When I was 15 years old, I went through what I like to refer to as a ‘mid-life crisis’. I say that confidently now, as today I am 30. Yes, that is right, I had a ‘crisis of the mind’ 15 years ago today. And, quite honestly, I can feel that I am on the cusp of another mental breakdown, on this 30th year of life. I am 30 and I have been wildly unsuccessful in the world of dating, not knowing if I am even ready to open my life up to a mate. Today, right now, I am 30 and if you would have asked me two years ago where I would be professionally now, I certainly would not have answered with my current profession. What I would have said is that at 30, I would love to be writing professionally, or changing lives in a big way, at the very least. Rather, what I have discovered is that working as an adult is just an opportunity to practice patience and that alcohol is sometimes a necessary evil, especially when thinking back on my previous birthday.
On my fifteenth birthday, I spent the day locked inside my room behaving like an irrational, pubescent, ass-hole of a teenager. I, literally, refused to allow my parents to enter into my bedroom to even wish me a ‘Happy Birthday’. Instead, I spent the day inside my light purple, sponge painted bedroom curling my hair into tiny little tendrils…like Shirley Temple, crying in front of the mirror. Side note, Shirley Temple curls are not a good look for anyone, not even children. However, to make matters worse, I was outraged when my Nana and her husband brought over an ice cream cake, from Dairy Queen, in hopes to celebrate my fifteenth year of life. I behaved like a total lunatic, but in my defense my reasons were just, and I was actually a PUBESCENT teenager. Controlling my emotions was out of my control.
Turning 15 made me angry and confused for a variety of reasons, mostly I was confused and angry because I was a mental pubescent teenager. In my delusional teenage world, I was mad because in just six months I was going to have a temporary license, which meant I would be legally permitted to drive with an accompanying adult. I was mad because in just three years I would be 18 years old, which meant that I would be leaving the nest to go off to college, or hoping to jet set off to L.A., so that I could chase my equally delusional dream of becoming an award winning actress. I was mad because in seven years I would become a legal boozer, no longer a renegade from the law, and would no longer be sneaking alcohol from parent’s cupboards, which was 20 years my senior. I was mad, basically, because I was confused about what it meant to grow up and where my life would be someday. And, well, 15 years later, I am confused about what it means to actually be an adult, especially when it comes to love and finding a career that makes me happy, but I know that someday it will happen. I mean it has to, I am 30, shit has got to change.
So, here I am. Again, I am 30. God, no matter how many times I say it, it just doesn’t seem to be real. I know how lucky I am to be going through the aging process: alive, healthy, and kicking it, but I am only human and I cannot help but wonder, “What the fuck am I doing with my life? Right? As I previously stated, I have been unlucky in love. Dating is hard. Dating has been hard. Dating sucks. And, well, adding 30 to the dating scene, I am confident is not going to make anything easier. In a world of online dating, free dating sites, and technology at our fingertips constantly, how are people even meeting people? Lord knows, I am not meeting anyone online.
I mean, I really miss having an awkward face-to-face conversation at a bar, restaurant, place of employment, on a bus or even while on a run. I miss having a man getting my number from me at the bar, and wondering whether or not he will call to meet out for a drink? I miss not having to swipe left or right in order to meet someone. And, fuck, half the time, if you do swipe the correct way, for whichever app you might choose to use for dating, Heaven forbid someone even take the initiative to say a simple hello and continue a conversation. I miss going on a dates and not worrying whether or not a guy is checking his phone, swiping through his dating apps, looking for a younger version of the 30 year old he is out on a date with.
For example, a few weeks ago I went on a date with a guy who I met on Tinder, which is probably my first problem. However, this man who was nearing his mid-thirties, divulged to me that he would like to date females who are only between the ages of 24 and 30. I should have known then that his main priority was to meet ladies for sexual relations because no respectable man who is close to his mid-thirties should be looking to date women who is a decade younger than he is. However, my point is that this man, who is in his mid-thirties has a cut off of dating and/or fucking women who are 30 or younger. Like, what in fucks sake is that all about anyways? What the hell is wrong with a woman who is 30 or over? Too much education? Too much experience? Too much money in her pocket? But, in all honesty, what does this mean for me, as a nearly found single 30 year old woman?
This year, I am going to stop making excuses on how I am not meeting men because all the men are online. There is no way this is true. Instead I am going to put myself out there. Nope, not on dating sites, but I am going to get involved with more extra-curricular activities. No more excuses. I am no longer going to go on dates with men who I know are bad for me, or want a version of someone who I was five years ago. I am going to make an effort to be more available and less shut off from opportunities, dating or otherwise.
Blind dates? Yes!
Set ups? Yes!
Networking events? Of course!
Volunteering with randoms? Tell me where and when!
Here is my thought and my new attitude towards dating and LIFE…who knows where these adventure can go personally and/or professionally? Lord knows that professionally, I am struggling. I took a job last year, that I thought would catapult me into a world of success. And if you ask me what success looks like? I would have to answer with happiness. I have not found that feeling in my current professional life.
Rather, this career change has taught me lessons in self preservation and patience, not happiness. I have learned that staying sane sometimes comes from accepting that other people are also under a great deal of tremendous stress. I have learned that mistakes are going to happen. Typos will happen, the wrong date may get written somewhere, an appointment will be forgotten, but all of these minuscule and insignificant details in life are just that-minuscule and insignificant. I have learned that accepting the possibility that I may not be right for a job that I thought would be amazing, is totally okay and absolutely acceptable. And, most importantly, what I have learned at my current place of employment is that everything happens for a reason and if it is not meant to be, it is not meant to be.
However, with all that being said, it has taken 30 years to accept that I need to be in a role that allows me to be creative. I love to write. I need to start accepting the fact that creative writing makes me happy. It makes me SO happy. And, although, I am not perfect, and again, I make mistakes, all I want to do is write. I love to write. Writing is the only job, hobby, and form of therapy that I have ever fully invested my time. This year, I will make the most of my free time and do something I love-write. I will finish the other book I started two years ago and I will finish that other book I started five years ago. No, I am not going to quit my job, but I am going to make the strongest of efforts to ensure that I am fully successful with at least one area of my life. I think that would make me very happy.
Fifteen years ago, I blinked and became a 30 year old woman. I swear that is how fast time went by, I blinked. Throughout the years, I got my license, I turned 18, I went to college, I became a legal drinking adult, but most importantly in the last 15 years, I changed. I grew up. I made amazing friends, I lost friends, I learned to appreciate my family, I failed at endeavors, I succeeded at challenges I never thought possible and now at 30, I realize that there are still so many things to look forward to and that those things are just as scary as they were when I was 15 years old. Love will happen for me someday, if not with a man, with all the love I have received from my family and friends. I know that someday, I will find the personal success I am looking for with my career, even if it is just a hobby. I just have to believe in myself. Most importantly though, what I do know is that today is my birthday. Today, I am 30, and today is the start of a new, exciting and beautiful life that I am blessed to be living with my three cats, my dog, and an arsenal full of people who are there to support me through my second ‘mid-life’crisis that I am sure to endure as I am about to embark on a journey that the 15 year old me never even dreamed could come true!
Happy Birthday to me and all of you other 30 year old men and women who do not know what the fuck you are doing with your lives, but are hopeful that whatever is it, it will matter!