I love a clean slate. I clean my closet out more often than I add things to it. I actually enjoy moving. I don’t mind Mondays at all. And so I suppose it’s fitting that I’m actually excited to turn 30. The idea of entering a new decade isn’t dreadful by any measure - I’m ready to write my next chapter with the benefit of lessons learned in one hell of a wild ride through my 20’s.
In honor of creating a clean slate for my dirty 30 I’m going to air some dirty laundry. Here’s to looking forward, and laughing hard when you choose to look back.
1. I’m self-conscious even when I sleep. I know I’m an ugly sleeper and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve actually tried to take a photograph of myself on a pillow with my eyes closed to assess the severity of the problem. Recently.
2. I’m afraid to have children – for entirely selfish reasons. I’m not worried about knowing how to take care of an infant. I’m afraid of not knowing how to stay sane when I’m all alone in at home with a baby and not enough stimulation. I’m afraid of getting postpartum depression and gaining 30 pounds and entering back into a cycle of weight induced self-loathing. I’m afraid of ruining the wonderfully warm and loving relationship B and I enjoy by becoming irrational, demanding and overbearing. I’m afraid I won’t be strong enough if our baby is born sick. I’m afraid I won’t be strong enough if anything ever happens to our baby. I’m afraid I will resent giving up the life I have now, a life I’ve worked so very very hard for.
3. I made an entire relationship up with a fictional guy in college to make someone else jealous.
4. I finally admitted I might have a teeny bit of residual “body dimorphic disorder” when I realized there are days I don’t feel that different from when I was 30-35 pounds heavier. Sometimes I stand right next to someone in Bar Method class that I think I might look like. I am always shocked when I look in the mirror and realize she’s probably 20 pounds heavier.
5. I am too hard on some people and not hard enough on others. I afford certain people in my life the luxury of endless leeway and make endless excuses for them, and then hold other people to impossible standards. That is unreasonable and unfair.
6. Sometimes I feel like I’m having an out of body experience, watching my emotions take control in an exorcism-worthy spiral. It happens only a few times a year, but I inevitably walk away wondering if somewhere deep inside me there’s a clinically insane person trying to get out.
7. I’m uncomfortable eating certain things in public. I still feel like people are looking at me as if I shouldn’t be indulging in that ice cream cone.
8. I worry I’m missing some important female genes and that I have too many of others. I don’t care about wedding favors and I don’t want a bridal shower, but I think about our first dance and smile to myself all the time. I’m not sure if my biological clock is broken or what, but I can’t picture having a baby at this moment in time. At the same time, I love tiny baby clothes and tiny baby shoes and tiny babies. I love their smell, I love their tiny faces and I love their little hearts beating in their little chests. But the overwhelming responsibility and emotional investment required to have one of my own scares the shit out of me. Thinking so practically about it makes me feel like a bad person.
9. I talk to myself in my head all day long. Sometimes I’m going through my schedule, sometimes I’m reminding myself of things, sometimes I’m praying, sometimes I’m just chatting with little old me. I like that I can talk to Siri now too.
10. I’ve peed my pants as an adult. More than once. OK, more than twice.
11. I am a spiritual person. I pray for family, friends and loved ones every day; I have a journal full of intentions and things to help me stay peaceful and grounded. I like church, I love sitting in church next to my B. But every week, under the shadow of an ornate alter paid for by people that probably couldn't afford it, I can’t help but wonder if anyone else around me disagrees with 25% of what’s coming out of the priests mouth.
12. When I met B 6 years ago, I would wait for him to get into the shower then sneak bites of the Ben & Jerry’s he kept in his freezer.
13. I am too critical. I pray every day that I can change that because I don’t ever want the people around me, especially B, to feel as if something about them isn’t enough.
14. What scares me most about getting married is that we’ll bring all these people together in this wonderful place and I’ll manage to let someone down or hurt someone’s feelings. I also avoid birthday parties and celebrations with me in the spotlight for this reason. The possibility of making anyone feel less significant than the next person more overwhelming than my desire to celebrate. I want a full day with each and every person that I’m close with. I want them all to know how special they are to me.
15. I still look back and wonder if I could have done something more to help my best friend that ended up battling drug addiction.
16. I think it should be a crime to fart on an airplane. I’ve done it.
17. Speaking of air planes…the blankets freak me out because I imagine they’re covered in farts and food particles. And dead skin.
18. I can be so cold and hard when it comes to a few issues with B that it even frightens me. I've walked away from a few pivotal arguments over the years feeling like some ugly, creepy villain in a Disney movie. You know, the kind that peers up with cold, grey eyes from underneath a prominent brow and speaks with a low, monotone voice?
19. I can be totally compassionate and totally judgemental. I'm even surprised by how contradictory I can be at times.
20. I did not enter my 20’s with a clear conscience. I was selfish and careless with some important people when I was younger. I know now that I was too concerned with being everything to everyone and not concerned enough with being good to those that mattered most. I spent my 20’s trying to be a better daughter, sister, friend and partner – I travelled the country and spent weekends, weeks, months righting what I consider the most unforgivable wrongs. I am entering my 30’s with a much clearer conscience. Never again will I let the people I love question how much they mean to me.