“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” ― Larry Lorenzoni
The times I’ve least expected anything, are the times I’ve been most surprised. This time, April 3 brought about happiness, surprises, and a lot of love.
I’ve been sad about my birthday for a while now – not a huge fan of being in my 30’s. Everyone kept telling me that “age is just a number – don’t think much of it.” But, if it’s really JUST a number, why are so many of the things I do, considered to be ‘age-inappropriate’ by society? Isn’t the statement just a little bit contradictory? I’ve spent so much time wondering about these little things that probably don’t matter that I forgot to really ‘plan’ anything for my birthday. But the incredible amount of joy I’ve had in the last couple of days, made up for possibly every miserable feeling I’ve had over the last few months.
I don’t want to delve into how I’ve changed and how my life has changed over the last few months, but I will say this – it is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world, when you realize that you’ve got people who love and appreciate you for who you are – and for the hard work you put in. And people who genuinely have your back.
33 years of existence and no, I do not wish to think of ‘settling’ down, because that isn’t the ultimate goal. Maybe for some of you it is, and you are happily settled and have your kids and your house in the suburbs and a picket fence, but even though it *used* to be something I thought about on a daily basis when I was about 20-something, I can’t possibly fathom being in that position. Not just yet. There are so many things in my life that I haven’t done, I haven’t travelled enough, I haven’t been to the most exotic beaches in the world, I haven’t kissed someone in the snow.. you get my gist? And this year – I feel like I’m reaching somewhere wherein I might just get to experience all of it. So does my age have anything to do with it? Doubtful. Those of you who are reading this and thinking.. ‘isn’t she too old to be wondering about travelling the world etc..’ take a moment, did you in your years of single life, actually do something that you could cross off your bucket list? Something unusual, something you could do when you had the freedom – did you? Now, when I think about the sadness I felt leading up to my birthday – I realize how pointless it was considering there is ALL of the above mentioned to yet be done, and I can still do it. 🙂
So April 2nd and 3rd were mighty special. Birthday wishes came from all corners of the globe, from friends who I hadn’t heard from in a really long time, and from people I didn’t expect would even bother. But surprisingly, the ones that I least expected to be around for my birthday, were the ones that showed they really did care. And genuinely wanted to be around for my special day.
I’m not one of those people who wants to show the world that I spent my birthday with 50 friends drinking, ordering the most expensive alcohol, and being at a fancy restaurant spending money on bite sized portions of foods I’d probably never eat again or would rather spit out. That isn’t want I like to do. Birthdays are intimate affairs for me. 8-10 friends or family. And this year, because I was done with all of the birthday nonsense (frankly, I find them to be grossly overrated) I felt that whoever wanted to see me, they’d make the time and do it.
33 years and today I feel loved. I feel like I’ve done so much with my life, and I yet have so much more to do. I’ve been beaten down, told by ‘friends’ I’m never going to achieve anything with my life, that I’m pretty much living off my parents, that I don’t do anything that would make me feel like I’ve done something on my own. These very ‘friends’ are the ones who are stuck in a mundane routine. Some in their cushy jobs, some just using their family business as a way to say that they are ‘working’ – some of them simply just sitting in their father’s offices filing their nails, pretending they’re high powered executives, who have basically had everything handed to them on a platinum platter and just have to show they’re doing something ‘productive’. I’ve done exactly the opposite. And honestly, I don’t need to justify any of my actions. Why I did them, why I’ve chosen the paths I wanted to, and why I’ve given up working with my folks.
So on my 33rd birthday, I resolved that I would try something new, live life to the fullest, not think of the consequences (to some extent), live in the moment, feel the present, embrace the now, travel the world, be happier, and achieve a few things on my bucket list. It doesn’t matter if I can’t do all of it this year, or next, but as long as I try and achieve some of it – I should be happy.
I don’t want to do the whole ridiculous new age #100HappyDays (Please tell me if you would do this if this silly hashtag didn’t appear this year..) because, I know I can’t continuously be happy for a hundred days. I’m moody and frankly speaking, I need to have my moments of being down. Being in the environment I am in – I can try and be happy, but it doesn’t come without it’s fair share of stress and moments of frustration. But the fact is I’ve decided that it is absolutely essential for me to live my life, doing the things I want to, and not let society dictate what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ because face it, half of things our miserable society labels as right and wrong are the most ridiculously hypocritical things I’ve heard/seen in my life. At one point, we’ve all allowed our parents – and this isn’t to say that I’m blaming them in any way – to tell us what we ‘should’ be doing with our lives, what is right and what is wrong. I’ve always stressed on the point that what our parents think is right probably stems from what they ‘perceive’ or what their elders instilled into them.
Time’s are changing and life is changing. The things I did at 16 would be considered ‘uncool’ by the 16 year olds today. I didn’t have an iPad at 16, I didn’t have a smartphone – hell, my mobile looked like a brick that I didn’t even want to carry it around. I didn’t have a fancy Mac Book at 16 – I carried a heavy 64-Bit, Windows 2000 computer. I was still happy. I didn’t need technologically advanced gadgets to ‘fit in’ with my friends. I didn’t need to emotionally blackmail my parents to get what I wanted. No. I didn’t need to carry around an obnoxiously large Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, or Prada bag that flaunted my wealth. I realized I’m happy – Why have I been wasting time on being sad? I’ve got a family that is proud of what I’ve achieved, I’ve got friends that love me for the person I am, and I have an incredible support system that has seen me through the worst of times in my life. How can I not be happy and grateful for all of it? Selfish little git, aren’t I?
Guess what lovelies – age really is just a number. You really are as old as you feel. The society that you live in has created rules for you, has created this persona of what you should be like when you reach a certain age. Fluffy magazines have ‘lists’ of things you ‘absolutely need to do when you are at 30..’ and crap like that. It has been so heavily etched into our brains and we are such ‘slaves’ to fashion and lifestyle that who we truly are, is completely lost in translation. So today I say – Age? It’s a bloody number. Don’t let society make you lose your identity.. be the person you are, and don’t hide behind a facade. I’m happy. I feel happy, and this birthday proved.. just that. 🙂