It’s my birthday! Today marks 34 years of life here, and getting older has me as bewildered as the rest of you.
I think I was about 31 before I realized you’re all bewildered, too. There was a long time there when I noticed the absolute whooshing-by of the days and was convinced that no one else was feeling it. In my later 20s, I looked around and everyone was living so normally, like no whooshing-by was even happening, and I didn’t know how to process that, really.
It sort of paralyzed me. “If I stand perfectly still, I won’t feel the whooshing.” It manifested in a bit of an unwillingness to commit to anything terrifically long-term. I would even think, “I don’t want to start learning that, because it’ll take five years to get good, and then I’ll be 30 and then WHOA, 30.”
But the whooshing happened anyway. And I turned 30 anyway, and now 34.
In the last six years, I haven’t lived in one home for more than nine months, so there’s some lingering commitment issue there (as well as a host of circumstantial things that have kept us bouncing from house to house, even within the same country), but for the most part, I’ve learned to accept this wildly fast passage of time, a speed I can feel in every individual day. If I didn’t get up and do yoga and go to the gym right away, it probably wouldn’t happen, because, every day, before I know it it’s 6:00pm and I’m hungry for dinner.
So there’s acceptance. But I’m still bewildered. 34 years ago, I was my mother’s first child. She was younger then than I am now. I got my first cell phone in college, my first (and current) smartphone three years ago. My Spanish isn’t perfect yet, so what have I even been doing for these last five years in South America? And you’ve seen my handstands, right?
For a long time, I thought 25 was the ideal age. Maybe 27. You know how sometimes people ask, “What age would you stay, if you could?” I thought those were good ones. But for the last few years, I’ve always thought, “This age. This age. 30 is perfect. 31 is perfect.” Now 34 is perfect. I like being here.
It’s a different kind of birthday, because today I’m in India in the middle of yoga teacher training. I normally make an effort to do exactly what I want to do on my birthday (though I usually end up working some, too), but even though this is different it still fits the bill. This is exactly where I want to be. This is the perfect way to jump start 34.
Except for cake. I do wish I had cake.