Turning Thirty – February 2006

I am 29 right now. In another hour or so, I will be 30. I’m honestly happy, with none of that oh-my-god-ness that supposedly accompanies the turning of this age. I can’t wait to be a woman in her thirties.

I am comfortable with myself. I feel like I have faced all of my darker sides, made peace with them and made them part of me, a kaleidoscope where light wins out but both are required for balance. I have learned to live with uncertainty, to work hard, to take chances, to make mistakes and realize they are not the end of the world. I don’t suppose I’m entirely happy yet, but then again I don’t think there is any such thing.

I suppose I’ve become too complex along the way to explain myself completely to anyone, but I think most human beings are. I like them complex, to be honest, like giant puzzles that become clearer over time but always can be interpreted in several different ways. Looked at from a purely unemotional perspective, this could be my brain’s way of amusing itself. But, from a more emotional (and therefore more REAL, in theVelveteen Rabbit sense) perspective, I suppose I prefer people who are more likely to understand me. When I meet people who seem not to have had much life experience and who therefore seem fairly straightforward, shiny, and new, I am bored. That’s not fair to them — they could be amazing on the inside — but I don’t see those universes, and if I’m not given a glimpse, how can I guess it? All of my favorite people have given me a glimpse, multiple glimpses, at one time or another, and, if I must admit it, are full of grey areas.

One of the best things ever about getting older is that I’ve now known several friends for 10+ years and a few for more than 20. There is really no substitute for having substantial history with people. I imagine this is one of the great rewards of life, and I also imagine that I am only really beginning to understand that and still have a long way farther to go.

So what do I expect from today? Not much. It will probably be a day like any other. I had my celebration last night, and now I’m working on a freelance project, punctuated by phone calls and e-mails and e-cards, which make me far happier than I’d care to admit. I hate making a big deal of it in advance, but my birthday really is important to me nonetheless. Hurray for 30!

I know what 29 looks like.

Thirty? Who knows!

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