THIS IS THIRTY: The moment where your Grandmother tells you that she prays, every night, that you’ll find a man. And, instead of laughing, you’re crying, thanking her profusely for her prayers.
I wish I could be an adult about this, because honestly, twenty days into my third decade, I should definitely qualify as one.
But, there’s that piece of me that just won’t comply. I’m still just a little girl standing in the middle of the living room, stomping her feet because she didn’t get her way. Thirty?! No! NO! NO!!!!
Why doesn’t the Universe know?! By now, I’m supposed to have a great job, one so overwhelmingly fabulous that I just spring out of bed every morning, dance into the bathroom, singing into my toothbrush like Joan Jet, serenading the day that awaits me. Just down the stairs, my hunk of a husband, is seated at the granite-topped island in our fabulous kitchen, reading John Updike, waiting, with a cup of French-press coffee, just for me.
STOP. WAIT. WAKE UP.
Welcome to my real life:
I’m single. Broke. My cat has to scratch me out of bed in the morning because half the time I ignore the alarm. No one’s waiting with my coffee. I’m the one brewing a 12-cup pot of Costco Columbian Select when I arrive at my lack-luster desk job. Frankly, my Sonicare toothbrush is the most energetic part of my morning.
For the past few months, leading up to this: thirty, I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy to thinking about all the things I haven’t done. All the goals I haven’t accomplished. All the women I’ve wanted to be, but, have successfully eluded becoming. I’ve thought about my contemporaries, assembling the dreaded comparative checklist. Sure, there are the “successes,” the lawyer/business mogul-superstar daughters of my mother’s coworker, and there are my cousins who are happy, married, and breeding. (Grandma’s prayers worked for them!) But, after some investigation, I found that most people in my age bracket have no idea what the fuck they’re doing. And, it’s OK! They’re surviving! We’re going to be alright!
When I actually slow down, assess the situation realistically, I realize that, maybe, just maybe, I’m right where I need to be.
And, for now, Right-Where-I-Need-To-Be happens to look like a crazy train wreck. Wham-O: I’m in the midst of a depressing break-up (again), at a dead-end job, and I’m a renter, a fucking renter! So fucking what?!
Thirty is really the same as twenty, except now, I’m a
hot warm mess. I’ve learned truly valuable lessons about love, losing it, and what NOT to do. And bonus prize: I’m still YOUNG.
Holy shit people! I looked in the mirror on my thirtieth birthday and I had to admit, it’s the best I’ve looked in years!
I haven’t peaked! I’m not peaking!! This is PRIME TIME!!!
I’m sober. I get to live my life now, not just watch as it passes by my blurry eyes. And, while I’d be a big fat liar if I told you I had all my shit together, I’m not totally without purpose. There is a destination, I think, even if it’s a mystery. For the first time in my life, I feel worthy of something good. Now, maybe it hasn’t arrived just yet, but, I’m old enough to know it’s on the way.
Thirty is my lesson in acceptance.
Accept a new decade, and, realize that it’s the same deal.
Sure, it’d be nice to feel a bit more secure. It’d be nice to have a partner to pick me up when I crash and burn. It’d be nice to own a home. It’d be nice to know that if I die in my apartment, that someone will get to me before my cat eats my face. But, in all honesty, things are on the up’n’up. I’m no longer the wimpy twenty-something, chain smoking outside of bars, throwing back tequila shots, and falling off ledges–breaking, then losing, my $500 Prada glasses (yes, I did that).
I’m an adult, but, I’m still cooking. So, you can wait a few more years before you stick that fork in me, please.
Thirty Fucking Schmirty.
I’m on the way up my lil’ saucies. On the way up.
P.S. Tell me all about your birthday revelations in the comments! I want to hear your acceptance stories, pronto!!!