All in all, a fairly non-descript birthday. No parties, no big celebrations, no Cora’s Birthday Breakfast (snif).
Thirty-four doesn’t really seem that bad. Or didn’t, till I thought about it this way: it’s been TEN YEARS since I was 24.
Ok, that one blows my mind a little.
At 24, an impossibly old age when I used to think ahead to how old I’d be in the year 2000, I was living alone in my awesomely slummy one-bedroom apartment on Henderson, with two rescued cats (Trouble and Billy). I was coaching cheerleading and just starting my competitive fitness “career”. I was working as a fitness/wellness consultant, using my degree, and making quite good money for the the 22 hours of work I did a week, driving my motorcycle (the Beast), or, in poor weather, my beloved Snotmobile.
At 34, I’m living in connubial bliss (mental note: look up connubial before I post this, just to make sure it’s not something I wouldn’t want my mother to read) (oh, good) in my awesomely bright and spacious three-bedroom townhouse in the Hat, with my two boys (Vaughn the Vampire and Fis). My cheerleading career, I believe, is over forever, but fitness still wants me to give it another try (maybe after I have this baby) and so does musical theatre, as long as I’m clear on my audition form that I’m there to dance and am willing to lipsync. I’m working as an administrative/communications assistant, having turned my back on all things Human Kinetics-y except for teaching a step class here and there, maintaining fairly high levels of personal fitness (considering) and terrorizing my mother* over her own activity level. …But the communications bit is exciting and new, and if not exactly a promotion or prestigious, it’s experience, and will look nice on my dust-gathering resume. My takehome is actually less now than it was when I was a 22-hour-a-week wellness consultant (due to some grievous misunderstandings with Revenue Canada way back when!), and the motorcycle, alas, is ancient history, as is Snotty, may he rest in pieces.
What a decade, though! So many highs and lows: fitness triumphs (Miss Fitness Ottawa/Ontario/2nd place in Canada!) and employment woes (boo for unemployment and subsequent, long-lasting destitution); incredible times with friends, and leaving everyone but one behind on a Grand Adventure Out West; my professional cheerleading debut (remember, Danielle?) and my last night on the field at Frank Clair; bad relationships (no names named), pretty good ones (Fis), and the amazing experience of unconditional love (Vaughn and the ‘lump-to-be, although I must admit that I’ll be much fonder of ‘Lump v2.0 on the outside, instead of stretching me three ways to Sunday (like the V-man, it doesn’t seem to get that “fetal position” shouldn’t be optional)).
But have I grown up?
Sure, I’m more “responsible”, but it’s not because I want to be. Sure, I have three grey hairs (eeeek! Until last night, I thought I only had 1!). But I still stand firmly by my right to be silly at any time, to eat cookie dough (ok, not right now), to wear the same clothes I’ve worn since high school (ok, also not right now…well, maybe that green dress would fit!), to nap my heart out (when I’m allowed!), and to drink as much as I want…soon… Sure, I drive a Subaru (which, backwards, sez “yer a bus!”) more often than I drive my little Trevor…but I’m still that 24-year-old me. In fact, I’m not even that 24-year-old. I think I’m still that 17-year-old – still struggling with height and hair and skin and awkwardness and self-confidence and loving adventure and excitement and life.
34’s not old at all.
Note to self: pick up some hair dye on the way home.
*and her sisters, this week. That’s right, Aunt Joanne. Mom told me everything.