Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

17 March 2011

On Girl Geniuses and the magic of 29

[Patti] Smith was 29 when she recorded Horses. Joan Didion was 29 when she wrote her first novel. Tina Fey was 29 when she was named head writer of SNL. bell hooks was 29 when she published her first major work. Oprah had just turned 30 when she got her first local TV talk show.

There is a reason “boy genius” rolls off the tongue more naturally than “girl genius.” By the time most of us accept the fact that we have earned this label for ourselves, we are most decidedly no longer girls.
The concluding paragraphs of this 'girl genius' article by Ann Friedman really punched me in the gut. Of course I started to reflect on where *I* was at 29. Look at how awesome these women were at 29. I tease a lot that I'm a total slacker. 29? Pfft! What the hell was I doing then? 

Um, a lot. I had a one year-old on my hands, a new job in a new field and had just purchased my first home. But I was also being wooed. By my current job. 

When the wooing became serious, I sprinted towards one of my mentors. "Do you think I can do this? I'm only 29!" I swear to the Goddess I said that line. She chuckled and said, "Of course you can. I look forward to watching."

Part of my hesitancy of  knowing I could do the job was the fact I knew I'd be working with faculty who were not only older than me, but could remember me being in their class. Of course things worked out well, but it's funny how Friedman's article had me going, "Yeah, hell, yeah...YEAH!" and then, " ooooohhh...." 

Was it my experience? My youthful looks? My actual age that made me pause? Would I had questioned my readiness if it had been a few months later and I was the big 3-0? Who knows. Maybe not. There's something magical about turning 30. That idea that you are a grown up, the 20s are over and time to take life by the horns and all. Hmmm...

There's no big conclusion to this post. It's just me rambling on about me. And I guess my way of saying thanks to Ann for this piece. So thanks.


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