O-HI-30 turns two today, and I, in turn, turn 32!
Although I was at work for 12+ hours today, I still managed to have a nice day. Of course I made sure everyone at work knew it was my birthday, including a couple of our regular guests :). My boss even brought cake to our partner meeting this afternoon! Following work, Karen treated me to a birthday dinner of a burger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake at Bareburger. And lest you think the celebrating is over, I’ll squeeze in one more day when my parents visit this weekend. Sure, I might be getting older, but birthdays are still fun!
Last year, on my 31st birthday, I wrote about feelings of “sameness”. About how I felt like despite growing older, I was the same person – same job, same apartment, same single-status. But I also realized that although life’s milestones – buying a house, getting married, having children – might not be getting checked off, that didn’t mean I wasn’t growing as a person. After all, O-HI-30 is about learning to enjoy all of life’s adventures rather than focus on what we perceive to be missing. It’s about having gratitude.
Fast-forward yet another year. In many ways, my life is still the same – same apartment, same great cat, same dating woes. But in one big way, it’s changed significantly. As you know, I took a leap of faith last fall and left my corporate job of 8+ years to venture into a whole new world of restaurants. If I was looking for a change, boy did I find one! Long hours, weird hours, learning curves, new personalities – I’ve never been more challenged in my life. And although the last eight months have not been easy, I have zero regrets about following my curiosity.
Since becoming a restaurant manager last September, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it’s like to feel young(ish). On one hand, I feel like I’m getting older. Almost all of my college friends are now married, some have children, and the rest are thinking about having children. They own houses and take vacations with their in-laws. When I look in the mirror, I see more wrinkles than I’d like to admit, and I’m starting to understand why some women want cosmetic surgery (not that I have any intentions of doing so myself, but I can empathize). I wear an icy hot patch on my back every single day. I’ve always enjoyed going to bed early, and more than two drinks (sometimes, just one) leaves me with a headache the next morning. I’m finding myself craving real partnership, and for the first time in my life, feel my maternal instinct kicking in.
But on the other hand, I’ve never felt younger in my life! Instead of sitting at a desk all day trying to motivate myself, I’m running around a restaurant putting in 10,000+ steps a day. I’m busing tables, doing dishes, and sweeping sidewalks. I’m going to work at 3 PM and sleeping until 10 AM – on a Tuesday. I’m spending my days with 19-year-olds, and my boss is 27 (or is she 26?). One of our team members, a recent graduate of OSU, lives in the same house I did on Ohio State’s campus…ten years ago! I have more in common with 22-year-olds who are renting apartments and kissing boys than I do my peers.
I’m simultaneously craving a more stable lifestyle and relishing in the variety of my current one. I’m very much longing for a partner, for true intimacy, for someone with whom I want to share my life. But I’m also as selfish and focused on my own well-being as I have ever been.
I’m 32. I’m feeling young. ish.