I turn thirty in two days (on the 10th if you don’t feel like doing the math).
It seems inconceivable to me. I used to joke that I never thought I’d live this long. Honestly, I think a part of me really didn’t think I’d live this long.
Because I go to a community college where most of the students are younglings fresh out of high school, I get a lot of people assuming I’m younger than I am. When people find out my age, most of the time I’m met with, “Oh, I thought you were younger than that!” Generally, people assume I’m somewhere between 20-24.
Of course, I get it. Context matters and I’m surrounded by younger folks. Some people don’t look their age. Some people are a bad judge of age. I’ve mistakenly thought people were younger or older than they really were. So, I understand.
It doesn’t make it any less annoying. It’s annoying, because when I correct people about my age, it is almost always followed up with, “Oh, well, you look great! I really thought you were [twenty-whatever]!” Like it’s a compliment that they got my age wrong.
There’s this pervasive idea that getting older is a bad thing, particularly if you’re someone who is read as a woman. Women and non-masculine-identified female-bodied people are expected to dread getting older. Like it’s something to be ashamed of.
Forget that noise.
As many of you know, I have depression and anxiety. Like I mentioned, I think there’s always been a part of me which never expected to make it this far in my life. I know there were times I wished I wouldn’t make it this far. I struggled, a lot.
I earned thirty. I fought and clawed and cried my way this far. So, you can bet I want credit for it every single day of it. I deserve credit for every day I’ve survived, especially when mental illness tried to beat me down.
And you, dear reader, whatever your age, deserve credit for every day you’ve survived.
Getting older is not a bad thing and we need to stop treating it like it’s something to be ashamed of–like youth is somehow better. Because, I mean, I don’t know how you feel, but twenty-year-old me was an idiot and, frankly, a total a-hole. I have absolutely no desire to go back to being twenty.
Why should I? I’m smarter now. Kinder. More thoughtful. My experience has made me a better person. Chances are, you’ve had experiences in your life which have caused you to grow into a better/stronger/smarter/kinder person than you were. What is there to envy in the foolishness we’ve left behind?
We can’t go back in time. We can’t change the past, so there’s no point wasting time wanting to. We need to stop treating birthdays like death knells. We need to stop acting as though aging is the worst thing that can happen to us.
Instead, I want us to look forward, not back. Rather than waste our time lamenting the so-called loss of youth that can’t return, we should be working to become the people we want to be. There is badassery awaiting us in the future, we just have to face forward and find it.
Stop looking back; move forward and claim the awesome old biddies we’re destined to be.
Oh, and Happy fkn Birthday to me! I’ll be spending the next week… well, honestly, probably cleaning. But, I’m going to be eating a lot of cake while I do it! Eff yea! CAKE!
I love you all.
P.S. If you want to wish me a super happy birthday and get me something awesome that won’t cost you a dime, I would love it if you would share your favorite post of mine on your social media! It only takes a couple seconds and it would mean the world to me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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