It’s my birthday!
I’m turning 40 (well, according to my Mom I turned 40 at 5:19 this morning! 😛 )
I’ve been finding this whole year coming up to 40 to be a very reflective experience.
I posted on facebook some time ago about the fact that I’m starting to feel the ‘hump’:
- I’ve lived out of my parents’ house longer than I lived there.
- I’ve been in a relationship with Peter half my life.
- I’ve lived in Alberta 19 years, a year shy of as long as I lived in Newfoundland.
- I graduated high school 22 years ago. My BFA 17 years ago.
- I have towels older than my former babysitter and she’s now in University.
- I’ve been married as long as our current babysitter has been alive.
- The clothes and music from my childhood and adolescence are now vintage/ classic and coming back into fashion.
- When my Mom was 40, I was 15, and my brothers were 16 and 18.
- And so on.
It feels weird.
Time has warped – logically, when I sit down and catalogue events, obviously significant amounts of time have passed, you don’t get degrees, have family, and jobs without time moving forward.
But emotionally the truth is – I don’t feel ‘how did I get this old’ because I don’t feel old. I still feel like a teenager with all the possibilities of the universe spread out in front of me (and sometimes with the same poor judgement of said teenagers.) But I don’t feel ‘adult’ or like life has somehow become a predictable routine. I can’t connect with the idea that, statistically, half my life is behind me (in Canada female life expectancy at birth averages 83 years).
I often wonder if being an ‘adult’, in control and having all your $#!+ together, is some myth that gets heaped on kids. Peter and I are admittedly more prone to inexplicable happenings than many people (maybe we have poor karma?!)
Peter, as a passenger, has been in 12 major car accidents – as in “car flips over, spins, and is hit by an oncoming vehicle” type accidents. And he’s had two cars totaled – while parked. One was run over by a garbage truck and another had an SUV jump a curb (in a parking lot!) and land on top of it.
For me it’s paperwork. I have a saying “if there’s a piece of red tape within a 5-mile radius I will be hanging from it by noon.” My first student loan was sent to the wrong province, to a school I’d never heard of. My master’s application, mysteriously, got split in two and sent to different departments, so both thought I had incomplete applications. I showed up to an artists’ residency that was by application, and though I’d gotten an acceptance letter, the coordinator had never heard of me.
These are just drops in the bucket.
Friends have poo-pooed me saying that these things happen to everyone but it’s the sheer accumulation over time that makes me question the chances.
But really. Are there people who have everything together? ….I don’t know whether to hope for or against that.
I used to make a point of never working on my birthday, it was a day for ‘twacking’ (which is Newfoundland-ese). It was for having lunch out, window shopping, a few pints, and just generally appreciating all the possible joy of having a totally easy-going day. It was awesome. As I’ve said, I have anxiety – it was probably the one day of the year I wasn’t stressed on some level about getting somewhere, or meeting a deadline.
The last few years I’ve had work-work that had to get done, and so I worked. I’m working this year too. Maybe next year I’ll twack.