Today is my 49th birthday. Happy birthday to me. Given that the average life expectancy of the white American female these days is 81 years, I am definitely on the downhill slope. And it’s a rare woman in my family who makes it that far, so I could very well be further down the slope than statistics suggest. Who knows? And that’s a very strange place to be, believe me.
So let me describe the landscape for those young people who haven’t crested that peak yet, and therefore have no idea what’s on the other side.
- I have aches and pains that will never go away. Ever. Don’t do stupid stuff that will hurt your body. It adds up.
- I have discovered that the quality of my friendships have only gotten better over the years. Nothing like the passage of time to tell you who your friends really are.
- With each passing day, I care less and less about what people think of me, and you’ve never experienced true liberation until you know what that’s like.
- I know myself. What a gift.
- Looking in the mirror is more of a shock each day. In my head I still look like I did when I was 19, despite the constant contradiction of my reflection.
- I’m tired all the time. I mean, all the time.
- No matter how old you get, there will always be someone older who will laugh at you for feeling old.
- I haven’t stopped learning, and I love that.
- The older you get, the more people you will lose, so if you’re smart you’ll try really hard to let the people you love know how much you appreciate them every chance you get.
- When I was young I always assumed that eventually I’d reach a place where I’d be established, and where there’d be no more need for emotional growth. Wrong.
- I honestly don’t think I’ve become more forgetful. I’ve always been forgetful. It’s just that now I have a valid excuse.
- I still get pimples. Anyone who tells you that you grow out of that is lying.
- I’ve discovered that the best things you can do for yourself in the long term are stretch, floss your teeth, and don’t pass up any opportunity to have sex. Forget about eat, pray, love. It’s sex, stretch, floss.
- For God’s sake, don’t smoke. The older you will pay a hefty price.
- It’s really important to listen to your inner voice. If you don’t, you’ll usually regret it.
- The more that happens to you, good or bad, the more perspective you will gain over what’s really important.
- The older you get, the more society will put restrictions on what they deem to be acceptable behavior for you. So make an extra effort to be outlandish as you get older. Anyone with an open mind will find it charming. The rest of them aren’t worth your time.