I lie about my age. All the time. I’m not sure when it started…maybe when all my dreams didn’t come true and I realized I am perhaps a little embarrassed that I haven’t accomplished what I wanted to do. Maybe it was when I fell in love with, and married, a man who is younger than I am. When he turned 30, I finally gave in and announced that I was no longer 28 but was 30 as well.
I’m holding steady at 30 this year. As my birthday looms ahead—five months from now. Hey, I am a Virgo we plan ahead!—I find myself grappling with what this next birthday means. Oh yeah, I will be celebrating yet another anniversary of my thirtieth birthday, but when do I just take a deep breath and be my age? Own it? Or do I hold on to the lie and then feel guilty because I’m not a very good liar and I hate lying to people. Do I enjoy the surprise people express when I DO tell them my age and they say “I totally thought you were younger!” Is there an expiration date for when it stops being okay and really becomes sad that I can’t admit how old I am?
And the question that bothers me the most is why it bothers me at all! I don’t feel particularly good about where I am in my life right now and I am not quite sure why. I have a family that loves me, and I them. I have friends I treasure. I live in America and suffer terrible indignities like there is nothing on the twenty million cable channels and alert the authorities we are out of Diet Coke! I mean, really, my problems are nothing compared to what others suffer. I am still licking my wounds from having to move in with my in-laws (Thank God for them, they saved us), mourning the chance for us to be a family just the four of us while simultaneously being blessed beyond measure by them not only taking us in but by how much they love my babies.
But I feel something changing. Will we be brave enough to flee the nest soon? And when I am firmly planted in my own space with my husband and my beautiful children perhaps then, then I’ll scream joyously for all to hear I am THIS MANY!!!!!!!
Maybe. And if I get there, then I am throwing one hell of a birthday party.