(Apologies to my Instagram and Facebook friends who have already seen this photo. If you have wavy, difficult hair, you will understand that an amazing blow out is worth documenting and sharing ad nauseum!)
My birthday is coming up soon. My 34th birthday. And all of a sudden I’m kind of freaking out. It started the other night when J casually referred to us as middle-aged. “You’re wrong,” I said. “We aren’t middle-aged. That would mean we’re only going to live to be in our late 60’s or 70’s.” And then I paused for a second and considered that. For the rest of the night it ran through my mind, that maybe (and I pray not) he was right.
I typically think of myself as young. Really, really young. So young that I don’t feel out of place in the least at trendy new bars, or concerts, or still browsing the racks at Forever 21. Never mind that my kids are following along, or that I have a sitter dozing on my couch, waiting for me to relieve her by midnight. J and I were on the young side to become parents when we had Norah, at least by California standards, so we’re several years younger than most of our friends with kids and I’m used to being “the baby” of the group.
But recently a few things have pointed to the fact that while we may not (yet) be middle-aged, we’re not exactly young, either:
-We saw “This is 40” and agreed some of the scenes could have been lifted directly from our lives.
-A friend referred to two of my favorite musical artists, Ryan Adams and Wilco, as “old man rock.” (It didn’t help that Adams popped up in “This is 40”!)
-We went to dinner with a sweet group of 27-year-olds who are planning to uproot and move to Thailand for a year. Between viewing their tattoos (totally spontaneous, very large) and hearing about their fuzzy travel plans and their New Year’s abandoned warehouse late-night raving, I could not have felt more ancient or mom-like.
I’m starting to wonder if the sudden urge for a birthday tattoo isn’t related to this uneasiness about aging. Or the fact that I was set to chop my hair off this morning at the hair salon and then decided against it, loving the idea of long, straight, flowing locks. I drive a minivan, for goodness sakes, so it’s not like a short haircut will be the one thing that makes me look like a mom of two, but still…
I think I assumed by the time I reached this age, I would have it together. I would be investing, savvy about retirement, will and trust in-hand. I would be well-established in my career, bossing around numerous employees or running my own successful business. But all of that seems kind of far off and hazy still. I have friends my age that say things like, “We’re buying our ‘forever home,’” and I just want to laugh incredulously. My idea of a perfect weekend morning is eating donuts on the couch, watching old “90210″ re-runs. Clearly, I haven’t yet reached maturity!
Am I alone? Do any of you feel this way? It’s not a full-blown lie-about-my-age panic at this point, but I do sort of wish I was blowing out 30 candles next month and not 34!