When 22 is Actually 30
There is a huge calendar in our living room—the super-groovy Stendig calendar from MOMA—and if there is one particular trait it has, it's that it is enormous. It's huge and in your face and you had darn better well like Helvetica if you have one of these kicking around.
Another thing about it:
It doesn't let you forget what day it is.
It may have made matters worse that I took out a red permanent marker and filled in the 22nd of October, but either way, there it is, staring me in the face, trying to freak me out: my 30th birthday, on October 22nd, 2008.
I'm not freaking out.
Really. Do I look like I'm freaking out?
Honestly, though, I'm not. I truly do not think of 30 as a big deal. It certainly isn't old. 50 isn't old. Those definitions are so subjective anyway and are always open to change. Some people think 72 is too old and other people think 47 isn't old enough. So I don't really care.
A few weeks back, though, I felt older, when Bubby turned 5. He's 5?! Holy crap that made me feel old. It kind of smacked me in the face.
So that was a bigger deal than 30. But really, not planning on running and screaming.
I think I probably already freak out too much to actually go ahead and have a special day for really freaking out.
...particularly for freaking out about something as wonderful as life.
So this October 22 actually means 30. Eight years ago, October 22 actually meant 22. Twenty-two year old Jonathan! I was getting ready to marry my best friend, and that was pretty much all I knew I was sure about with my life, that I wanted to spend the rest of it with her, and that I couldn't make her my bride fast enough.
I was totally right about that. I may have been 22, but I was definitely ahead of the curve on that decision. Mad skills, son, mad skills! I was 22, but I think even then I had the heart of a 82-year old man looking back at the glorious 60 years he's had with his wonderful bride, and wanting to make sure that old man turned out to be me.
It's 8 years later now, and now I'm thirty, and have a 5 year old, and the two most amazing people on the planet live at my house, WITH ME,
...and I stlll am not sure about most things. Like, how I'm the V.P. of Communications at an energy company (several energy companies) but how that doesn't really sound like me. Or how I'm trying to get into making textiles, or how I still haven't figured out convincing Josh to give me a job (right before he runs out of VC money). Like how I have pictures of robots I need to paint and phone calls to make for Obama and not enough time and not enough patience and not enough _______________________ (no seriously, fill it in, your call: money? attention span? love handles? guitars? iPods?)
Okay, if that doesn't make you think I totally don't have it together, I don't have anything else for you. Cos really, I don't. But this isn't some High Fidelity reality check. This is my 'Happy Birthday, self! Life is AWESOME!' moment. Because life is awesome! It's tremendous, and I am blessed beyond all reason. I do not deserve the wonderful life I have, the wonderful friends and family and outlook. I am grateful, more than I can express in a blog post, a thank you note, or with the medium-sized collection of words I now possess.
So what is 30? 30 is another day, another smile, another time to try to love Jenni and Bubby, and to be a good friend and to not screw it all up. And if I get an extra pat on the back today, or someone tells me something nice, like 'You're doing great!' then well, that rocks, too...