20s. I’ve been going around joking that I’m not sorry to be seeing the back of them, but I think I owe my twenties an apology for that.
My twenties were filled with more pain and confusion than it ever occurred to me to fear. In fact, the overarching emotion that comes to mind for much of the past decade is panic. But I also never could have imagined the beauty, adventure, and fulfillment that these years would bring.
I’ve always lamented that we only get one life to live, but I have to acknowledge that I’ve lived more than my fair share. I’ve been a student, a translator and a wine saleswoman, and damn good ones at that. I’ve been married, I’ve been hopelessly in love, and I’ve been very, very single. I’ve been poor, and I’ve been… well, slightly less poor.
I’ve explored the outer limitations of my own self: my bravery, my perseverance, my moral standards. I’ve discovered where I draw those lines only by crossing them. I’ve become more familiar with my own tendencies, and learned to coexist with them. I’ve worked on my relationship with Future Megan, doing little favours for her like putting a hot water bottle in her bed so it’s warm when she gets in, and saving a little of each paycheck for her next adventure.
I’ve endured heartbreak, despair, wildfires, a pandemic, and the bureaucracy of the American immigration system. I’ve made a home for myself in one of the least hospitable places on the planet to scruffy, skint little Scottish lassies. I’ve worked hard, learned new skills, built friendships, and generally, somehow, convinced quite a lot of people that I’m worth having around.
At the time, I experienced my twenties as not much more than a whirl of a million questions. Everything that happened, every decision I made, was in some way an attempt to answer one of these questions. Am I smart enough? Am I confident enough? Am I humble enough? Am I attractive enough? Am I strong enough? Am I nice enough? Am I interesting enough?
Am I different enough?
But now that they are over, I see how it all progressed to bring me closer to the feeling of self-acceptance that a person is supposed to happen upon at some point during their fourth decade on this earth. The results are in, and in spite of a few inevitable stumbling blocks along the way, a few unintended or regrettable detours, I didn’t do too badly overall. I think the girl who wrote Episode Forty Six almost exactly ten years ago today would be pretty stoked to become the person writing Episode Eighty Three today.
And there’s one of those questions that I can definitely answer for her, because I know it was instrumental in how she pictured her future 30-year-old self: Do I wear enough purple?
The answer is yes.