They Say It's Your Birthday
I do not want to know what the future holds - mine or anybody else's.
It's my birthday: today I am 39 years old.
The best parts about getting older:
- I care less what other people think about me. I'm always first in line at the buffet table because I no longer care about potentially being labelled a glutton because I own the fact that I am.
- On most days, I'm very comfortable in my own skin. I'm the one singing along and seat dancing at the back of the spin class.
- It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. When you've been through so much shit, it takes really EPIC shit to shake you. Everything else (non-epic) barely registers on the radar and life is easier because of that.
- I'm no longer in pursuit of a perfect body (see above re: I care less what other people think of me.) As a consequence, I've finally stopped dieting which has made me a much happier and more pleasant person and which has - ironically - caused me to lose weight. (I now eat healthy most of the time because I enjoy the way my body feels and responds to healthy food. But I also think cookies, chocolate, and macaroni and cheese belong to a legitimate food group - SOUL FOOD - so I eat dessert and carbs everyday.)
- I'm no longer in pursuit of a perfect physical appearance. I've stopped obsessing about my cellulite, my wrinkles, or the bunion growing on my left foot. I realize that my attractiveness is more about who I am, and the package in its entirety, versus any one specific thing.
- I do the best I can with what I have everyday. Some days that means I look pretty and polished and act like a lady: other days it means I look like a homeless person and act like I was raised in a barn. It is what it is. (see above re: I care less what other people think of me.)
- I trust in my ability to make it through difficult times. (Cuz ya know, there have been so many.) This is invaluable because when shit hits the fan - as it inevitably does - instead of having a meltdown, I can calmly assess what I need to do to make the shit go away.
- I trust that God/the Universe has my back and that there's a plan for my life. I find it a relief to give my worries to God because the truth is, I'm in charge of so little. It makes me feel like I'm not alone, and lifts the heavy burden of thinking I have to control everything. (As if I could.)
- Nose hair is now a thing. It gets positively unruly if I don't maintain it. (Why did nobody tell me this?! I thought excess hair in weird places was something only men had to deal with...)
- Sometimes there are sound effects when I move. For example, in the morning when I get up, my knees make the same sound that a bowl of rice krispies does when you pour milk over them.
- My FOMO has turned to JOMO. Fear Of Missing Out --> Joy Of Missing Out. I get excited when people cancel plans so that I don't have to leave the house. I don't know if this is an 'ageing' thing or an 'ageing introvert' thing. Either way, it's not great because it means that I need to make a HERCULEAN effort to get myself out of the house, which I do because I think I'm still too young to be a hermit.
- Sleep has become the holy sanctuary upon whose alter I worship obsessively. When I was younger, social plans that went late were less of a big deal because, you know, social plans. (Although even back then, they had to be pretty good social plans.) Now I'm like "Ouu...yeah that's past my bedtime...sorry..."
- I eat dinner at the geriatric hour of 5:30 PM because you know...early bedtime (I'm gonna be honest, I'm usually passed out cold by 9:30 PM, and up between 5:30-6:00 AM.) While I have no issues with this, the rest of the world has difficulty with it. When people suggest meeting up for dinner at 7:00 PM all I'm thinking in my head is "But that's only two hours before BEDTIME! By the time we get seated and served it will BE BEDTIME!" Those are probably not my dinner companions.
- Dating is kind of weird because almost everyone has a 'situation.' Most of the men close to my age aren't divorced yet, or are just finalizing their separations, and have children and a menagerie of pets, and it's all very messy (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt). So that leaves men who are a good 7-10 years older. And here's the thing about ageing - not just for men but people in general - unless you make a serious effort to maintain the car, by the time you're getting into your late 40's the engine is starting to show some serious signs of wear, you know what I mean? That leaves younger guys, where I get to have the privilege of being labelled a cougar (because I'm now old enough for that label). And the thing about dating younger guys is that they're still trying to figure their shit out, and that's its own kind of messy. It's sort of like holding an energetic puppy by the scruff of the neck: it's very cute, but you want to hold it at arm's length so you don't get smacked in the face by a flailing paw.
- I enjoy being alone and am uncertain of these supposed benefits of being in a couple. Society has been trying to sell me on the 'couple' idea my whole life but this is something I've never experienced in an enjoyable manner or seen any significant positive examples of. This is only a bad thing in the sense that, as mentioned above, I'm too young to be a hermit.
Life is - at times - a helluva messy shit-show. But it's still pretty cool you know?
Even when it's not good, it's still all good, so I'm pretty glad I get to be here and take part in it because one thing ageing has taught me for sure - this whole life thing is not going to last forever so I might as well enjoy the ride while I'm here.
But the best part about it is that it brought me to a new place. I'm not the same person I was at this time last year.
And that's why I would say no to that crystal ball. If I knew last year at this time how difficult, challenging and FUCKING soul shattering this year was going to be, I would not have gotten out of bed the day after my birthday or any day after that for that matter.
As it was, I did get up and face the storm everyday. It nearly broke me; I came incredibly close to having a nervous breakdown this year. But somehow I didn't. And here I am. Better than ever. Stronger than ever. Ready to face the next chapter. And this next chapter is going to be entirely different and ONE MILLION TIMES better than the last one.
My growth game is strong.
Please, allow me to reintroduce myself.
|39 year-old WARRIOR