When I turned 15, it was a little lame. My best friend’s birthday was the day after mine, and she was way more popular than me (it wasn’t her fault – it’s just the way it was) , so everyone decided to just celebrate her birthday, and throw me the occasional, “Oh yeah, and you too, Ginny.” Plus, I had a chin zit. For, like, 3 straight months.
When I turned 20, I wanted to cry. Twenty seemed like a death. When I played pretend games as a kid, my characters were never, ever, older than 19. Why would they need to be? Nineteen was old enough to vote and drink and own property. Twenty was planting a foot squarely in adult territory. A foot I couldn’t just pull out and then shake all about.
When I turned 25, it was kind of novel. Quarter of a century. Didn’t feel a whole lot different than 20. I was married, but childless without any meaningful plans to be otherwise. Plus, it had been a whole month since the Y2K bug failed to end it all, so we were all a little euphoric that a false crisis/bit of media tomfoolery had ended well.
When I turned 30, it felt surprisingly good. Substantial. Concrete. I was a grown up, and I didn’t feel lame or old, fuddy or duddy. I had a kid, but still, I just didn’t feel that old. Maybe it was the shock that I wasn’t shriveled up and eating dinner at 4:30 that made 30 feel surprisingly good.
Today is 35. Thirty five is a bit of a mash up. I get zits next to my wrinkles. I laugh at fart jokes on the way to very important press conferences. My hairdresser found the first grays (that I was doggedly convinced would always be undetectable, if they ever appeared at all, due to my inherent blondeness). My doctor not so gently reminded me that now is the time to start cramming in the calcium. Despite the occasional misstep, I like myself, feel more at home in myself, generally got it going on, more so now than at any other point in my life.
Today, I will be at a conference, as part of a job I love. Then, I will come home and see my babies, and they may or may not remember it’s my birthday, and it will be OK. And I will end the day with people I love. And like. I might eat cake. I will drink wine.
It will be a good day.
(Mosaic Images: 1. The Number Thirty-Five, 2. thirty five, 3. Thirty-five, 4. Thirty Five, 5. Cat Diesal Thirty Five, 6. Thirty-Five, 7. Thirty five script, 8. Catch Thirty Five, Chicago ——– CHI_DSCN9776, 9. thirty five)