I've been a little out of sorts lately, and I think it has to do with my birthday, which is coming up in about a month. It's a big one, one that ends in a 0, and it's messing with my mind a bit, but not in the way one would expect.
I don't like to talk about my age, or even tell people how old I am, but this is hard to write about unless I disclose that I will, indeed, be turning 30. It's out there, it's coming toward me, it's being talked about, and I am concerned. I have many, perhaps even a majority, of close friends who are more than a couple of years older than me. I don't like them to think about this fact too much or dwell on it, lest they discover in its implications some significant difference between us. Some unbridgeable gap. I prefer to commiserate about hot flashes we are all having when I'm pregnant and they are having them for, well, other reasons, and pretend that we're the same. I hate when they find out that some of them are as old as my mother, or even older. I live in fear that they will quit me.
So, that's one piece of it. Another is that I've felt like I was 30 years old since I was either eight or twelve, so I kind of feel like my body is just now catching up. Some people are confronted by their age, and this birthday just confronts me with my youth. Turning 30 means acknowledging that I'm not 30 yet, that I'm still in my (gasp) twenties, for God's sake. That I've been hanging out in the twenties for a very long time now, nearly an entire decade. Especially in regards to my writing, this feels like very bad news.
Telling the truth is my greatest weakness in my living and in my writing. To be a Good Girl, one gives up honesty at a very young age. One must only speak what wants to be heard, tell only the things which hurt no one. I know this about myself, though--I walk with this limp every day. But my 30th Birthday introduced a new fear, one even more terrifying to me.
I think it began a couple weeks ago when I went in to pick up Lucy after her nap. I lifted her and drew her close, and she curled her knees up to her chest like a roly-poly and snuggled into my shoulder. What a tender world it is in which you live, I said to her, and I was glad. But I knew as I said it that my life, too, has unfolded in the most tender of landscapes to a degree to which is unusual for someone my age. Someone my age. So, not only am I young, but inexperienced, at that. That was the day I found the new Big Fear that my birthday keeps rubbing in my face. The fear that I won't be able to write anything worthwhile because I don't know sh*t about sh*t. If it wasn't bad enough that I have a problem telling the truth, now I worry that I won't even know the truth to tell it.
All that being said, I now have about a month to think about for what I will be wishing on the actual day. Suggestions are welcome.