Last summer, my best friends and I heaved a collective sigh of relief upon turning 30. How good it is, we admitted, to leave the restless, agitated wanderings of our 20s and begin to settle into adulthood. Thirty, we exhaled, for once comfortable committing to relationships, suddenly willing to send little root tendrils down into our own plots of earth. We were no longer holding in our tummies, content with our healthy, capable bodies, accepting the scars of surgeries and stretchmarks not as flaws but as badges of honor we had earned.
For women, negotiating adulthood has become increasingly difficult over the past half-century. Often a whole decade, your 20s, is taken up with figuring out how to find your place in society. As much as I appreciate the doors that have opened for women since the 1950s, I have to admit that the loss of a prescribed cultural path for women (education, immediately followed by marriage, immediately followed by motherhood), made navigating my post-college life ...1