The Big Three Oh

Or, as I like to call it:
The Big Three.....oh.

I've got mixed feelings about turning 30 today. Post high school, I haven't made much of a fuss over my birthdays. I don't always go out to celebrate them, or buy myself a gift, or tell people that I have a birthday (unless, of course, I'm at a restaurant and it gets me free cake).

My birthday is in the summer, that time of year when I (and my nearest and dearest) are already busy enough as it is. One more party, during which I awkwardly play hostess and diva at the same time, is something nobody needs.

This year, since it lands on a Thursday, I'm planning on watching "13 Going on 30" and sipping a glass of red wine. Hurrah, me.

And, to be honest, even if my birthday didn't fall on a Thursday this year, I don't think I'd make a big celebration out of it.
In part because I am ashamed.
Not ashamed to be getting older (that's a wonderful part of the human experience).

I'm ashamed, just a little bit, of all the stuff I haven't done, the milestones I haven't hit yet.
Now, I know all the platitudes involved in this- these milestones are about MY growth and development and readiness, not a timeline.

But I'm 30.
I've never had a romantic relationship last longer than 18 months.
I don't have a career path.
I've never submitted my novels for publication.
I don't have a house.
My college degree has gotten me nowhere, professionally.
I have the same body I had in high school, which is not a good thing. Even my wardrobe is not the mature-yet-sexy wardrobe a thirty year old's should be.

In short, the clock is ticking on a few things that I've thought would happen (by now, no less), since I was a wee lass of five. And now, I'm painfully aware of it.

Have I made a mistake, my entire life, hoping and working toward these things that seemed expected? Have I missed opportunities to be even happier because of this strict life-path?

And more importantly, how do I embrace the idea that I might NEVER find a man I love well enough to marry, might NEVER have any children, might NEVER have a house to call my own, might NEVER have career stability or safety? 
How do I accept these things without seeing them as a product of my being somehow damaged or incomplete, instead of non-causal?

And that's where the wine comes in.
Am I happy with my life right now?
Do I feel damned healthy, grateful, and able?
Can I actually control all the threads in the skein of my life?
No. So I need to stop worrying over any of them.

So here's to 30, the old middle age. Three hundred years ago, I'd be dead by now. In this life, the prime is just beginning.

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