Thirty-Six

Yesterday was my birthday. I’ve never been the type of person who dreads an approaching birthday because that just hasn’t been something that crosses my mind. I know several people who told me when I turned 30 to watch out because they got depressed when they turned 30/31/32, but that never really happened for me. My birthday is in a way, non-consequential to me in that aspect. Last year was a little rough, only in that, I began to notice shit like wrinkles and grey hairs sprouting up more (hello vanity, nice to meet you). But other than that, I like to look at my birthday as another chance to make the changes I want to make. A benchmarker more familiar to me than New Year’s. I will admit I did have a few moments of panic because, holy shit, in four years I’m going to be FORTY, but meh. It is what it is. This year though, I’ve had a chance to think back to what I was doing 10, 20, 30(!) years ago at this time.

Thirty years ago, I was starting kindergarten. I had to start the year I turned six because I didn’t meet the birthday cut-off. I’ve always been one of the oldest kids in my class, and it’s not always fun when your birthday is at the beginning of the school year. I don’t remember a whole lot about kindergarten, other than we got naps and snack time, hatched chicks from eggs in the spring, and we had graduation at the end of the year. I made one of my first best friends in kindergarten and we are still friends to this day, so that’s a plus! I also went to a small school, so these were the people I was going to be in a class with until I switched schools my junior year.

Twenty years ago, I got my driver’s license. And a week later had my first car accident. I was coming around a corner and hit some loose gravel from someone’s driveway and proceeded to spin out and wind up in a ditch. Super scary when you’re by yourself, for sure. Getting your license is really that first step in independence for most people. You get to go places on your own, be responsible for your own actions, feel a little grown-up. For some people, it’s a ticket to a whole new world. A chance to grow and change and be your own person.

Ten years ago, I was getting diagnosed with a life-long autoimmune disease. After years of wondering why I felt exhausted all the time and gaining weight no matter what I did, I finally had an answer. I didn’t know at the time, but I would spend the next ten years battling the disease on my own before stumbling across research and support to help guide me in the right direction.

Big things seem to happen to me when I have six tacked at the end of my age.

I’ve gotten to take 35 trips around the sun, and I’m hoping to get many more. I’m also hoping to make this 36th one of the best yet to come. It’s been a stressful few years leading up to this, so I’m hoping the luck of the sixes holds out, and big, good things happen this year. I know a lot of it won’t happen magically out of anywhere, but I’m ready to put in the work.

Here’s to 36, it’s time to kick some ass!

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