Tonight I am sitting here just minutes away (15 to be exact) from turning 29. I should be in bed, as my children's unpredictable sleeping habits will most certainly wreck havoc on me tomorrow, but I can't sleep. I just want to sit and watch the clock tick down the last minutes of me being 28.
I know that 30 is typically the big one and I'm sure I'll be somewhat melancholy then too, but I am certain that next year will be full of thinking about what lies ahead. This year is about saying the long goodbye. It's about saying adios to my youth. It's confronting the fact that I am no longer "young" and am on somewhat of a downward slope of adulthood, increased responsibilities and age.
I remember at 23, I bought my first anti-aging cream. I had read somewhere that 25 was when you should start your anti-aging regime and I felt hopeful. I was determined to get a head start. A month ago, I found myself sitting at a beauty counter staring into a face I no longer recognized. It felt like just yesterday, I was a teenager sitting at that same makeup counter trying to figure out how to mask my freckles and acne. Now here I was, a confident adult ready to get a barely there look that was just a touch more moisturizing for my drying skin. A makeup lady had caked on what was supposedly the "light weight" foundation and deemed me beautiful and yet, all I could see were the lines around my eyes and mouth that I had never noticed.
How long had these been there?
Had people noticed?
Oh my God. I am old. This is it. This is the beginning of the end.
Holy shit. Is this really a more beautiful me than when I walked in??
And to think I had just been worried about my flaky skin.
I didn't buy the make-up. I did however run out and buy a new skin care regime. One that promised to fix what was already broken and one that promised to create "optical illusions".
In the back of my mind I know that none of this stuff will work. I'll spend gobs of money trying to hide the extra years on my face so I can pretend to be something that I no longer am. Between my Spanx, my hair dye and my face cream I have become an optical illusion of myself. What once was will never be again.
I've always had trouble with closing a chapter. And this chapter is/was a big one. I could tell you all the wonderful things that happened in this past decade and all the many things I have to look forward to (and believe me...I know my 30's are going to be great), but for now I just want to pause and reflect. I want to mourn my youth.
Here's to being on the verge of 30, a goodbye to my youth and a soon to be hello to a new decade. Happy birthday to me. Wrinkles and all.