Another birthday is upon me. I’m now 37 years old.
The big THREE SEVEN.
How in the world did that happen?
When did I become a BONAFIED grown-up?
Because I sure as hell don’t feel like one, let me tell you. I mean, in practice, I *am* a grown-up. I have a husband. I have a kid who is nearly nine years old. I work for money and/or free unlimited yoga. I pay bills. I have my driver’s license and I even have my own car. (Never mind that I make Adam drive me all over Chicago because seriously? Chicago drivers scare me. And I used to be the aggressive one when I lived in Ohio.) I don’t have a curfew, and I can come and go as I please. I can buy whatever I want, provided I have the cash for it. I can eat candy for breakfast (and sometimes I do!). If I have a hankering for a glass of wine, it’s perfectly legal for me to have one.
But as I said, I don’t feel like a grown-up. Today, Adam and I were driving past Chico’s, and I said to him “I think those are the kinds of clothes I am supposed to be wearing now. But I can’t because I think they’re hideous.” He said, “You live in the city. You can dress however you want.” And I suppose he’s right, but if I’m going to be forty before long, I wonder if it’s just plain inappropriate for me to love Old Navy so much. Or to shop in the junior’s section at Kohl’s. Or the hippie dresses. Like the long flowy ones from Mod Cloth. And what about skinny jeans and long sweaters, combat boots, and pea coats?
One of my favorite things, though, is to see people’s reactions when I tell them my age. This almost always happens:
Then I hear “NO WAY!! I thought you were [insert awesomely young age here].” My favorite was a couple years ago when a teenager asked me which grade I was in, but most people put me around 23 or so. TWENTY THREE!
That never gets old!
So, technically, I LOOK young enough to pull off the types of outfits I wear. But yo, I don’t want Stacy and Clinton knocking on my door and putting me in the 360 mirror is all I’m saying.
does this outfit look OK on me?
Then there is the whole “I don’t have a real job and am I really thinking of going into yoga teacher training and why can’t I settle down and be a normal, conventional adult who seems to be at least resigned to a 40-60 minute commute, 10-14 hours a day in the office then another 40-60 minute commute home, speaking of homes, I can’t believe I am still renting but that’s all my fault, no need to go into that right now I mean AT LEAST MY CAR IS PAID OFF and blah ditty blah blah blah.”
I still don’t even know what I want to be. Sometimes I want to work in an office so I can feel like I’m normal, I guess. But then I remember that I like and value my freedom and I especially value it when a client trusts me to get the job done without breathing down my neck or watching me every second to make sure I’m not “goofing off” or something. Sometimes I want that book contract, but as long as I’m not writing, how the hell is that going to happen? And then I get scared of what *could* happen. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in the publishing industry, and I wonder if I am ready to take that on. If I could handle it. And then yoga. I love yoga. But how committed am I, and am I committed enough to go through the training so I can be an awesome kick ass teacher? I know how yoga makes me feel and God knows I’m a yoga evangelist like whoa. But can I pull this off? And more importantly, will I ever be able to do this:
I have my ups and downs. On the one hand, I am very happy where I am in my life, something I never saw coming. I have an awesome husband, the best son in the world, I live in a neighborhood where I can walk to a yoga studio, an awesome pizza joint, a sushi bar, an Italian grocer, an Italian bakery, and a CVS. I have three cute kitty cats. I get to go to Disney World on a regular basis. I have a loving family. I’m making cool new friends all the time. I have a home, shelter, food, and money to buy fun things and treats. When I think of where I was four to five years ago, it’s amazing how things have turned around. And I am grateful every day. Even though I complain about traffic lights and taxes on groceries and slow people on Michigan Avenue and how hard it is to find a job and to have that job not want to suck your soul away as well as your life.
But on the other hand, I feel like I should be accomplishing more. I should be doing more. Or that I should have DONE more. I should have published a book by now. I should have a HUGE savings. I should have some retirement money saved. (I have none.) I should be a manager or a director or in charge of something major, wearing suits to work or whatever. Except, I know that’s not me. At least, not that last part. Can you imagine? HAHAHAHAHA. I mean, I’ve love a corner office or something, but for God’s sake, don’t make me wear a suit to work. And WHY in God’s name am I so drawn to pink things and Hello Kitty and Barbie and dolls, and why do I read YA instead of I dunno, classics or biographies or something?
Oh well. I like what I like, I guess.
Can you believe this little girl:
Has grown up to be this fabulous:
Yeah, me either. And here’s a secret. I don’t think I’m all that cool. I mean, I am who I am, but I know I’m a big geek, and I know that I’ll never be one of the “cool kids.” And most of the time, I’m OK with it.
As for celebrating? I plan to go to yoga, then I will be at the airport for many hours to meet my mom and Aidan. Afterward, who knows? Adam and I already had sushi Monday night, and he got cable again so I finished cleaning and wrapping gifts with a House Hunters marathon in the background. I’d missed House Hunters.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to me. And here’s to many more! *raises glass*
(Originally posted at http://anywhere-is.net. Comment here or there.)