I remember when I turned 25. Something small inside me panicked. A tiny switch was flipped and I realized I was no longer in my “early 20s.” I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly, or if I was where I was supposed to be in life — whatever that means.
I turned 33 years old this week, and had one of the best birthday weekends in a long time. It was full of friends and laughs and margaritas; my birthday is Cinco de Mayo, and who doesn’t love yet another excuse to party?
I didn’t have the feeling of dread I’ve had on my birthday the last couple of years. That realization I’m not doing x, y, and z even though I thought I would be by now. I didn’t freak out and stare at myself in the mirror to look for new wrinkles or fine lines. I didn’t look at my bank account with disappointment, or ask my cats why I’m still single, or ask myself why I’m still not teaching yoga after all these months.
Instead, I felt proud of myself. And happy. Really, really happy. I felt wiser. You know, like those people older than you always said – with age comes wisdom. They were right.
I’ve accomplished a lot in my life: I’ve lived in the south of France. I’ve met two presidents (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) and been inside the White House numerous times. I finished yoga teacher training and became certified to teach. I spent a month backpacking Ecuador. I’ve become an aunt to a perfect little munchkin. I’ve maintained some truly amazing friendships. And I was given a weekly column on a really amazing website. (This one. Obviously.)
What I don’t have is a corner office, children, a husband, a mortgage, a lawnmower, or cable television. I don’t know how the hell to fix my wireless internet, or how to make my website look like something other than a place you accidentally navigated to with a typo.
But I’m ok with all of this. My life is full of abundance and love and joy. And I'm the one who placed it there. Over the course of several months and years, I’ve realized I don’t want to wake up anymore and feel bummed out about things. I don’t want to dread doing anything. I don’t want to wish away my week — and I definitely don’t want to wish away my life.
My life is as simple or as complicated as I want it to be, and I know I’m the only one in control of that. I’m proud to be another year older. Shouldn’t we all be?