It’s my birthday on Sunday. I’m turning 36. Ouch. Even when I say the number in my head I can’t help but wince.
I thought 35 was bad, but 36, now that’s freaking scary. It means I’ve scooted over that mid-thirty mark and am careening scarily closer to 40. Christ. Am I really that old?
I certainly don’t feel like I’m 36. Then again, what should a 36-year-old feel like?
Does it mean I’m too old to jump on the mic at my brother’s wedding and rap (read: shout) Boom! Shake the Room at the top of my lungs and follow it up with a bit of the old running man? Does it mean I need to start playing golf, or watch Better Homes and Gardens instead of Keeping Up with the Kardashians? I seriously do not think so. I do think though, that this year as a 36-year-old will be one of considerable self-discovery for me.
Funnily enough, the last time I remember embarking on a period of significant self-discovery was 10 years ago when I was 26. I was living in a dark, damp and mouldy flat in Colchester, United Kingdom with Dave and my brother. It was my first time living away from home and my tight knit family. I’d quit the only full-time job I’d ever had and rented out my house. I moved across to the other side of the world to get out of my comfort zone, to give myself a real taste of life, and to experience the world around me. And that I did.
It was life changing. There is nothing like moving across the world and leaving behind everyone you know, bar your boyfriend and brother, to start anew. It was exhilarating and scary all at the same time. When we arrived we knew less than a handful of people, had nowhere to live, no jobs … and the cold. I will never forget that bitter cold on the first day we arrived.
When we left the UK a couple of years later, I returned to Oz a different person. I had grown so much more than I think I possibly could have had I continued on the path I was on before I left. Yes, that age was definitely the start of a period of major self-discovery for me.
And here I am at 36 (almost), 10 years later, going through another period of change and self-discovery. Let’s hope this year is just as significant in shaping me as a person.
So come on 36. You may sound scary, but I’m ready. Bring it. Let’s see what we can get up to this year!
Ps. It seems I’m in good company. Some of my other pals who have recently turned or are turning 36 this year are Psy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Van Der Beek and that dude who played Napoleon Dynamite.