I did not want to turn thirty. Turning thirty meant I was old. No longer in my twenties. No longer young. No longer fun. When I turned thirty my daughter turned nine. I could see her becoming her own person. Being thirty meant I was a grown up with a daughter who would also be a grown up. I avoided thirty. My step-mom is exactly twenty years older than me. She asked if we might have a joint birthday for her fiftieth and my thirtieth. I hope I didn’t bark ‘NO’ too loudly in her face. Maybe I pretended not to hear her. In any event, I tried very hard not to turn thirty, or at least to ignore the fact altogether. I’m sure my family gave me gifts and cards. I know my mom gave me diamond earrings. I don’t think I’ve ever worn them, but they are beautiful.
So, on April 24th I’ll be forty. Basically, I’ve hit the half-way mark. It’s a rough slide to the grave from here on in, right? Well, screw that! I’m blowing a ridiculous amount of money on spending my fortieth birthday in Vegas, baby! And, its not about ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ or getting blotto and forgetting that I turned forty. It’s about celebrating! An awesome, week-long adventure in a crazy town to celebrate an awesome, decade-long adventure in my crazy life! It’s about celebrating a huge life change.
I am finally in place where I actually like myself. I actually have a good idea of who I am and what I want to be when I grow up. I have a grown-up job, with a grown up salary and grown up benefits. I own a house, well, half of a house. Most of my plants are still alive. I feed my dog every day. My daughter is living away from home. I’m ready for grown-up stuff. So, here I am at forty, finally putting on my big girl panties and ready to live a grown up life.
Now, at forty, growing up is fun and exciting. At thirty, growing up was frightening and ugly. I expect awesomeness in the next ten years. Which is the very opposite of what I expected for the the coming decade when I was twenty-nine.