Monday, March 18, 2013

This is Thirty

Last Friday, March 15, I turned thirty. When you are on the cusp of a landmark birthday, people have an annoying tendency to wonder if you are depressed or are worried that you are getting old.  When you’re a woman, such inquiries are a veiled reminder of the sorry state of your biological clock and your rapidly fading beauty.  For the better part of three years, when asked about my age, I have always replied “almost-thirty.”  It’s easier to align yourself nebulously with the next stage in life than to be constantly reminded by hand-wringing acquaintances of aging’s numerous pitfalls.  So, for years I was happily almost-thirty.  Now, I am thirty.  There isn’t much of a difference.

When I went to bed on March 14, I didn’t feel any different than I did on the morning of March 15.  If anything, I was stoked the morning of March 15 because I was having French Toast AND pancakes for breakfast (hell, yeah birthdays!).  My face didn’t age progress like an FBI photograph, my uterus didn’t dislodge itself from my abdomen and take off for Ibiza, I didn’t magically inherent an Oprah-like Earth Mother wisdom from the Universe.  I just woke up for French Toast and Pancakes.

My birthday itself, and the weekend that followed, was extremely lovely and the best Birthday I have had since I was eight (the last birthday I spent with my grandfather before he past away).  I received lots of lovely gifts from my mom, my pug, my colleagues, and my students as well as many hugs, well-wishes, and even a birthday cake made by one of my students!-- how amazing is that?!  My birthday left me feeling very loved and appreciated.  It was a whole day like the last minute of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special--all love, joy, excitement, and singing!  If that’s what my thirties will be like, why would I ever be anything delighted?

Frankly, I would not want to be twenty again.  At thirty, I have a strong sense of who I am, I have a career, I have two graduate degrees, I’ve traveled the world, I’ve achieved many of my goals in life, and I have even managed to overcome major traumas.  The road to these accomplishments was traveled in my twenties; it was a journey I needed to take, but it’s not a trip I’d like to repeat.  I am a better person because of the experiences (some delightful, many challenging, others heart wrenching) of my youth; however, my gratitude for the lessons of time does not mean that I am keen to part with the wisdom of age.

I’m a different person now than I was at twenty.  I’ll be a different person when I am forty, I am sure.

I’m okay with that.



No comments: