Tomorrow, December 1st, is my birthday. I will officially be 30 years old at 7:20pm. (I think. When I called my mom to verify this information, it was 11pm EST and she was asleep. So for now, let's just go with this, mmkay?)
I've spent this whole week thinking about this post and what I want to say about turning 30. It means a lot to me for pretty significant reasons, the most important being the fact that I'VE BEEN ALIVE FOR 30 YEARS. Seriously. Between my father telling me everyday he was going to kill me from ages 12-17 (and trying to on numerous occasions), and my own suicide attempts, I consider it a blessing that I'm still here to celebrate such a major turning point in my life and that it's the first birthday where I'm free from so much of the shit that's plagued me since I was a child. I may still be repairing the damage my father and other family members caused, but I'm happy to say I'm not buried under or blocked by it anymore.
Imagine being trapped in a building that's collapsed itself upon you and you have to fight, climb, and dig your way through the rubble to get out and get the help you need. That's what the first 29 years of my life have felt like and I've spent them pushing every broken piece of concrete and other debris off of me. Some of the trauma and injuries I sustained through it all have only recently begun to heal within the last 3 years through therapy and a lot of honest self-reflection. Others, I've come to realize, are more nuanced and difficult to treat, requiring lifelong medical treatment and therapy to maintain stability and improved mental health.
But, nonetheless, I've broken through it all, and here I am, my eyes squinting from the brightest sunlight I've ever seen. In front of me is the rest of my life with it's arms open wide waiting for an embrace. Lying within that embrace are my sons, the love of my life (he really is!), and friends I'll be able to laugh and reminisce with when I'm all wrinkly and have a glorious grey afro; one I'll trick my grandkids and great grandkids into combing for me because I want to spend time I have left with them...and because by then my hands won't be able to rake a comb through said glorious grey afro and will need someone to do it for me. I'll pay them for their labor don't worry. I think kisses and sugary treats will be a proper payment for services.
Ok somehow I just went from talking about being 30 to being 95 and manipulating future generations that may or may not actually be alive. Ahem...where was I?
I survived the last 29 years but I'm really looking forward to actually LIVING the next 30. Exploring, building, growing, pursuing creative endeavors (lots of writing and painting!) giving back, helping others, mental stability...these are the things I'm ready to give my full attention to as I enter this next decade of my life.
I'll finish sharing the rest of my thoughts on turning 30 over the weekend. (Don't hold me to it though, I'll be drinking pitchers of margaritas and partying till I pass out at 9pm all weekend, so I'll try, but no promises, mmkay?)
Speaking of partying...I have a little gift for you. It's been awhile since I've done this, and I'm a tad rusty, but since I plan on dancing my ass off on my birthday (even if it's just in my underwear in my living room) I figured, why not invite you to join me? Have fun shuffling and please-DO laugh at my Napoleon Dynamite dance moves and at lack of coordination in this one-it's hard at this age to drop it like it's hot in skinny jeans. (I also blame procreation. For some reason your ability to twerk it like the club hoochies and work it like Janet Jackson diminishes with each child you push out of you.) I used to be able to do stuff like this....
Now I just throw my body around erratically. I thought about not publishing this, but then I saw this video, and said shooooooooooot. If other people can destroy the Interwebs with their malarkey, a little huffing and puffing from me ain't gonna hurt nobody, now is it?
Enjoy. Leave a comment if you actually got up and danced with me! (You should. It's my birthday and guess what?! This post is under a thousand words. Totally worth celebrating! Now get off your sass and shake something dammit.)