I’m thirty. I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor – Nick Carraway. The Great Gatsby.
We all do it – lie to ourselves and call it honor.
The biggest lie most adults are guilty of is, “I’m fine” or “It’s fine” — a tricky little bit of dialogue which actually means, “It’s actually not fine but it’s easier not to deal so I’ll just let it go.”
So here I am again where everything is as it once was and yet, nothing is the same.
I never thought I would be here at thirty.
Thirty always seemed old, you know? I figured by the time it finally rolled around, I would have that suburban quadfecta: house, husband, child and career.
As it turns out, I have a recently-cultivated propensity to listen to NPR while driving, a new-found appreciation for vegetarian sushi and absolutely none of the above.
And that’s fine.
That’s a lie.
It straddles the line between being fine and being a little disheartening, depending on the day you catch me.
Catch me on a day when I’ve been spending a little bit too much time on Facebook or Pinterest and I’m bound to be dejected because there’s something both lulling and seductive about a home that looks like a Pottery Barn spread, chubby little toes and lemonade sipped from mason jars on starlit porches.
Catch me on any other day and ask me if I’m ready for the responsibilities that come along with suburban bliss and the answer will most assuredly be, “Dude. Let’s start with a dog and work our way up, shall we?”
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have it figured out yet. I thought I did, but I also thought I was going to marry Leonardo DiCaprio and that fairies lived in the big oak tree at the end of the playground.
Adulthood smashed into me in my twenties and I learned some pretty important lessons:
- Learn how to cook well. Learn how to eat well. Feed people.
- The more complicated your cocktail order, the bigger a schmuck you are. Gin and tonic. Bourbon neat. Yuengling. Simplicity is a good thing.
- Not another soul will love your rotten bones in the way a dog does.
- Bukowski was right. So was Hemingway. So was Fitzgerald.
But the most important thing I learned was that there is nothing honorable about lying to yourself. If it’s not fine, don’t lie to yourself and pretend it is.
In a few days, I will turn 30 – a green breast of a new decade.
A blank page.
I’m a little terrified, but I’m also optimistic. Because if there’s one thing I’m good at – it’s filling a blank page.
Here’s to fresh starts.
Here’s to cold gin cocktails and feeling civilized.
Here’s to being with the people who love you – safe, warm and happy.
Here’s to honor and to being the person you want to be.
Here’s to a new year.