39 Going on 40
Today is my birthday. Today is also the day that I turn forty. About a month ago, I was really struggling (like most) with the fact that I was letting go of my thirties and entering a new decade. I wasn’t and still not sure what to expect from the reality of it all.
Last month when I was struggling with letting go of my thirties, I was in the midst of a downward spiral and was having very negative thoughts. Thoughts like, “Will I ever be clear of my debt?”, “Will I ever have a successful career?”, “Will I ever own my own home?” and of course the one question all us singletons ask ourselves, “Where the hell is this ever- elusive soulmate?” As I was asking myself these questions, I got frustrated with myself for these were the same damn questions I was asking myself when I turned thirty, when I turned thirty-five and now that I was leaving my thirties; I was digging deeper into my depression.
I worked very hard over the past month to pull a Cher-Moonstruck slap across my face to make me realize how trite my problems are and that I have so much to be grateful for. As soon as I got out of my funk, I began to clean house. Starting with Mr. D. who did contact me again two weeks ago via text message and I never responded back (and still haven’t). I decided to not hangout with that Nurse that I had a few dates with because there was no chemistry. I felt lighter and stronger knowing that I was going to be starting my forties with a clean slate at least with the regards to men.
Also, over the course of the past couple of months, I knew I wanted to give back to the world. Maybe not the world but certainly to do something that could change or shift a child that is less fortunate. I did extensive research on foundations in Manhattan that helps under privileged children. The problem was that a lot of these foundations need help during the day when I’d be at work. Finally, I found a foundation called, Read Ahead. Once a week, during your lunch hour, you can read to children, become a mentor and help shape a child’s life. This was it! I LOVE reading and I LOVE children. I filled out an application and got a bounce back email that told me I might not be selected due to an overwhelming response. I figured I would let the universe do it’s work and if I was meant to be a mentor than great and if not…I was certain I’d find something else to help children.
My next challenge was beginning to plan my New York City birthday bash. So many of my closest friends offered to help plan, set-up, etc. but I didn’t want to burden not one soul with this party. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to have a Wonder Woman themed birthday. Now, that I was an adult, I could do whatever I wanted and that is what I wanted. I wasn’t sure what to do since I’m not a planner by nature (I can barely book a flight on my own). I started early in the month with buying the easy things, contacting the amazing people I have in my life. How many people can say that they know someone that owns their own bakery? I was so fortunate and when I decided to book the bar, Rise, I just walked in, spoke to the manager and he agreed, and it didn’t cost me a penny to reserve a section in the bar. It might’ve helped that my opening line was that his bar was going to make a ton of money since my friends like to drink.
As the August weeks began to speed by, I was secretly wanting them to slow down, even though we were in the middle of a Mercury retrograde where for two and a half weeks, we can blame the sun and the moon rather than ourselves for the shitty things that were happening to us. I wasn’t prepared for all that was happening and all that still needed to happen. While all of this was going on, I also had a new roommate move in and wanted to make sure her transition to New York was smooth and that she liked living in my apartment. Thankfully…that did work out in my favor. She’s moved in and even used tools that I didn’t even know I had to put her furniture together.
Finally, it was last week of August, and I had only but five days left to finalize all the details on my party. Details including confirming the bar space again, having Feathers and his husband come over mid-week to make sure my costume looked perfect, coordinating the cake from, SweetHaus bakery in Brooklyn and finding a place that blows up balloons.
It was last Thursday night when I finished with the gym and went down to the Dream Hotel in Chelsea where I met up with two close friends of mine that flew in from Minnesota just to celebrate my birthday. We were able to have quality time since we all knew that the day of the party there would be limited time to have a proper conversation. I left them around ten-thirty since I had an early work call the next day and I was starting to feel good about this party coming together and well…even turning forty. If both of those amazing people could do amazing things and be forty…how hard could it be?
Last Saturday, the morning of the party and I was up early. I worked out and ran to Party City to get balloons blown up. Got home and showered. My doorbell rang, and it was this amazing make-up artist named, A. Love, that I met one day while shopping at Sephora. He came to my apartment and sat me in the living room and began doing my make-up. My new roommate and I couldn’t help but laugh for while I was getting my make-up done in our living room, she was in her new bedroom putting together a bed frame with all these tools. I hugged A. Love goodbye and thanked him for the make-up session and it was time to get into my custom-made Wonder Woman costume. I asked a friend of mine to come to my apartment early to pick me up even though the bar is just around the corner from my apartment.
When I walked in the bar, a few friends of mine were already there in shirts they had made with my name and age on the back of the shirts and Wonder Woman on the front. If this was any indication on how the afternoon was going to go than I was already one lucky son-of-a bitch. They helped lay out the table cloths,set-up the balloons and I was nervous about not having the cake when I got a text saying that the cake was being brought in from Brooklyn and my friend in the city would be delivering it. Two minutes later, friends that I hadn’t seen in so long showed up. And for several hours, I saw amazing people that are in my life and has been for many years. They came in wearing Wonder Woman hats, shirts, capes and everything in between in support of me. Suddenly, all those questions I plagued myself earlier in the month were thrown out the window for I was surrounded by an overwhelming about of love.
As if the party couldn’t get any better…in walked my friend with the cake. It was amazing, and it was even better than I was envisioning. It was stunning, and I began to tear up. Finally it was the last of my tears when my friend asked me to open his gift that he had wrapped so beautifully. When I opened it, it was this well-crafted Wonder Woman doll that he had been knitting for the past two months!!! After being in the costume for all those hours, not eating and running around like a maniac; it was time to quickly change my costume. My friend who knitted my doll walked me to my apartment to change quickly. It was in my bedroom that he said there was gifts from my amazing friend, Feathers, for me to open. I opened it and it was a framed record that Andy Warhol did for Madonna back in the eighties! It was so awesome, and it’s already hanging up in my living room. The party continued but seeing that it was a happy hour event, everyone was hungry and began to go off in different directions. I was so happy and grateful by the time I went to bed that night that I could barely comprehend what was just around the corner.
I leave tomorrow with friends from New York to go to Spain for ten days. In those ten days we will be covering Barcelona, Stiges and Ibiza. Do I know what is ahead of me? Mostly some sight seeing, TONS of dancing, hangovers and friends coming in from Italy, London and Chicago to meet me there to celebrate.
However, I think the sweetest news I received was yesterday when I was working and got an email telling me that I had been accepted into the Read Ahead mentoring program and I begin my training right after I return from my vacation!! I cannot wait to meet the children, hopefully enrich a child’s life and develop a close bond.
Will the questions that plague me return? Of course, they will, they are just delayed with all that his happening at the moment. It doesn’t mean that any of them will come true and maybe some won’t but other amazing things can and will happen.
We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we have to achieve certain milestones at certain ages in our lives but I guess what matters most is who you are surrounded yourself with. How you treat others and most importantly how you treat yourself!
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