Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I got 29 candles and my hair in a bun

There's nothing like realizing it's your last birthday of your 20's to potentially catapult yourself into an existential -thirdofyourlife- crisis. Next year will be the infamous (at least amongst my contemporaries) "dirty thirty"- an expression I reckon reflects a figurative dirty rather than a literal one (I myself have become more hygienic). It is my belief that the dirty prefix is intended to encapsulate what you look like to the public when you behave as you were 21 meanwhile assuming the body and face of someone with a decade to boot. 

But the marvelous thing about that extra decade is that you don't even care! In fact, I'm already planning my thirtieth birthday in Ibiza (wanna come?) and I expect it to be bigger and better than anything that could have ever gone down in my early 20's. Nevermind that my knees creak every time they hinge, that I can't (and WON'T) tolerate noise, and that one cocktail will punish me for the entire day that follows.  Just because I like to be in bed at a reasonable hour so I can have a productive early start to my next day does not mean I'm not entitled to have "fun" just like the rest of you riotous teenagers. I will make no apologies for undisciplined behavior. That's because in my opinion, breaking social rules is only poor form if you're breaking them ignorantly. If conversely, you're perfectly privy to social standards but opt to reject them anyway, then this may even deserve merit. It is my belief that it is actually this very fact that underscores the major difference between the 21 year-old and the 30 year-old gyrating on the table under the black light (well, that, and probably ≥ 10 pounds). 

I realize 29 appears to be dripping youth to those currently undergoing annual colonoscopies or getting excited about senior citizen discounts, but you too must remember that it's all a matter of perspective and that I am currently older than I've ever been in my life, ever!

As a child and a teenager I could only envision my parents' lives in the context of being a parent because that's the only way I'd ever known them (and because kids are self-centered like that). Now that I've reached the same age my parents were when they met, my life feels soberingly like it has really begun. I also see myself more holistically now that there exists a graspable continuity between my grandparents, parents, and myself (a sensation I anticipate will amplify if an extension of my genome ever passes by way of my vaginal canal). 

As I age, more than just the extent of my fine lines change. I now see a value in trying to reject cynicism rather than cultivate it (though I'm almost certain I'm not strong enough to succeed). I admire most those who are content and easily satisfied (though recognize this as a lofty ambition for someone such as myself who is IMPOSSIBLE to satisfy).  I also seek to be more like those who are always happy and good natured (and I think limiting my intake of films to those with exclusively happy endings will help facilitate this). 

For the first time ever, I had a dream last night I was pregnant. My belly was as big as a house and I could barely walk. It was such a vivid experience that I thought I might somehow be channeling my mother from 29 years ago. It served as a reminder that a birthday is really the time to forget about oneself in favor of celebrating one's parents- the people who birthed you, raised you, and/or along the way adopted you as one of their own. So that is precisely what I am going to do now- THANK YOU so much to those of you who are biologically obliged to tolerate me (I'm sure I seemed like a good idea before I actually existed), as well as those who have miraculously inexplicably VOLUNTEERED to tolerate me.  You amaze me, and you deserve the highest of accolades (at very least in the form of a life-sized gilded statue of yourself) for all the years you have devotedly wiped my butt and/or my tears. (Which reminds me, will I be seeing you for more of that next summer in Ibiza?) 

Happy birthday to you, parents. 


Anonymous said...

Very proud to be your mama! And Ibiza it is then, next year.

Liv said...

Thanks mama, and I am a very proud daughter!
Ibiza it is with all the family and friends we can recruit (even grandma!). It will be the party of the ages!