Yesterday, I turned 28.
Yep, no denial here. 28. As many times as I joke that I’m 21 or 22 (people believe me, which is slightly awkward…), I’m really almost 30. I had a full day of completely indulgent things that made me happy- I got my hair blown out, went to tea at Neiman Marcus, had a glass of champagne with my mother, and a big family dinner. I’ve been told before that no “adult” takes their birthday off, so I ran the risk of feeling like a kid, and took the day off anyway. No adult thinks that their birthday is something to celebrate, apparently.
You see, I’m almost 30. I have friends who are married, friends who have children, friends who want to buy houses. Every year, my friend Rachel asks me what she calls the “‘Birthday Question:’ What has it taken you __ years to learn?” This year, I shared something that I know to be true, yet I still think I’m learning it, if that makes sense. It’s a bit like that saying “comparison is the thief of joy.”
Many of us start our adult lives the same way- high school then college, graduation then a job. What people don’t tell you is that everyone’s lives tend to go on their own course from there. Some of your friends will leave the country, some of your friends will have babies, some might join the army. There’s no right or wrong way to go about things. Comparing your lives at this point, is pretty much an exercise in futility. Other people might try, even if you don’t. They’ll compare your life to how their’s was or is. So, that’s what I learned this year. Or what I’m trying to learn.
Sometimes I think about what my life would look like if it had gone differently, or gone the way I thought it might when I was a teenager. And it makes me sad to think about- I certainly wouldn’t be the same person I am today. It still seems funny to say that I’m proud of the things that I’ve done- I work in a field I love, I have a place I can call my own, I own some beautiful shoes, and, as of yesterday, a brand-new Nespresso machine (Yay! Fancy!). This month, I have plans to go to Vegas and Washington D.C. Just for fun, and to see new things. I’m like a real adult. Who knew?
I’m almost 30, and I think it’s hard to be grateful sometimes, but I try everyday. I think it’s human nature to fixate on the one thing that we don’t yet have, or the things we think we’re missing. I’m almost 30, and I’m trying to make myself into the person that I really want to be. No one’ going to do it for me. At my birthday dinner yesterday, I had ten people there to celebrate, many of whom have known me since before I can remember. We had some really good food, told stories, and I laughed so hard, I thought I might wet my pants. People from all over wished me a happy birthday. It made me feel special, but not in that little-kid way. I have a fridge full of mini cupcakes, but also a really nice bottle of brut rose.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.