I turned 50 today.
I cannot believe I am 50.
How the hell am I 50?
OLD PEOPLE ARE 50.
I don’t feel 50. Not on the inside, and not really on the outside, either.
But you know what?
Even though I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I’m now in my 50’s, I am happy to be here.
Because I am happy I didn’t turn 20 today.
I was incapable of being honest with myself then.
I’m glad I didn’t turn 30 today.
I was majorly fucked up when I was 30.
I’m glad I didn’t turn 40 today.
When I turned 40 I was a fairly new parent, and I knew a fraction of what I know now.
Like a fraction of a fraction.
Of a fraction.
But the best thing about turning 50 is that I am finally okay with who I am.
I am proud of the work I’ve done on myself.
I have more work I want to do.
But some things I’m okay with. Some things I don’t want to change.
If other people don’t like that?
It’s taken me 50 years to figure out that those are just not my people.
I’m not for them.
And that’s okay.
There are like 7 billion people in the world, and there are plenty to go around for all of us.
So I’m pretty okay with me.
What did I do today on my birthday?
Well, I spent the day with Number 4, celebrating her birthday, really.
We actually had a blast. I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.
There was no big celebration for my 50th.
I would have liked one, yes.
I would have appreciated a big surprise party or a special weekend away or a trip somewhere or a day at the spa or even a gift from anyone in my family.
My parents did give me a gift.
And Number 5 went to a birthday party last week and she went to the Pottery Factory and she made soap and she made two bars and she surprised me with one of them for my birthday.
She’s the only person in my house who really thought about me.
Number 3 did give me a card. But that’s because my parents bought it for him to give to me on the way home from swim practice tonight.
I guess I’ll take what I can get.
I don’t say this to complain or whine.
I say this because while I do wish my family had done something nice for me, I do not need my family to celebrate me.
Because goddammit I am going to celebrate myself.
I am going to celebrate how hard I have worked to become the person I am today.
I am going to celebrate me.
It may not be this year.
It may be next year.
It may be in February, for crying out loud.
But there is no way I am going to NOT celebrate this milestone. Because 50 is kind of a big deal (to me anyway).
And I don’t need to wait for other people to celebrate me.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past 50 years it’s that I don’t need to wait for other people to do anything.
The first fifty years were full of many important lessons.
And as my first college swim coach used to say,
I’ve paid the piper.
And now it’s time to dance.