I’m thirty nine years old this year. Too old for selfies I’m sure, even on an old Yashica.
I’ve thought of the things maybe I ought to do in the next 12 months. You know, like, get in the best shape of my life or learn to meditate every day. Write a book. Or better yet, read a book. Maybe just finally get around to any one of the thousands of things that I want to do before I’m dead.
I’m not totally convinced any of those things will make forty feel any more spectacular than any other birthday I’ve had so far.
I’m sure my family would have me spend the next year cultivating guilt. Not that I don’t carry around a healthy amount of self loathing but I think they’d rather me really re-live my errors in HD. The truth is I don’t often wish that I could go back and do things over. There is far too much to gain from my learning and moving on. And besides, what would I awkwardly bring up at parties to break the ice if I didn’t have tales of my gross inadequacy. I’ve taken the psychopath test enough times to quell my fears but I do understand their point. Can one fake “mom guilt”?
I could work on a skill. My friend Jo and I message each other frequently and she’s made me realize that sometimes our gifts, our fascinating talents, may only be spent on each other in private and accolade-less sport. She can recount mundane stories of her day to day with such eloquent detail and grammatical precision that I want to call her boss and ask if they’ve yet discovered that she should actually be writing the books she sells. They probably know. If they gave out Pulitzer’s for work emails I’m sure Jo would win. Even her tales of pos toffice visits and book recommendations are succinct, poetic, and without fault. She’s probably generously trying to ignore the horrors of this post as she reads it now. I don’t feel bad though, remember, I’m incapable of guilt.
Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll hone any skills in the next year. Probably not actually. I’ll probably just turn thirty nine and then turn forty. I’ll probably just continue to be flexible and spontaneous, messy and impulsive, compassionate and blunt, quick to love, distracted and fickle, picky as hell and yet indifferent to most details, open minded and defiant, bored by grammar. I’ve read that November claims more psychopath’s birthdays than any other month but like I said, the online test says I’m fine.