Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Thirty Is The New Thirty
Open letter to a friend turning thirty today -- happy birthday, beautiful!
I hate when people say Forty is the new twenty or any variation thereof. I mean, isn't good enough just to be what you are? That said, the thirties are all kinds of awesome. I turned thirty in Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That set the tone for the next decade. Very rock and roll. Lots of rocks -- deaths, a lot, behavior, sometimes questionable, beverages of ill-repute, lots. And yet, I had a blast. The twenties with all their worry and exhausting posing were over. I didn't worry about what anyone thought, not the way I did at twenty-five, hoping to be special. Unlike Charlie Sheen, I wasn't tired of hiding the fact that I was special. I was tired of hiding the fact that I wasn't. I wasn't going to be an amazing wunderkind. I wasn't going to write the novel I wanted.
Guess what? That happened in my thirties, when I didn't mind sitting for a long time alone without distraction, something I could not do in my twenties. I didn't have amazing adventures in my twenties -- I was too worried that I wasn't where I was supposed to be (wherever the hell that was) and I was too worried about how I looked. I felt like a secret failure all the time. I couldn't live in the moment, couldn't relax. Nora Ephorn famously wrote that if she knew what she knew now, she would have spent her entire twenties in a bathing suit. I spent a lot of my twenties lifeguarding in an ugly red suit that said GUARD on it. And that's what I felt like. Guarded against everything. By my mid-twenties, I'd moved to Detroit. Not much occasion to wear a swimsuit. And all I can say is what a relief.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used, till they are seasoned." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
Movie suggestion: Another Year
Benedictions and Maledictions