Thirty-five. Carrie famously lamented about turning it in Sex and the City. For some reason that episode has been rolling around in my head since I hit my middle-of-the road marker back in January. I never really cared about numbers before, but let's just say, thirty-five hit me like a ton of bricks. It's like some middle-aged mom I remember from my youth (not you, Mom, you always looked great) is inhabiting my body. I've got arthritis, newfound gray hair and those little expression lines that seemed cute to me five years ago seem a lot less so now that they won't go away. Surely, I look younger and more stylish than those moms I remember, no? Considering that I haven't worn make-up or dried my hair in three days, it's safe to say, not so much. Even my dad seemed taken aback when he wished me a happy birthday. How could he possibly have a child that old??
It dawned on me one day that my early thirties were gone. Vanished. While I'm content with where I am in my life and with what I have accomplished, I couldn't let go of the number.I try to remind myself that relatively speaking, thirty-five is still young, you're only as old as you feel, yada yada yada. Really all that is true and I'm not so vain that it matters all that much. Once in a while it just stops me in my tracks and forces me to reflect (and sometimes cringe). The most important things about being thirty-five are the confidence and perspective I have now that eluded me at twenty-five, the life and family I've built with my husband, and the volume of memories and experiences that will only grow as I continue to age.
Thirty-five has given me amazing friends along way, too. At every phase of my life, I've been fortunate enough to make friends who are indelible in my mind and heart. I am beyond fortunate to truly have a lifelong friend who is celebrating her thirty-fifth today. She has, without question, been a lifeline at every stage it took to get to this point, from breakdancing in the basement, to marriage and babies. It's safe to say that I look forward to getting even older with her. Happy Birthday, Best Friend. As Samantha in that same SATC episode so eloquently put it, "Honey, welcome to my box." We'll figure it out together.