30

Today I am 30.

There have been wonderful moments today. Early this morning I walked through the snow, down the streets of Cambridge, to get to Harvard Square. I went to a spa and got my hair dyed, a facial, and my eyebrows and bikini waxed. I’ve had several facials before, but I’ve never had my hair professionally dyed before or had anything waxed. It was nice, although I have to say that my favorite part of the entire experience was the walk to the Square through the snow, listening to music on my iPod and enjoying the solitude and movement.

Also my two best friends, who are both very far out of the country, planned a scavenger hunt for me. I guess they’ve been planning it for about two months, and they did a very good job. When I woke up this morning there was a small present and a postcard that sent me to work. When I got to work there was a small present and a postcard sending me to my local Starbucks. When I got there, a small present and a note sending me to a coffee shop/bakery. When I got there, a birthday cake and one last note telling me to go home. And when I got home, one final lovely present and a beautiful card telling me how much they both loved me. It was wonderful and considerate and made me miss the two of them so much it hurt. I spent a long time this afternoon driving from place to place crying because I am so incredibly lucky to have such good friends.

There were also bad parts, but the truth is that those parts are much less important in the grand scheme of the day. All in all it was a pretty damn nice birthday, even with my heightened and fragile emotional state.

But here’s the most important thing to come out of this day … I am at peace with my age.  In some ways I have taken a very different path in life than is normal for a person my age.  I have no education, no career, and really no idea what I want to do with my life.  But I am married to a man who I love and who loves me very much.  Sometimes our relationship is less than perfect (which may be putting it mildly).  But there is hope for the future and we are constantly making forward progress.  And I have a son, a beautiful, brilliant, amazing 2 year-old son.  He is, so far, the greatest adventure of my life, and I’m pretty sure that he’ll remain that way for as long as I’m around.  If I can raise this child well, if I can make him be the person he has the potential to be, then my life will have been well lived.

I am 30.  I am no longer a child.  As a great man said just recently it’s time to put aside childish things.  So as cheesy as it sounds I am going to treat today as exactly what it is … the first day of the rest of my life.

I never write anymore. Not that I don’t write here, which I totally don’t and feel surprisingly bad about. But much more that I don’t ever sit down with my beautiful journal and write in there. Sometimes I miss the feel of paper to pen so much it’s astounding.

In my younger days all I ever needed to keep me entertained was a journal and a pen. I would sit for hours writing about my hopes and dreams and observations on the world. Of course, I was stoned WAY more often back then, so that might have helped.

Now the real problem is that it seems so slow. I’m so much faster at typing than I am at writing by hand that it feels pointless. Why not just type it in, dammit?

Because I miss that feeling of pen on paper.

such a day

Today, like a million other people out there, I am writing about the events of the day.  And it’s not as if we’re all writing about the mundane details of our everydays.  No, today we are all writing about the same event, about the inauguration of our beautiful, brilliant new president, Barack Hussein Obama.

I got choked up the moment I first saw the National Mall and the millions – literally millions! – of people joyfully gathered there to welcome this one, single, solitary man into the hardest job in the world.  I am amazed and awed and filled with hope by the reaction of my nation to this man.

And while I thought his speech was wonderful, I was entirely blown away by the Reverend Doctor Joseph Lowery’s benediction.  This man gave us a prayer filled with hope and humility and pride and humor and love … overwhelming love.  How the Reverend Lowery spoke that prayer is how I hope my relationship with God will someday be.  He spoke with faith and love and surrender and joy.  It’s something I need to work on, something I know I need to put effort into, and the first thing that falls to the wayside in times of business or stress.  And that, of course, makes no sense whatsoever.

Anyway, for those of you who didn’t get to see Reverend Lowery’s benediction, here it is.

Love you all, my fellow Americans.

impending

I’m turning 30 two weeks from Wednesday. In the months leading up to this I’ve been feeling exactly the way that you stereotypically are supposed to when you’re turning 30 … terrified, depressed, old. My two best friends are both out of the country, one on a two-week vacation to Thailand and the other in Costa Rica for five months studying Spanish. So the two people who I would normally trust my birthday fun to are both not around. A couple months ago I thought that it was important for me to point this out to J and to make sure he understood that this meant it was up to him to make my birthday a good one.

My mistake.

See, what I figured out is that depending on other people to make it into a good time won’t work. Inevitably they’ll not do what I want them to do, and my expectations will be crushed, and I’ll be incredibly sad. And that, my friends, is total bullshit.

Instead, this year, I came up with my own birthday plan, for incredibly awesome stuff that I am going to go and do by alone. I’m taking the day off work and spending it with myself.

After I drop Darwin off at school in the morning I’m going to go and take a snowboarding lesson. It’s been a couple years since I’ve been and I feel like taking a lesson will ensure that I actually go snowboarding, and might actually help me to get better.

Then, after my snowboarding lesson and morning of boarding fun, I’m going to go grab a quick lunch somewhere and then go get a tattoo. I’m not sure of what yet, or where I’m going to get it (both location on my body and which tattoo studio are still both up in the air), but I’ve got a bunch of ideas I’ve been sitting on for a while, and I’m sure one of them will do. I’ve long been of the belief that there really is nothing better to do when turning 30 than to get a tattoo. I’m glad to see that now that it’s my turn, I still feel the same way.

Then to finish off the day, J and Darwin are going to take me out to dinner.

And that, my friends, is how one should celebrate turning 30. Believe it or not, since coming up with this plan all of my reservations about my impending birthday have slipped away. I feel calm and relaxed and like I can hardly wait for the day itself. It’s going to be good.