I’m turning 21 tomorrow.
I’ve talked to my mama about this and we both agreed that it somehow felt strange, considering I’ve been “21” for at least three years now. I’ve always felt older than I am, and I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I have lived more than most people do in an entire lifetime.
I use to think of birthdays as a reminder of my mortality and fleeting youth. I thought that for some reason I had peaked at age 20, and that the rest of my life would only be downhill from here. But, I’ve realized that aging is a gift, a beautiful thing that not everyone is fortunate enough to experience and I have so much more to look forward to.
You see, birthdays are great because you either have a birthday or you die.
For most people, 21 is the last of the milestone birthdays. It’s the ends of an era. You can finally do all the things you’ve already been doing but without the fear of getting busted.
For me, this is just the beginning. In fact, I’m already looking forward to my 30th birthday, because I think I would be really good at being thirty.
It’s fun to imagine what my life might look like years from now.
Maybe I’m celebrating my 30th quietly at my Californian home, on a couch with my handsome husband with two little boys asleep between us.
Or maybe, I’m a career-savvy divorcee killin’ it on Wall Street, and I’m celebrating by buying myself a diamond tennis bracelet because I am fabulous and “don’t need no man.”
Or maybe, just maybe, I was brave and pursued my dream of being a writer and published my first book, and I’m celebrating my birthday in a bungalow somewhere in Fiji, working on a piece for Condé Nast Traveler, while a beautiful naked diver lays in my bed.
Whichever path my life takes me in, it will surely be an adventure and I will be good at it.
Cheers to my 21st, and the many more birthdays ahead.