Thoughts on Turning 35
Every year, right before my birthday, I start to panic. Just a little.
This has been happening for about a decade now and it's always starts off with the same thing.
"Oh my God. I'm going to be XX. This isn't how I pictured it at all."
And I freak because I don't feel like an adult, I don't have kids and oh my God, last week I used my flat iron to press the collars of my dress.
But this year? Thirty-five?
It feels different.
I didn't freak out this year.
In fact, I feel really good about this year. I feel good about myself, who I am and the path I'm on.
Maybe it's the yoga. Maybe it's the fact that I'm more politically engaged/enraged and once you take into account what a mess this world is, you stop freaking out about the other stuff or maybe it's just getting older and settling more comfortably into your own life.
I hate to admit it because ugh, Troy was the worst but a quote from Reality Bites has been chasing my tail over the past couple of months.
I know. I know.
Troy was the goddamn worst and we are all smart enough now to know never to ever date someone like that and, "ride my own melt" - what the fuck does that even mean, you pretentious wank?
BUT, he's not totally wrong about taking pleasure in the details.
Look, broken squirrel/blind clock, right?
(Sidebar: I know. That's the joke)
When I like something - the grilled cheese with Thousand Island dressing, grilled onions and avocado at Howley's, gin-scented soap at Bath and Body Works, the Disgraceland podcast (post coming soon) - I basically become its campaign manager and exhibit Chris Traeger levels of enthusiasm about it.
John rolls his eyes at me whenever I do it, but it's true.
In that moment, what I'm eating/smelling is the best goddamn thing I've ever had and I kinda need to tell people about it.
I've spent way too much time lamenting the things I don't have and the life I was never meant to lead.
So, I'm not married or a mom or a writer in Los Angeles with an orange tree in the backyard.
You know what I am, though?
I live exactly where I want to live with exactly who I want to live with. I've got a diva princess Shiba, a moose, a murderous little gato and if the thing ever grows, a pomegranate tree in the side yard.
Yesterday, I ate the best lentil kachoris filled with fennel and my boyfriend bought me roses. Again. Because he knows how much I love seeing them on the dining table.
You live a happier life if you focus on the details of the good stuff you do have. Even if it's seemingly inconsequent like, "Wow. There is a lot of fresh lime in this guacamole. That's awesome."
You keep expressing joy about the little things and then, you kinda start to realize that all the big things are pretty great too.
There is always going to be pain and I'm acutely aware of that, but why fixate it on when there's so much joy I can focus on instead?
Here's to thirty five - dogs, live music, tacos and travel. A life well-lived in the sunshine.