In two weeks (from the time this post goes live) I will be 30 years old. Usually, around this time of year, I think about the choices I’ve made that have brought me to where I am today. I also evaluate my life as it currently is and decide if I am happy with what I find.
This year feels a little different though. Maybe it’s because I’ve been rounding up my age for the last 6 months. Maybe it’s because I’ve made my peace with my path. Or maybe part of turning 30 is no longer caring about the past or the future and, instead, I’m more focused on today.
Last year I made a list: 29 things to do before I turned 29. I’m sure I could have made a 30 before 30 list, but I didn’t. This birthday is a lot different from birthdays past.
This year I am doing something I haven’t done since I moved to Florida: I am planning a birthday celebration for myself. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is a big deal to me. I am headed to Las Vegas for my 30th birthday extravaganza. There will be hiking (Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead,) there will be shows, there will be gambling, and there will most certainly be booze. Hell, I may even get married.
But that isn’t what excites me the most. What make me smile the most is that I am willing to celebrate my birthday in the first place. As well-adjusted as I am in life, one of the biggest things which causes me a lot of anxiety and anguish is when people who I consider important, don’t act in such a way that makes me feel as though I am important in their lives. And, for me, the most obvious display of this happens when I have a birthday party. It hurts my feelings a LOT when people RSVP saying they’ll attend my birthday and then do not. I obviously understand if there is a family emergency or something serious, but a lot of people I’ve met in the last 6 years don’t think it’s important to show up at something, even if they RSVP’d to it.
Even if they aren’t thinking “meh, I don’t feel like going anymore, so I won’t,” that is how it comes across to me. It feels like they had something more important than celebrate with me, and that something could be binge-watch Netflix, flossing their teeth, or being hungover from the night before. Whatever the excuse, it feels hurtful to me. As much as I am happy for the people who do participate, it puts this sinking feeling in my stomach that I care more about some people than they do about me. And fuck that. Friendships should be a two way street.
Interestingly enough, I’ve only had this happen once prior to living in Florida. I don’t know if that means anything, or if it’s a product of our age rather than geographic location.
Anyway, so I finally agreed to celebrate my birthday. But I am doing it on my terms. I am planning a vacation/birthday for myself and I am inviting anyone who is interested to join in any (or all) of the activities that they find exciting. And this happens in 2 weeks. And I currently do not feel any anxiety about who may or may not participate in this extravaganza. It may have something to do with the fact that I am celebrating in Vegas where people may not be able to come for REAL reasons. Reasons like being unable to take time off from work, or not having the money to fly to Vegas, or having kids they can’t leave at home for a weekend; as opposed to “shitty friend” reasons like being sucked into a Netflix rabbit hole.
So in two weeks I will begin the weekend long celebration of my life. I will call and thank my parents for deciding to have a third child rather than retire early. I will poke fun at my dad for arguing with my mom for three years about whether or not they should have a third child. I will hike, eat, drink, lounge, and party my face off with at least 3 people who I enjoy very much. I will wrap my turning 30 in a large package of ridiculous fun with a cherry on top and appreciate what happens each day… though you’ll likely never hear about it because, as we all know..
what happens in Vegas…
… well, may end up on this blog. J