Today, around 4:00pm, I will be a 31-year-old woman.
That means I have been legally able to drink for ten full years. And I never took that right for granted for even one second! My 21st birthday party was actually celebrated bar crawling around Boston in the pouring rain and wearing a black hoodie with jeans. My life is a bit different now than it was ten years ago. The biggest change, of course, being that I only own one pair of jeans and I’d never wear them on my birthday.
To be honest, I’m not even remotely afraid of aging. I’ve got good genes on my side. And even if I didn’t, I’ve watched enough Real Housewives episodes to know that if there’s one thing you can aggressively fight, besides your closest friends, it’s age. And if living in Los Angeles has taught me anything, it’s that you should start with a smaller amount of injection units in your early twenties. And get some lip fillers while you’re there.
I haven’t though. Not yet. I have a couple of wrinkles, but I deserve them due to the way I have lived my life… laughing, repressing and excessively drinking through my problems.
I was reading through this old blog last night, reading words I’ve posted on past birthdays, and I realized that every single year I reflect on lessons I’ve learned. And every year, they’re basically the same. And every year, I prove myself wrong because while I have learned plenty of lessons, I don’t always do better the next time.
I’m a predictable work in progress.
What I can say is this:
Being in your thirties is much better than being in your twenties. I have far more confidence, way more fun and I even look better now than I did back then. Go figure. I’ve very much come into my own and I’m happy with who I am. However…
Being in your thirties is much, much harder than being in your twenties. When you’re young, and stupid, there aren’t a ton of consequences. It’s kind of a designated “figuring shit out” time in your life. But in your thirties, the pressure is on. You can’t keep starting over (well, I guess you can, but it’s harder) and you can’t keep fucking up without severely screwing with your life.
The past year or two has been really hard. I don’t know where I want to live or what I want to do. I’m trying to figure all of that out while also battling heavy bouts of depression and anxiety. But, that being said, these have also been really formative years for me. I’m dealing with things I don’t think I’d ever have been able to handle in my twenties. But here I am, handling them and growing from them with maturity. Sometimes.
The past ten years of my life have been awesome, which is something I only realize right now at this moment and God dammit, it’d have been nice to know it was great while it was all happening. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions and taken a lot of wrong turns. I’ve fallen in love, gone through breakups, moved across the country, got a concussion and sprained my ankle at the same bar on two separate occasions and I’ve even tried a fried deviled egg and decided against partaking in that experience ever again.
And, fine, here are a few lessons learned:
Get a pet. Or a friend with a pet.
Exercise and eat healthy. At least every now and then.
Outsource annoying shit. For me, that’s hiring movers and not relying on friends/family. And also gel manicures because I can’t do my own nails and don’t have time to wait for drying.
Acquire less stuff. Clothes, knick knacks, furniture… Muppet stuffed animals.
Find your people. The ones with positive vibes who make you laugh, will drink after bad days with you and can put together a good cheese plate.Live alone, or learn to be alone. Because alone time is the best.
Be true to yourself. Even if "yourself" is an introverted, creative, outgoing, procrastinating, Muppet-loving weirdo.