There’s so many numbers that seem so defining in the world–an area code (ladies, remember when Carrie freaks out in the SATC movie?!), zip code (uh, hello just about everyone know 90210), income brackets, credit scores, sports rankings, weight, cholesterol counts, nutritional counts, followers, likes, comments, and so on! Guess I may have forgotten one there…age! We are young and give our age in fractions when people ask–so how this matters then! As we grow up we start rounding up to the near whole–meaningful–number, if we are 14 we are saying “almost 16”, 17 goes to 18, 21 starts when we are…well maybe I better not go there, lol! In our 20s we don’t seem to care what the number is until we hit 29 and then wonder how we got to 30, but embrace it after all 30 is the new 20 right?!
As 30 goes just as fast as it came, I find friends starting to round down like the 3__ is somehow a dirty lil secret. “Oh, it’s the 5th anniversary of my 29th birthday!” Um, what?!?! Why? Because if we are 3__ there’s an expectation of where and who we should be and if we aren’t that then we better not actually embrace the number it is? Because if we don’t say it, it doesn’t really exist? Because getting older is a bad thing? Because if I’m 3__ and still living alone and not married with kids I’ve some how failed or something is wrong with me? Because at anything over 15 I have to act a certain way, look a certain way, and live a certain way?
What’s with all the numbers and labelling? For a OCP (obsessive compulsive personality) you’d think I’d be all over this labelling and categorizing it’s my thing! But (and maybe this is my creative side that comes out and keeps me from being OCD, literally) the fact of the matter is that I’m just the opposite when it comes to people, and especially myself. That’s not what this whole post is about though. Do you ever notice when people (who don’t know you) find out it’s your birthday and one of the first questions they as you is “how old”? It’s like anniversaries, everyone asks how long. But what matters to me is everything in between the years! “Oh it’s your wedding anniversary? That’s great! What’s been the best part about being married?” It may sound kind of silly, but I’m serious. A life isn’t a life if it isn’t being lived.
I’m 33 now (officially, it’s now after midnight) and I’m kind of like “ok, so this is another year in 30…” A younger version of myself would turn to me and say “girl, you better get it together and get yourself a ring on that finger, a house you own (vs rent), some kids, etc. because you’re on your way down, time is a ticking!” But the me I’ve become knows and thinks differently. I know that there’s value in planning and goal setting. But the planning part is just that. Life will happen and things will change and you need to as well–the only thing that is constant is change. Life will happen as it’s meant to, it may not go as I initially planned but it will go on. I never imagined a 30 something birthday without my Mom around. But the fact is that, she never saw me out of my 20s. My old self freaked out after my 27th birthday because I realized 30 was right around the corner and 30 ended up being midlife for my Mom. But me now just lives and celebrates each day. Sometimes that celebration is done out on a trail and other times on the comfort of my couch. The last 6 years have taught me that either way, it’s my choice and in making a choice I lay the path to how I live my life moving forward.
My birthday is one I thank my parents for. I’d like to celebrate those who have helped bring to this very day in this year. Who created me, help shape me, guide me, support me, encourage me, console me, inspire me, motivate me, reflect me… I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without them. I like reflecting back on how I got here. All that I survived and thrived to be who I am today. The past that prepares me for my future…
I’ve lived 33 years and I’m still here. I appreciate the gift each day is–the laughter and the tears. The love and blessings from everyone. The good, the challenging and everything in between. I’m more then that number, I’m all the living I did until this point. Today I celebrate my presence.