the Birthday before 30.

Birthdays are only as special as we make them.  My birthday falls on the Autumn Equinox, and I adore this fact. I love the date: 9/23, and the number twenty-three.  I also love when 9:23 AM/PM comes up on my phone.  When the numbers magically fall together in any variation, I’m pleased.

But generally, I dislike my birthday.

I meet a lot of people who feel the same way. There’s pressure to make the most of it, and nothing feels more heavy than saying good-bye to the representation of youth our twenties give us.  In fact, never was an age more repetitively declared YOU ARE AN ADULT AND THERE’S NO TURNING BACK as twenty-eight has been for me.  It’s a persistent point in those ‘coming of age’ films, novels, and television shows.

Frances Ha! Being my most recent reminder with:

Frances: Do I look old to you?

Benji: No. Yes.

Frances: How old?

Benji: Older than I am.

Frances: Older than 27?

Benji: No. 27 is old, though.

Here comes twenty-nine, and I don’t know how to handle it.  It’s not as if I feel old; I just feel more aware of time being fragile.  Things like high school reunions throw blaring reminders my way: “10 years is NOTHING.”

Twenty-nine awaits me, along with holiday after holiday, followed by summer, followed by thirty.  Forty.  Fifty. Sixty; and then?

I feel threatened, tiny, and not quite in the celebrating mood.

My best friend calmed me post-rant with, “So many good things are going to happen in the next five years!” and I was momentarily brightened at the thought.  But time dominates everything, and my birthday feels like it will breeze on by without significance. Only a reminder that this is going to go by as fast as life does.

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