It’s the end of July and we all know what that means: time to celebrate my birthday by reading a small stack of greeting cards to a bouncer and falling up a flight of stairs.
It’s a beautiful tradition, to be sure, but not one I’m looking forward to this year. Not because I’m upset about getting older, but because I expected 32 to be so much better.
I don’t know why I took the word of a woman who went out of her way to schedule meetings after 6 p.m. and once told her assistant not to eat cake, but I did.
And now I’m disappointed that the universe didn’t deliver, not even on the hair front.
“I think you at least have the career thing down,” my friend argued this past weekend. “I mean, you have a cleaning service and get your groceries delivered to your door. You made it!”
But I have not made it. I have simply generated enough disposable income to outsource the chores I no longer want to do, which, for the record, is roughly all of them. And while I appreciate that my job affords me the luxury of being able to shirk normal household responsibilities, I don’t think that making money – and by extension, spending it – is a sound measurement of success.
Not for me at least. Though I’m not exactly sure what is.
“If you don’t even know what you want, I think you should focus on what you have and appreciate that,” my friend urged.
That advice isn’t exactly new but it’s a fair point nonetheless. And something I should probably try to put into practice every now and then.
Career assessments aside, I think my friends and I can all agree that one of the areas where I’ve been exceptionally successful is in not finding the right person. As much as I think my girlfriends would miss my endless supply of first date stories, I think most of them would have been secretly relieved if 32 revealed someone with potential.
I understand why, of course. Being in a relationship is, if nothing else, practical. But I know better than to spend any real energy on dating. The last thing this party needs is 100 percent more people.
A plan? Yes. A change of venue? Perhaps. But a co-pilot? Not a chance. After all, handing over the controls when you’re already lost is a surefire way to end up at a place that you never intended to go.
“But don’t you think you think you’re closer to where you want to be today than you were a year ago?” my friend asked.
It’s impossible to know. How can you be closer to a place that you can’t describe, much less find?
I’d love to think that 33 is going to be the year I figure it all out – that my career will fall into place and the relationship will follow and my hair will finally cooperate and all will be right in the world.
But I know that’s not how it will go. So long as I’m actually living, I know I never will. If you’re doing it right, life is always a work in progress.
And thank god for that. Because what can be more depressing than knowing that your best year is behind you?