My birthdays—I celebrate it in both hemispheres, now–have been really lovely. Yesterday I wore a skirt with sequins on it and got off work early and then I painted some directional signs to my house from the street with my new watercolor set and then I video chatted to my mom and to my sister and then I put on a cute dress and finished up the tiramisu I started on Wednesday night and Rachael made this awesome thing called Eat And Mess and then Alice came over and then Duncan came over and then Julie came over and then a whole lot of other people came over (well, a whole lot for a Thursday night) and we sat around and ate various desserts that we’d all made and I opened some cards and presents and giggled and told stories and laughed at jokes and hugged and kissed and when everyone had left and we’d filled the dishwasher on I sat on the couch and looked out at the lights over the bay and generally felt that thirty-four was a very nice age to be.
Today I brought over the leftover cupcakes to work and had a nice lunch and got to speak a little Italian at the Italian caffe and met the aforementioned Julie at the Southern Cross for a nice lemon-lime-and-bitters and texted the aforementioned Alice regarding footless tights for this 80s party we’re going to tomorrow night and then came home and made broccoli pasta and filled up my purple hot water bottle and watched Project Runway with the aforementioned Rachael while I put down the rest of the Eat And Mess with a nice cup of tea. I’m writing this in bed with my purple hot water bottle keeping my toes warm, looking forward to reading my book and not having to get up early tomorrow, and I am still feeling that thirty-four is a very nice age to be.
I think about turning thirty, and how that seemed like this big landmark age, which it totally is—and how funny now that I really am turning into someone who goes “Oooh, thirty! I wish!”—and how I was so surprised that the future was so opaque. I thought you were supposed to have it all figured out by the time you turned thirty—I guess I was still thinking that I was supposed to have the husband and the house and the dog and all that. You know: dinner parties. I had no idea how to still be me after that big landmark birthday. I’d always been young, you see, and I had no idea how to be anything else–especially if I wasn’t going to be following what I thought was supposed to be the script.
Well it turns out that, now, knee-deep in my thirties, I want neither a husband nor a house nor a dog (which is quite convenient, all things considered) but that I do like having people over for dinner. So much for the script, I guess. It turns out that I’m just continuing on, keeping going, still being what I am, except more and different and deeper. I still have a lot of the same insecurities I had in my twenties or when I was a kid, and some new ones have popped up in the intervening years as well—but it also feels like I’m slowly getting closer to the bone. I’m both letting go of and holding on in some new ways and it’s kind of exciting; I find myself intrigued and curious a lot lately, about a lot of things. I find I want to ask a lot of questions. It’s probably not a big deal to anyone else, the sorts of ways I’ve been changing, but I do enjoy wondering what I will do next. I’m sad sometimes, and very often annoyed and irritated with myself and with everyone else, but I have to say I’m not often bored.
It’s interesting to be alive and to be human, isn’t it. I’m pretty glad to have made it this far.