Another Year

I’m going to be 31 on Thursday.

It’s weird, because when I say “thirty one” I hear “old,” but I’m not old. Hell, I’m taking good enough care of myself that I don’t even have real wrinkles yet, other than my smile lines. I’ve been the same dress size since my freshman year of college, with slight gains and losses as the diets have flown by. My taste in clothing has clearly become more refined, though the other day I was listening to The Cranberries and thinking how I’d really like to have a pair of combat boots again sometime. I’m even POORER now than I’ve ever been – so how’s that for a kick in the face, Old Age?

But is staying somewhat similar the same thing as retaining one’s youth? In some ways, I’m Peter Pan-ing my way through life, I know. I mean, sure, my career ambitions have become defined and I’m finally where I want to be everyday. Otherwise, though…While my friends from high school all have two kids and mortgages now, I sometimes feel trapped just having two cats and a rental apartment. I’ve been dating the same guy for six years, with no intention of getting married any time soon, and definitely no wish to get bogged down by babies or, heaven forbid, a fixed address for more than a couple of years at a time.

The difference is that I’m letting myself age inside more than I wish to admit. I have been following only half of my heart for some time now, and I’m not exactly sure what to do to appease it. The REAL me, the inside me, is a nomad. She hates anchors, despises divulging her secrets, staying in one place too long. She longs to ride with the wind when the urge suits. She sails clipper ships and leads armies. She hunts down poachers in Africa, climbs treacherous mountain trails in China, seeks wisdom with yogis in India.

But me, I’m just 31, and I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for, really. Who will be looking back at me in the mirror when I turn 32?

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