A few days ago, XUP posted about a girl she knew in grade school who was pretty and popular, but who had totally fallen down the social food chain by the time junior high rolled around. XUP thought it must be pretty awful to have peaked in life so early, and that led to some musings on when she had peaked herself.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that post ever since. When did I peak? Or have I not peaked yet?
I think I’ve had peaks in certain areas of my life but I’m not sure I’ve been able to get it all together in one go to make for an overall life maximum, know what I mean?
Like, I could say that high school was my intellectual peak, in that I rocked the tests and projects and stuff, graduated top of my class, and did all the classic geek-girl stuff like debating team, yearbook editor, mathletes, and band treasurer.
And I could say that university was my physical peak, in that I was slim and my skin cleared up (sort of), and I wore contact lenses and had something approaching a flattering hairstyle. Being just one of eight girls in my hundred-person engineering class also helped up my attractiveness quotient.
I’d say that right after university was my career peak, to date. My first couple of jobs out of school were great, challenging and interesting and with tons of responsibility totally out of sync with my lack of experience. I rocked those jobs and got lots of praise and raises and respect. Then I had some crappy managers who didn’t like me, and then I blew it at one place when I had a bit of a breakdown after a miscarriage, and yeah. Now we’re here, where a “good performance review” means that the kids actually took five bites of dinner instead of the usual four.
Socially, I think my peak was in my early 30s. I was running Sidekick and I started blogging, which helped me meet tons of new people, both online and in person. I started a book club and I started playing ultimate and joined a curling club. FameThrowa moved to town and we finally found a close circle of friends to go to the movies with and have dinner parties with. Plus, while pregnant with the Captain I met a lot of other new moms that I saw all the time when our kids were babies and that I’m still good friends with today.
But you know, I really feel like I haven’t peaked yet. I feel like the best is yet to come, in all these areas (well, maybe not physical — those pregnancies did quite the number on my belly button). I’m still looking forward to the future, instead of dwelling on the past. I rarely look back and think, “Oh, I’d love to go back there.” I like where I am now, and I have plans, big plans, for the years to come.
So get back to me when I’m 80. I’ll probably be peaking around then.