Rogue Element #101: Na Na Na Na Na Na, They Say It’s Your Birthday!
By Avril Brown
Thirty. The big 3-0. The death of the roaring ‘20s. Officially old. Untrustworthy. Time to grow up. There are a lot of different titles for the milestone that is turning thirty, most of them unsubtly hinting at the stigmas that come with reaching three decades of living. Quite frankly only a couple years ago I was terrified of crossing that threshold into my thirties, utterly convinced it would mean the end of an era, the demise of my youth, the beginning of the end of the rest of my life. (I am aware of how dramatic that sounds, but forgive me, I was only the wee age of twenty-eight when I had these overwhelmingly farcical feelings.)
Flash forward to now, my thirtieth birthday, and I am actually comfortable with traveling into my thirties. Aside from the basic, hard truth that there is no stopping the aging process and thirty was going to arrive whether or not I pouted like a petulant pre-pubescent, my life is pretty freaking sweet right now, a fact which siphons off the sting of no longer being a twenty-something. Exploring the main reasons why most people have issues with turning thirty, I have found my answers to be more than satisfactory, thus ushering me into a new age bracket with a smile rather than a grimace:
1) I’m no longer young. Maybe I’m not twenty-one young anymore, but thirty is still young. I blame Hollywood’s obsession with the latest smoking hot jailbait in making the rest of the populace feel like thirty plus is an automatic entry into the AARP. There are a lot of good years still left in this thirty year old sack of flesh, which lately I have gotten into decent shape. I’ve always been blessed with a fair figure (again, shout out to my folks for the good genes, particularly my mother’s metabolism), and dating a personal trainer the last year and a half has certainly changed my previous perspective on working out. Yes, I do need to fight the battle of the belly bulge on a more rigorous and continuous basis than I did ten years ago (I’ll be getting back to the front lines after I have my birthday cake and eat it, too), but having Forteza at my fingertips and biking my ass off has given me more strength and better stamina than I had in high school.
2) I’m unmarried with no children. I’m REALLY ok with this one. Then again, I never wanted to have a partner and 2.3 squirts running around by the time I was thirty. My mother had my sister and me in her mid-thirties, and to me that always sounded like a fine age to begin the breeding process. Would I be this content and relaxed if I turned thirty single and sans family and friends? Probably not, but in this I am very fortunate. I’m crazy in love with a super sexy geek beast who is totally my kind of weird, and we’re heading full steam ahead towards our own version of happily ever after. I have a large, loving and healthy family (knock on wood) that is growing every year. I have a kick ass circle of friends who are ten different kinds of crazy fun. I love profusely, and I am loved in return. If that’s not a reason to break out the champagne no matter how many candles are on the cake, then I don’t know what is.
3) I don’t know where my life is going, I have regrets and there are things I haven’t done yet. A) Who does? Who doesn’t? and C) No shit, but there is still time to do them. Figuring out what I’m doing and where my career is heading has been a constant struggle, but I’m keeping my head above water and haven’t given up hope of getting back on the boat and finding my horizon. Sure, I have regrets, just like everyone else, but thankfully my major misgivings are few and far between. Despite the beliefs of many an individual, I still don’t regret any of my tattoos, not even the huge, colorful comic book characters, and I doubt I ever will. There are plenty of things I haven’t done yet that I wish to, like visit Australia and swim with the sharks, but I’m thirty, not ninety; I still have plenty of time. Hell, if I’m half as cool as my grandmas and Betty White, even approaching my centennial won’t stop me from jumping in a tank and tossing a Great White a hunk of meat.
Turning older is not about losing ones youth, it is about evolution. I haven’t lost who I was fifteen years ago; I have changed, that is for damn certain, but change is vital for survival. I still love my X-Men comics, but I have opened my senses and tastes to include different genres, writing styles and artwork. I am not the same girl who picked up my first comic in a Walgreens shop in the late ‘90s, but I am definitely still a fangirl. My confidence has soared, bringing me and my comic collection out of the closet and onto the Convention floor, with or without all of my clothes. Though a blush may have graced my cheeks and I had to muffle my squee, I still walked up to James Marsters in New York City wearing nothing but white straps and an orange wig and I flirted. I probably wouldn’t have gotten by without a little help from my new friend Jen I was with at the time who worked briefly with James, but regardless, I did it with a straight back (proper posture helps the girls look good) and solid eye contact (he does have some pretty baby blues, not to mention I caught the up-down look he gave me).
With age comes experience, fortitude and comprehension. Growing older also means making multiple mistakes, suffering humiliation and feeling as if you have forgotten everything you used to know, but hey, that’s life, regardless of how many years have accumulated. The downs have always come with the ups, and that is as unavoidable as aging.
So chin up, take a deep breath and go out and enjoy your existence, no matter the mileage. A very Happy Birthday to all, and to all a good life!