So… I’m 30.
30 years have passed between the two photos you see above. I have slight wrinkles in both photos and there are two very important guys holding me. There are a few other similarities: my first name, lactose intolerance, I was loud both then and now and seem uncharacteristically quiet in both photos…
Mostly, and unsurprisingly, the years have changed almost everything else. I like this. I like always changing. I see life as a constant series of video game levels. You have challenges, you gain allies, avoid enemies, rack up points and once you’ve done enough, level up.
Leveling up doesn’t always coincide with a birthday. In fact, most of my birthdays over the years have been horrible. Sometimes, you feel like a particular level of life lasts more than a few years and what gets you through the door can be a transcendent realization, a situational change, or a meaningful event.
As I said, my birthdays typically interfering with Christmas, I’m not used to them being meaningful or restful events. I usually feel guilty for getting in the way of everyone’s Christmas celebrations.
That is why Vasant took me away this year. He wanted me to have fun, to think up new stories and get a chance to relax. That’s exactly what this trip has been. We went to our storytelling mecca. We wrote, drafted outlines, came up with new myths. We slept and did yoga and ran. And he celebrated me. I didn’t feel guilty for getting in his way of celebrating Christmas. I didn’t feel like observing my birthday was an imposition. That isn’t normal for me, and it was really liberating.
This year has been one of the hardest of my life. I’m still not over some of the things I’ve gone through/am going through. I’ve been trapped in a mental fog for most of this year, feeling as if, because I failed at being pregnant (don’t bother saying I didn’t… it’s how miscarriage feels), that I was going to fail at everything else.
Most birthdays are just days. When someone says “So how does it feel to be [x] age?”, you shrug and say “It feels the same”.
I don’t feel the same this year.
I feel like the second the clock struck midnight, something broke loose.
30 is a new level.
Now, this means tougher challenges and bigger enemies. It also means new skills and better allies.
I’m ready to play this level. I’m throwing off all the crap that was in my twenties and I’m ready for all that this next decade has.
Thank you, you wonderful people, for your amazing birthday wishes. My phone was exploding all Thursday with birthday cheer.
Now, it’s time to board my plane and head back to Seattle. Starting later this evening, by the way, this blog becomes all about Christmas. I hope you all enjoy your holidays. Thank you for being such great friends.