Clearly I am freaked the fuck out about turning 37.
Likely this is because I equate 37 with “late 30s”, which is the same as 40 and at 40, everyone is a long way down the path of families and careers and other mature adult things. While I have none of these things. Of course, my freakout has nothing to do with whether or not I actually want any of these things. In fact, my life should be just about entirely complaint free.
I don’t have a boss. I work on what I want. I get paid well for it. I get to do things like write a book and travel and meet with top companies and government agencies and sit on my balcony and watch the ferries go by and get $175 haircuts and take five weeks off to wander around Europe and drive my MGB along the beach with the top down and invite my friends over and cook them lots of delicious food. I have fabulous friends, a great apartment, a loveable niece. I have a good relationship with my sister, a smart and organized assistant, and a corner office with a spectacular view.
What. the. fuck. is. wrong. with. me? I should be estactic every single day. I should think 37 is pretty damn awesome. I shouldn’t feel like my life is a failure.
But instead of focusing on all the positives, I look at the flipside: I’m divorced. I clearly am bad at relationships to the point that I don’t even want to attempt one again. I still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up so I just take on anything that comes my way until I’m so overwhelmed I just want to sit in a corner and cry. I don’t have now, and never will have again, any kind of relationship with my parents. I fear being old and alone. I feel like a bad friend because I get overwhelmed with work and disappear. My MGB runs on expensive repair bills rather than gasoline. I look over my life and it’s hard to see anything but my failings.
I’m reading Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life right now. There’s a section on studies that find that the things that tend to influence our happiness (or lack thereof) in our lives are closely tied to the strengths our romantic bonds and families. So, there’s that I guess.
But maybe I should spend more time enjoying my life and less time being such an ungrateful whiny baby. I’ll be spending my 37th birthday on a plane to Europe where I plan to try everything that presents itself to me. Except when I don’t want to. And I’ll work on being grateful.