Today, I turn 38-years-old. I begin working on my 39th year on this spinning blue sphere.
Screw that – I’m going to stick with calling it “I’m 38.” Beginning 39 sounds like I’m a tanker filled with kerosene rolling downhill into Burning Man.
If I told you that life was where I’d imagined it’d be, I’d be lying. I started the year in love with everything – a man, my job, the year ahead. I’m ending it having ended many things, having a love ripped away from me and staring at 2011 like it’s a pygmy marmoset on crack.
So today, I’m issuing a Bitch Slap to 38, pre-emptive though it might be.
I’m not going to let you get away with the same shit this year. And let’s be honest: some of the shit you pulled during 37 was pretty pathetic. I’ll make a list just so we’re clear:
- Sport drinking (We are now 38 – we don’t metabolize alcohol like a 23-year-old)
- The “I still have checks, so I must have cash” mentality
- Hiding when you could be visible
- Being visible because you’re more concerned with what others think than what you need
- Valuing things over friends (we both know what matters – one takes time away from making memories and the other creates them…put on your Smart Girl hat and figure out which is which)
- Apologizing because you don’t know what else to say
- Missing an opportunity to say thank you
- Making excuses instead of conjuring solutions
- Skipping yoga because you’re tired
- Descending on your bike like you’re a pansy (yeah, those brakes are *really* going to help)
- Not randomly paying for the person behind you in line’s coffee…because it was easier not to
- Being afraid to cry because people are looking
- Feeling like you have to justify how you’re feeling
- Not understanding the difference between friends and frienemies
- Using “things” to replace time well-spent
- Not calling your dad because you don’t know what to say
- Not telling your mom you love her even more than you already do
- Forgetting how Jason lived his life and remembering that we could all do a bit better to be like him
- Honoring yourself, because you’re the most important person in any relationship
- Not saying what you think and feel, because as reality proves, you might never get a second chance.
We’re going to slip up every now and then, I know. But I’m telling you now: excuses are bullshit. We know that 37 delivered gifts and pain beyond compare and that life is forever changed, but why not take the best parts into 38? Let’s make new mistakes instead of the same ones. We’ll embark on new adventures instead of staying where we’re comfortable. And while we will never (ever) eat olives, we can take our upcoming trip across Asia and taste something new.
And there’s a reason I’ve been using we and our and us – and it’s because 37 is coming along for the ride. I’m not leaving it behind – it’s an acquisition. Each year adds on to the next, and this time, I’m going to make sure that 38 knows it has 37 right behind it to hold it accountable. So I’m now a “we.” And today, we’re thankful for friends, family, opportunity and love. We’re sad because we have memories where there was supposed to be a very special person. We’re anxious because life is ambiguous with a great deal hanging in the balance.
But we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we? For the most part, we’re delighted. Ambiguity. What fun would anything be if we always knew how things would turn out? I’m the first person to tell you that when they get that Doc Brown/Delorian time machine shit working, I’ll be in line to have a handful of things put in proper order because the universe’s sense of reason is fucked. Yet I’ve enjoyed the journey so far, tears, heartache and all. Because what remains and what lies ahead…
It all means I have a chance to make all the heartache mean something.
Soooooo…38. You’ve been slapped. Get used to it. We’re holding you accountable.