Sunday, August 4, 2013
I turn 30 tomorrow.
Which is...you know...it is what it is.
The funny thing about 30 is that- it being a milestone birthday- everyone wants in. I've gotten all sorts of advice/affirmations/weird comments. Some of my favorites:
"30 is SO sexy. You just feel sexy all the time. And your consistent sex is just...consistent. And SO sexy. You're going to love it." (helpful, thanks.)
"It's not the end of the world. Shut up. I'm 50, you baby. Stop whining." (Thanks Mom.)
"You're never, going to be, like, in your 20's again. Does that make you sad? They're like...gone." (...)
"You're turning 30?! THAT'S AWESOME! Soooo...when are you going to have a baby?!" (Christ.)
So let's just get a few things straight. I'm turning 30 tomorrow. I woke up this morning on my Mother's couch. With my dog eating my hair, turning my neck into his own personal drooled up slippy slide. wearing pajamas with smiling clocks on them. As far as I know there is no baby in my belly.
And I'm pretty ok with that.
This is why:
The other night I got to thinking about how much I have learned in my 29th year alone. Which is pretty remarkable. We learn things through life, sure. But, the things I feel I have learned just in the last 12 months make me (reluctantly) embrace this new chapter called 30. So, let me share a few of these life lessons with you. Maybe they will help you. Maybe they will help you think that I am a slow learner. Maybe you will find me a genius and ask me to be your personal life coach. I don't know. Let's just go with whatever you feel, ok?
Things I learned as a 29 Year Old
It's Perfectly Acceptable To See A Dog, Fall In Love, And Take Him Home After Paying A Hefty Price To Make Sure He Has A Good Home. With You. (Sleeping Between Your Legs Which Makes It Difficult When You Want To Turn Over. Or You Know, Stretch.)
My dog, Sedaris, was definitely not part of the plan. The fact that I slipped on my flip flops today and realized that they were completely chewed through- rendering them not usable- was not part of the plan either. But you know what? Flip flops are replaceable...the way I feel looking into his cute and weird little face every morning is not. Sometimes you have to take a leap. A very expensive leap. It's worth it.
Also, plans are stupid.
It's Important To Surprise Yourself. And Not Just In The Way That Happens After Trying On Bikinis After Eating Bean Dip.
I surprised myself constantly in my 29th year. I was surprised that I finally mastered a perfectly roasted chicken. I surprised myself by following that up by become a passionate vegetarian. I surprise myself by remembering french phrases that seem to come out of nowhere when I'm tipsy or angry or tipsy and angry or cooking. Or cooking while I am tipsy and angry. I surprise myself by: Hiking the second largest mountain in the Adirondacks IN THE SNOW WITH SNOW SHOES ON. Finishing that book that I felt in the beginning I "couldn't understand." Forgiving someone I never thought I could. Using self tanner and failing at it and still finding it a worthwhile experience. Making that call. Sending that letter. Falling in love. Taking a long drive alone. Being ok alone. Writing something that surprises even me. Taking a chance. Another chance. Getting food poisoning and laughing about it, because that shit is funny. Painting. Not painting. Loving. Not loving.
Bottom line: I learned how exciting it is to find yourself in the middle of something- be it a botched self tanner experiment or the best short story you have ever written in your life- and to sit back, smile, and say: "Damn Girl. That was pretty unexpected. Nice work."
Own your experience. Whatever it may be.
Your Family Is The Source Of Your Humor If You Open Yourself Up To The Fact That Allowing That Humor In Will Also Bring Therapy.
Anyone who has met my family knows that they are ridiculous. And weird. And conniving. And dark. And judgemental. But they are also the funniest fucking people on the planet, and until I realized this (in my 29th year!) I was never really able to appreciate them fully.
(Because we are all flawed. And dark. And we are all assholes. Stop lying to yourself. It's true. You're totally an asshole sometimes.)
My family are the kind of people that in one day will call me: stupid, lame, annoying, obnoxious...beautiful, incredible, smart, vivacious, and loving. My Mom still tries to call people that I am upset with to "give them a piece of her mind." Like she is Tony Soprano or something. I learned to find humor in all of these moments. And it was the best thing I could ever do.
Because they are funny as shit.
Be Ok With You Even If The Applebees Waiter is Decidedly NOT Ok With You.
One thing I learned:
I am me. I'm loud. I will order things on the menu that do not exist...calm down bro. I'm impossible sometimes. I'm opinionated, and easily get frustrated during Scrabble, and I can't always remember the names of the authors I have devoted my life to studying. (The other day I said I loved Dickens-Dickenson and THAT IS NOT A PERSON OR AUTHOR. IT IS A WEIRD COLLABORATION THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN OF TWO NAMES AND I SHOULD HAVE MY BERKELEY CARD REVOKED.
But you know what: That's me. That's imperfect-little tummy-loud-weird-karaoke loving-chihuahua owning-margarita loving me. I have big boobs, no ass, a big brain, no lips, a big mouth, little restraint, lots of love to give, no filter....and...
I'm just me.
And I'm ok with me.
So this is what I've learned in my 29th year. A year of mistakes, triumphs, personal loss, personal growth, burritos, puppies, family, laughs, tears, scabs, wounds, heals, God, life, death, Vegans, renewal, and roses.
Not a bad year at all.
I'm ready for you, 30.
I hope you are ready for me.