Could it be that I'm not as behind as I thought I was?
I spent the last few years bemoaning how direly behind I was compared to my Harvard friends, who all took the high(-paying) road, while I became an...actor. Wow. So prestigious.
So it was such a boost when ella responded to my call for 30 after 30 with a Joyce Carol Oates-prolificness and I realized I'd already accomplished or begun many of the items on her list in my 20s.
(Could that be why some of the 20s were so suckerific?)
Here's her list in its entirety, because much of it is good advice for women of any age. I've crossed off the ones I've already finished and highlighted the ongoing ones; the rest will go on my 30 after 30 list. Which ones have you accomplished - which ones do you want to do?
1. Get in shape. You will feel badly later in life if you let this time when it's SUPER easy to get in shape slip by. 2. Stop caring what other people think about you. Do what you like. (Love this one! Been working on it for years...still not there yet) 3. Start a retirement plan. You're actually late if you haven't done so by now. So get on it. 4. Travel 5. Do that corny "talk with your grandparents" stuff. It seems stupid now, but by the time you are really interested, they'll be dead and you'll wish you had.(it's funny because this is on my 5-year-plan too) 6. Lean to speak Spanish. 7. Take super, duper good care of your skin. Sunscreen all the time. Become that crazy lady that always wears a hat. 8. Seriously. 9. Pay off all your debts. Work your way down to one credit card. 10.Learn how to take a compliment. 11.Learn to say "NO". 12. Write a will. (does the one I wrote when I was 13 count?) 13.Forgive your parents. 14. Spend Christmas by yourself anyway you want. 15. Make thanksgiving dinner and become an expert in it. 16. Seriously consider NOT having children. Or if you do, really think about why you want to. I'm pretty famous for hating kids. 17. Have lots of photos taken. Never mind if it's a bad hair day, or you're feeling fat. You will want to see yourself at this age. 18. Consolidate your "stuff". Things that are important now (journals? scrapbooks?) will seem less so at 40. If you want to guarantee these things won't get tossed out in a moment of purging, it's best if they're tidy and organized. 19. Wean yourself off fast food. This one was done at age 23, the night I saw Super Size Me. 20. Wear your hair in braids. Srsly--ya just can't pull that off after 40...
I started my first day as a thirty-year-old crying all night and flipping out.
"Is this what it's like to be 30?" I asked my boyfriend, who's at a nice, symmetrical 33.
After some sleep, I felt slightly better, although I still woke up horrified to be 30.
Some women are noble, even graceful about it; many are nonchalant. I'm none of that.
I'm a kicker. A screamer. I had to be dragged, bloody fingernails dug in to the last shreds of the roaring twenties, across the "Adulthood" line.
Granted, I was crying because of some recent drama brought into my personal life (betrayal, deception, mourning - it's like a telenovella). But I returned to my honesty roots and confronted these issues. Okay, maybe I can kind of be an adult.
Just now I discovered 30 things before 30 (don't fault me - I stayed away from all things related to age 30 as if they would give me an STD) and I've decided to do my own
30 Things After 30
Send me your suggestions of 30 things I need to do as a newborn 30-year-old. Hints, tips, and anecdotes also greatly appreciated. For instance, will I be thirsty and need to drink blood immediately? Sorry, had to get an Eclipse reference in there.
Will my ass instantly sag into saddlebags, never to rise again? Will I have crow's feet tomorrow, despite my terrific Chinese skin? Will men instantly cease to find me attractive?
Help out this terrified 30-year-old who will no longer post photos of her aging self.
(Self-deprecation seems to get better with age, however...)
It's culled from wise bits friends and lovers have said to me these last few years, things I've read or heard, and from my own (often painful) realizations. They may not apply to you, but they're the crosses I've had to bear.
Some of the people I've loved most were not meant to stay in my life.
Never fight grief. Even if you feel like vomiting from the pain.
(From a Buddhist friend and my own experience:) Ask for the person you want. Really. Right down to the length of their hair. Even if you're with someone already. You'll wake up one day and the last person on Earth that you think could fit that description, the person you are so different from, will have become a little closer your soulmate.
Even the best sex you've ever had or ever will doesn't mean you can or should be with that person. (But you sure as hell will miss that sex...)
When it's wonderful and you fear it will end - it will. Relish the sh*t out of it while it's here.
When you're too cowardly to make a choice and it gets decided for you, it's an act of God. Or karma from indecision.
I don't ever get over my exes and lovers completely. That's OK.
It is what it is.
Ask. Ask. Ask. If you don't get it by then, move on.
You don't need him.
You really don't need him.
Be loyal to your girl friends. They will always, always last longer than your men.
Wednesday was a wonderful full day with my Lesbro, Selena, whom I haven't seen in 5 months since she moved to my birth city.
After vid chatting for an hour to choose our outfits (hippie chic), we went to Alice's Teacup (Chapter II), then met up with her composer date at Dirt Candy, the trendy, tiny vegetarian joint in the East Village. The 3 of us watched silly dogs in Tompkins Square Park, then hung out in Barnes and Nobles at Union Square.
(Now you can get in your time machine and stalk us. When you return, this blog will be all about some creepy stalker all day.)
Then my boyfriend finally arrived in Manhattan after having the worst travel day ever (his flight from Burbank was canceled and he had to leave from an entirely different airport - ack). And another dear friend from SAT prep class (Vegas girl) joined us.
I've been using Jifo and my hard-earned insurance lately.
I finally went to a doctor about my hypoglycemia, but the pointless-seeming blood test said I was low on Vitamin D. That's it. My hunger and shaking hands and headaches every 2 hours remain unexplained. I'm going back in tomorrow to sue the doctor demand we get to the bottom of this issue.
Now I have to find a dentist at the last minute too. I woke up a few days ago with a killer toothache from my impacted wisdom teeth, one of which has apparently decided to continue growing outwards. My left jaw is locked and even my glands are swollen in my neck.
Add to that: I've developed some idiotic body image disorder having to do with my impending birthday trip to NYC. I went to the gym and over did it last week - so my shoulder's messed up too.
The only thing NOT falling apart is my ocular health. I went to the eye doctor this weekend and my Tygeson's SPK (scarring from severe dry eyes) is not flaring up for once. I am, however, getting headaches from maladjusted glasses and the dry eye, so I'm on steroid drops again. And I got a prescription for lighter reading glasses.
I'm also up at 4 a.m. on a work night, a bit stressed out with some drama I've been privately going through these last few months.
That's all. Hopefully by the time I get on the plane this Thursday I will be less broken.