Thursday, May 26, 2011

The reality of being THIRTYSOMETHING

I turned 35 recently. The big 3-5. The mid 30s, oh so closer to the 40 mark. I am supposed to be wiser, have found myself already, and responsibly saving for retirement. That was my goal. By this age I should know my real bra size, no what color not to dye my hair, be a morning person (one who cooks her teen breakfast every day with a smile), have my checkbook balanced, be in shape after losing all that pregnancy weight (ah-hem 13 years later), and have my home be the epitome of design and style.

Yeah, um, we'll get back to that later.

Carrie Bradshaw was Thirtysomething in Sex in the City. That cool I am woman hear me roar, age. The age where you've traveled enough to be worldy, where you read the New York Times everyday, where you have that hipster loft downtown (like Partick & Demi's from Ghost), the age where your style is solidified, clothes beg to be worn by you, they fit perfectly, make your butt look awesome, and high heels are comfortable to not only wear but run in, and you have that dream career of being a Best-Selling author. The age where all you've worked for and dreamed of comes to fruition.

You know, like Carrie.

When I was a teen, the TV Show Thirtysomething was all the rage. I didn't get it. Old people acting like teens and being crazy. Gross. My parents were in their 40s then, but there was no way that in their 30s they acted like these people.

Years later, and being smack of the middle of my Thirtysomethings, I can only laugh at the temerity of my youth. Who at 35 has it all figured out? Why was this year going to be different for me? Why have I put so much pressure on myself?

All those things I listed above, yeah, I'm still working on all of that. I just figured out my bra size, I think anyway. This month I like the color I dyed my hair. Um, about that weight... yeah, um, I'm as heavy as I was when I was 9 months preggers. My style, well, I try to keep up but get lazy in my comfy chubby girl clothes. I am never going to be a morning person. My checkbook has its own sense of balancing. My home is not a trendy downtown loft and seems to be an eternal mess of DIY Construction (thanks Hubby for starting 10 projects and finishing none). High heels are not my friends. I have traveled but not to enough places to be worldy. I do not read the paper. Clothes laugh at me in the dressing room, some actually cry for me not to try them on.

Why did I think I'd magically wake up and have it all figured out? Well, I still believe in fairytales. I guess I should've known better.
The days preceding my birthday I was in a grand place. My plans of having my life fall perfectly into place were moving along quite perfectly, thank you very much. The local campaign I worked on for a dear friend had all the momentum it needed. Things were more than good. I had 2 full requests. TWO! One with an agent I think is the bees-knees and the other with an fabulous editor I met at a conference. And for the first time in years I was excited to celebrate my-bday. I've had many loved ones pass away and they seem to do so the week of my birthday. My brother died two days after my 12th birthday. My Dad died five days after my 24th birthday. My friend and hubby's cousin, who was more like his brother, died three days after my 29th birthday. Yeah, you can see how a girl wouldn't want to celebrate her birthday. Life is a real BITCH, btw. Only a girl would piss all this bad luck on me.

I am not telling you all of this for a pity-party. No tissues needed or Wah-wah-wambulances needed to be called on my account. It's just the reality of me never wanting to celebrate my birthday since my brother died. I'm not crying about it, really.
But this year was going to be different. Turning 35 was supposed to be different. I wanted to celebrate being me and the awesome place I was in.

Yeah, let's revisit that little thing about how life likes to eternally kick me in the proverbial balls in May.
Birthday celebration was thrwarted twice by life. Friends and family tried, they did, but it wasn't meant to be. Election day did not go in our favor. Not at all. And it was ugly, mean, and everything people hate about politics. I am grateful that my dear friend kept his hands clean and can sleep at night. Kudos to him. I got rejected by that agent. I expected as much since my novel is not exactly within the genres she represents. But we have this really great internet correspondence and I think she is full of awesomesauce. She has to be the sweetest person I have come across on this journey to publication. In this tough, cold business that says a lot. To be honest, I am lucky she even requested to read anything at all, since my mushy love stories aren't her style. Her rejection was filled with more praise than a Penecostal Church on Easter. It warmed my heart, truly (I will be posting about that very soon, btw). It just makes me nervous about the full with the editor. With the rate I am going this May, it doesn't bode well for me.

But, I am very happy. I am. I have a husband I love more and more everyday. He is my highschool sweetheart and this summer marks 19 years of being together. My daughter is blossoming into a young, strong, and intelligent woman, who happens to have one hell of an arm for softball and one hell of a singing voice. My two dogs are the cutest pound puppies, ever. My friends are always there and so is my family. My critique partner is the most kick-ass CP in the world. I am gainfully employed and have my health. I am truly blessed.

So happy, I just feel like whistling and singing a little Bobby McFerrin. Besides, anything with Robin Williams just cracks me up. :)


  1. You go! I loved 35 ... kinda. It is a great time to be alive.

    I've recently discovered that quite a few authors (I mean published authors) actually send their works to editors BEFORE submitting to an agent/their agent. They all want someone who can look at it holistically. And, they recommend those going out of the gate for the first time to do the same. Wish I had that bit o' info 10 years ago!

    Anyhoodle, thought I'd share. And happy ol' lady day! When do we hang out?

  2. Happy birthday. My big 35 is nearing, a few more weeks... Oh, the only difference I notice, is that I can ask for the volume to be turned down or up, without anyone arguing. Yeah. I like power like that.

  3. Happy birthday, Charli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Ah 35 ... I've got 5 years to worry about that one, how about 30? :-)

    Ye kick ass too lassie!

  5. Happy Birthday Charli! Good luck with the editor:) I'm in the same boat as AJ...only i'm not even close to happy about it...i plan on getting good and hammered for my birthday so I don't remember it!

  6. I can identify with so much of what you write here. It brings up something my mom told me when I was much to young to understand. She said that, really, most adults act adult because they know they have to. Really, inside, she said, she still feels about 16.

  7. Happy Birthday, Charli....My plan was to have it all figured out by the time I was 40. Still hasn't happened :) So just enjoy each day...

  8. Oh, and very much enjoyed the Don't Worry Be Happy video :)

  9. Happy birthday, Charli!

    Let me tell you something - I'm 'only' 28, but I feel like I've lived 4 lifetimes crammed into this one, and this is something I found out - whenever I thought I had everything down to smooth sailing, something cropped up and changed that data. I think that's called 'life'...

    So live for the moment, girl. Be happy, and as long as that's constant, then nothing else should get to trump you and your whole existence.

    Huge hugs, love ya!!

  10. Fun post. At 46 I still FEEL 35 (not sure where all those years went!) -- which is a good thing, right?

    Enjoy life, follow your's all the same no matter the age. Happy Birthday!