First, let me tell you how I started my birthday. Driving to work, playing my 80s Rock playlist a little too loud, I realized that I have been singing the chorus to a White Snake song incorrectly. Since the beginning of time. What?! I had been singing “here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known, like a TWISTER I was born to walk alone…” I understand it makes no sense NOW. But I was thinking, you know, tornadoes “walk alone” don’t they? Well no. They don’t. Drifters on the other hand? THEY walk alone. The horror.
I panic a little when I feel I’ve missed out on something based solely on my age. Eh and I were just a teensy bit devastated when we reached an age in which we could no longer audition for The Real World should they ever grant our fine city with their presence. We would have been REALLY good additions to that show. I was sad when I reached an age that I could no longer enlist in the military, something I’d toyed with all my life (you can’t become a serious spy if you haven’t been in the military…or so I’d convinced myself). And while 36 doesn’t preclude me from doing anything in particular (that I know of) it still feels gross.
I am one to embrace age. Every year of mine, for the most part, has been better than the last. Each year I grow wiser (although not when it comes to 80s rock songs apparently), more confident, more compassionate, more kind, and simply better. So why, dear friends, is this one a hard one?
Thankfully, I have girlfriends who are also struggling with this one. It’s always good to get confirmation that it’s not just you. In addition, I have girlfriends who have older sisters, and they too struggled with 36. So we can lament together. But why???
As I’ve mentioned (like 14 billion times) I’ve decided 36 is the new 25. Well what’s so good about 25 anyway? When I was 25 I was all of the following in no particular order:
- Living back at home with my parents.
- Getting fatter by the day.
- Without a B.A.
- In love with all of my ex-boyfriends that I was no longer dating.
- Living vicariously through the “young” people in the nonprofit program I managed.
- A bridesmaid (over, and over, and over again – and sweet Jesus those dresses!!!) but certainly no bride.
- And writing sorry, sad, and ridiculous journal entries day after day. Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.
As I type this I am:
- Not broke.
- Living in my own teensy house on 1.5 acres of land.
- NOT getting fatter by the day.
- B.A. long-since completed.
- In love with my husband.
- Glad I’m not a youngster.
- Hoping for a couple more bridesmaid gigs but pleased as pie most if it’s over.
- And writing some sad, but hopefully not mostly sad, blog posts every day.
Thing is…I have absolutely no interest in being 25 again. Yes, the wrinkle-free space between my eyebrows would be lovely, but for the most part I’m happy to leave that life in 2001 thank you very much. My girlfriend Ess, who turns 36 this upcoming summer, had a remarkable suggestion last week. She said, and I quote “I think we look at 36 is the new 25 in a new light. It’s not about being the age 25, it’s about looking at the next 25 years as a NEW beginning. We are smarter, stronger, wiser and more secure, we now know that if we want something and want it bad enough nothing can get in our way.” Well okay. I like where this is going. THIS I can get my head around.
So if the next 25 years are the new beginning I should think about what I’d like to see happen in that time. And I say think big…why waste time on little stuff.
- Paris. Once a year. Enough said.
- Mortgage paid in full.
- Husband = Real. Estate. Mogul.
- Girls graduate magna cum-laude from Harvard…or Yale…or Notre Dame…or the University of Minnesota.
- House = Bigger.
- Sullivan is miraculously still alive. Okay…kidding.
- Work = Writing. Full-time.
- A lap pool at our house…I have not brought this up with my husband yet…but I feel like I can convince him of the logic.
- Visit Cousin A at least twice per year in various locations (i.e. Dubai).
- Thanksgiving in New York. Every. Year.
- Vegas = Quarterly. At least.
- More than one bathroom. In fact…let’s get crazy…FOUR. BATHROOMS. (You think I’m kidding when I say my house is teensy.)
- Me = New York Times Bestselling Author
Yes…I like where this is going a whole lot. SO 36 is the beginning of a new era. The era of kicking a-s and taking names in pearls and heels. Who’s with me???
TODAY: What if 36 marks the beginning of a new era for me? What if this is when things get REALLY good?