Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's my birthday, I'll dry shampoo if I want to.

It's my birthday, I'll dry shampoo if I want to. 

As I sit, staring down the barrel of 25, I can't tell if I want to throw up or go to bed early.

This year has been one of the most eventful of my life, and yet sometimes it feels like the least.

This time last year, I was about to turn 24, and I had just taken a new position as a political speech writer-- which is a pretty good job-- one I thought would be my dream job.

Brian and I got engaged this summer, which was super exciting (and still is)!!!

Those are some pretty huge things! Once in a lifetime, you could say. (One would hope.)

On the other hand, along with the new job came a 3 hour daily commute. With the "next step" in our relationship so imminent, Brian and I have been trying to "buckle down."We still have lots of fun together, but spontaneity gets curbed a bit when the major purchase of your first house looms in the back of your brain.

I can honestly say I've never felt so tired in my entire life. I'm tired just writing this. Earlier this evening, after a day of work and a nice "you're getting old gynecologist appointment" I felt almost too tired to chew my health conscious dinner of fish and brown rice with veggies. This year I've made countless resolutions. I've started drinking green juice. I make conscious decisions about my fiber intake.

I feel old. I wonder if 24 is the last birthday people get excited about. I'm halfway to 50!! Probably a third of the way dead! (That's scary if you think about it....)

I'm not mad or even sad about it. I don't feel sorry for myself, and I'm not having a pity party. Actually, I'm going to have a birthday party with some of my favorite people on Friday, and I'm very much looking forward to that! I just feel weird and numb. I've always LOVED birthdays!!!! I used to be that kid who had the hardest time falling asleep on my birthday eve. I used to make lists of what I wanted for gifts and revel in every second of my special day. I still have people who make me feel special and who will be lovely on my "special" day, and for that I am thankful, but the "hold-your-breath", drink champagne, throw confetti and save your birthday balloons until they droop in your room excitement is just not there anymore.

Maybe I'm nervous. Maybe I'm scared because I realize that the past year literally flew by so quickly I'm not even sure what happened or where the time went. Wasn't it just yesterday I was going out to Philly for my 21st birthday?!

I used to judge people who said they didn't do birthdays. Maybe I still do. I didn't buy it when anyone said that they didn't like people making a fuss over them once a year. It's your birthday for goodness sake! You get to be a princess today!! I considered them faux cynics.

Right now, I'm  too tired to be clever or witty or to even have my thoughts straight, but I've got to get this down! It's the last day of the 24th year of my life! I am grateful to have a job and to have people who love me and to have breath in my lungs.

I am trying to be grateful for all those awkward times when strangers confuse me for a high-schooler. I will appreciate that in 10 years. I think.

Between work, and wedding planning, and house hunting, I haven't had much time to do much else that counts as productive. I'm reading and listening to audiobooks, but I find myself choosing books  that I've already read. Perhaps that's my subconscious making sure I don't get to invested in something I don't have the time or mental capacity for.  If I've already read the book, it's still a good book, and I'm still working my brain, but I don't find myself staying up until 3AM because I just HAVE TO finish the next chapter ... or 5. 

Side note: If any of you are looking for a great fiction read-- Stieg Larsson it is! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest are wonderfully written books that are a challenge that reward diligence and perseverance.  Plus, the protagonist in these books is a girl who kicks ass like no other-- a serious thriller with technological, psychological, and political themes throughout, along with strong feminist undertones. 

I have always been a low maintenance kind of girl, but this year I feel like I could count of one hand the number of times I put serious effort into doing my hair and makeup. I have not touched my eyebrows in SIX MONTHS (That is not an exaggeration-- in fact, I'm treating myself to a nice birthday threading)!!! Is this because I'm tired and lazy or do I care less or  have I come to terms with the person I am and how I look, so that I no longer feel a need to make myself up on special occasions? Am I crazy for even thinking about these things? Probably a little.

All I know is that tomorrow is my birthday, and instead of washing my hair and preparing a cute outfit, I just sprayed half a can of Klorane dry shampoo on my head and threw on some sweatpants. This is who I have become.

 I guess what I have to do is realize and accept that my birthday is just going to be another Thursday. I won't feel any different. In fact, I'll only actually be a day older, not a year. But I can use it as another opportunity to set new goals for myself, including expanding my work goals and ideas, finally getting serious about getting back into my old jeans (Please--- No one use this line as an opportunity to try to sell me something), and find a new hobby that makes me feel like my brain is still working! I don't want to get duller with age. I need to stay curious and open minded. I want to learn something new every day. My days are more numbered today than they were yesterday. Who knows how many I'll really have. For now, I'll continue to use an acne face wash in the morning and a wrinkle cream at night during this transition phase. I am determined to get my excitement back-- about everything and anything!

25 is going to feel old, but it's going to be a good year. I'm going to get married. I'm going to move out of my mother's house (which is terrifying to be honest), and I am going to get something done-- just not sure what yet.  I might even shave my legs regularly, but that's not likely. 

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