I turned 31 last week. To celebrate and take the first break from everyday life that I have taken in a while, I decided to take a few days off following my ASBOG exam. There is nothing like camping and hiking to remind me why I love being alive, why I love the earth, and why I became a geologist in the first place…oh and that Alex is a better person than me!
A quick follow up on my exam: I won’t know my results until a minimum of 60 days out. I was very confident the morning of the exam, I showed up and hour early for check-in and there was already a long line, but that was not going to kill my vibe. What did kill my vibe? Reading the first question and realizing I shouldn’t have been so confident and then being the last person left in the exam room. I took my time and read every question more than once to make sure I was understanding what it was actually asking, but before you I knew it, there was 15 minutes left and I didn’t have a chance to go back and look at all the questions I was questioning. I have no idea how I did, I’m secretly hoping I passed, but if I didn’t, it was a learning experience and I paid $200+ for an awesome mechanical pencil that says ASBOG!
Back to turning 31. I remember watching a Friends episode, “The one where they all turned 30.” They are all so sad about turning 30 because they are getting old, but I can honestly say that I don’t relate, I want to be grown. Recently one of my younger friends shared something that said “I’m stuck somewhere between I’m still young and damn I’m almost 30” and my response was I’m thirty and I’m still young! I’ve asked many people that are older than me when you start feeling like an adult because I truly don’t feel it yet. I do adult things; I wake up and go to work, I drink coffee, I drink wine, and I pay bills, but I still stop and want to look around for the adults in certain situations.
I recall a few weeks ago my parent’s restroom plumbing had broken pipes, so they couldn’t shower and my dad had attempted to fix the issue himself, which resulted with them having their water turned off for a bit. My dad has always been a handyman, but almost a year ago he had a stroke that impaired him and as much as he wants to be the person he was, he simply cannot do the things he used to do. I’m at work and I get a text from my sister letting me know that my parents don’t have water and that she doesn’t know what to do. I remember thinking that I don’t know what to do either. My parents are the adults, why was she asking me?! The truth is that because of the stroke and other things, they are no longer as capable as they used to be and my sister turning to me made me realize, oh crap, I’m the adult now! I know one can think that the solution can be as simple as just call a plumber for them, but it really wasn’t that simple. I’ve mention I have humble beginnings and my parents live in a very modest home (to phrase it nicely). Their house is not up to any code and many items have been rigged to work, so no licensed plumber would touch it without having the whole house taken down and redone. Long story short, me and my sister figured it out, but in a turn of events, my dad decide he didn’t need help and somehow fixed it himself. I still stay up at night wondering how that plumbing is holding up, thinking about when I became the go-to adult, and thinking there is no way I’m ready to be the adult in the family, yet here I am. My name is Nancy Pasillas, I’m 31 and even though I look and act like an adult, sometimes I eat chips and pie for dinner, I neglect to do some things, I always have questions, and I feel young as hell! (If you are wondering…I also feel good as hell, thanks to some hyping up from Lizzo)
I think part of it is that I know I should never stop growing. I’m constantly working on being a better version of myself, being a better Nancy than I was yesterday. Some days are better than others, but overall the trajectory is to gain knowledge, gain skills, and be the best version of myself I can be. I don’t know if I’m ever going to feel like an adult because the bar of adult, of being mature, is always getting pushed higher.
My 30th year of life was awesome for many reasons, starting with my birthday: I got to fulfill a dream of seeing The Cure live in concert, followed by an amazing road trip with Alex, where we visited the Petrified Wood Forest, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, and ended with an impromptu stop in El Paso, which always leads to good times in Juarez. I know Mexico sounds scary to many people, but every time I go to Juarez, I basically have to get dragged back to El Paso, I never want to leave. Great drinks, great food, great music, and always great company with my brother.
My 30th year of life brought so many changes in my life, it’s definitely a year for the books. As I have mentioned before, I finally started the career I’ve wanted, but always thought I would never have. I grew as person so much, especially because shortly after my birthday is when my dad had his stroke and being the adult (that I didn’t know I was), I took FMLA from work and temporarily stayed with my mom to take her to work and do things my dad would normally do, while spending my days in the hospital waiting for the next step in my dad’s recovery. If I was ever unsure about my love for Alex, this time in my life solidified it. He was everything during that time. He took care of things at home, he took care of personal things for me (like being my liaison to pay my first ever ticket), I got stopped by the police for the first time ever and consequently got my first speeding ticket ever. He traveled what I felt like was every weekend to go see me, which doesn’t seem like much, but he worked Saturdays, got out of work to make a 4 hour drive to see me for a few hours and drive back 4 hours to come back home and be at work on Monday. I mentioned earlier that he is a better person than me and I realized with those actions (that I wasn’t even referencing when I stated that), that he really is. Most people (including myself) wouldn’t take that inconvenient drive for just a few hours with a person that is so stressed out, she isn’t very much fun to be around to begin with, and to top it off, most of those short hours spent together where next to my dad in the hospital. He makes it hard to get mad at little things like not taking out the trash, ha!
He is a better person than me because he deals with my crazy ideas like packing up and driving to Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountain National Park to do some hikes that I’m not in the shape to do, but still do anyway. This post is getting lengthy, so I will tell you all about my 31st birthday adventures at Big Bend and Guadalupe in my next post!