My birthday came and went, overshadowed by one of my infamous Black Moods. You know that I am usually a woman of infinite jest and most excellent fancy. But even I am susceptible to the occasional funk, especially during the holidays. So I spent most of the anniversary of my blessed natal event curled up on the couch, contemplating the grim prospect of growing older. Yes, I realize that I'm too young to be having a midlife crisis. But when I went to bed at 12:34 AM on December 4th, it suddenly occurred to me - in a few years I will turn Thirty.
Prior to this late night revelation, Thirty had always been a distant and largely insignificant milestone. I had some vague ideas about family and career goals for Thirty, but no real plan. Part of me still expects the things I want to manifest out of thin air (like when I thought I'd get a boyfriend when I turned 16, or my skin would completely clear up at age 20). Turning 25 made me wonder, what if none of that ever happens? What if this is it - working at the same job, coming "home" to an empty condo, dreaming about a permanently deferred writing career?
Maybe it's all part of the process of growing up. When you're a kid your parents tell you, "you can be anything you want to be." As you get older, however, you start to make important decisions (science versus humanities, career versus family, &c. &c.) and some opportunities are naturally lost. You become a real adult person. Going back or starting over would be exhausting. If you don't like the person you've become, tough. You have responsibilities now, people depend on you. You have car insurance payments and a mortgage, birthdays to remember and office Christmas parties to attend.
And I've decided ... I'm not having it. As soon as I let myself settle on what I've "grown up to be," it means that I'm no longer growing. And that way lies madness, not to mention stagnation. So to hell with all of this maturity nonsense! I absolutely refuse to grow older gracefully - I'm going down kicking and screaming.
Who's with me?
P.S. Many thanks to my folks, Maggie and Ruby (and family) for the ah-mazing gifts, to Wistar for taking me out and letting me whine, to FV for you know what, to Liz, Laura, Jojo and my cousin Priyanka (and family) for the lovely cards and to Kelli, Emily, Kara, Mariam, Erin, Sandra, Matt, Andi, Amola, Mike, Davina, Rachel, Danielle, Sarah B. and Sarah Z. for the birthday wishes! Personalized thank-you's will follow, but please let me know if I've neglected to mention anyone. Also, if my brother is reading this he should know that a belated, two-sentence email will not excuse him if he fails to come home safely, bearing Belgian chocolates.