Cue the music

Today I turned 34.

I’m not entirely sure what this means, besides the fact that I am the age my mother was when she had me, which makes me exactly half her age now (well, sort of. When we start messing with counting weeks and such, it’s not quite true, but math is not my strong point and I hate splitting hairs). I am an only child, we like birthdays around here.

I am recovering from a rather wicked hangover borne of the yearly party the husband and I share due to our close birthdays – his is the 3rd – and the red wine that somehow kept reappearing in my cup. I don’t get hangovers often, but each one seems a little tougher, a little stiffer, a little all-around more violent than the last. It is a reminder, of sorts, of this growing older thing, and how bodily abuse just isn’t as easy as it was in my twenties.

I’m not as pessimistic as I might believe myself to be. I will grant that, by 34, I had some notion of having “more.” Now, I realize, “more” is sort of a nebulous term, hard to define, and ever-changing.

Do I have the career I might have wanted to achieve, when I dreamed of such things at 18, 21, 25 even? Of course not. But I have never been the most pragmatic person, and I think, for a good deal of my life, I thought that, if I wanted something enough, it would appear. 

I’m not stupid, or selfish, but, really, just kind of lazy and hopeful.

I’m 34 now, and my career is not what I might have desired at 18 (though, to be fair, at 18, I think I wanted to be married to a movie star and writing bestsellers between orgies and doing lines of coke) or even at 25 (back then, I was the mother of a small child living pretty close to the bone, and I would have just paid for three hours of sleep and a box set of Friends). I’ve learned things along the way, though, and I’ll say: at 34, I have it pretty good. 

Things are looking up, moving forward, developing. All those things you say, though they, like “more” are ever-changing. I can’t define things quite as well as I could when I was younger, but, in some way, they’re more solid now than I could have managed then. It’s strange, but true. 

And so we begin again: another year of me. Each one has been a bit different, not all of them good, but, like a dog hopping in a car for another unknown destination, all I’ve got is the hope that it’s the park and not the vet’s office.

PS. Check out the newest podcast with me and Laila: Lilt, episode 3, wherein we discuss editing way too late on a Friday night.

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