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Happy birthday to me

So, I’m thirty.

Seems like about time.

I feel thirty. Not young, not old. Much like twenty-nine, or thirty-one, but just a little bit neater, wrapped up with a bow.

I don’t see much significance in the number. I wondered if I would once it changed, but I don’t. I’m sure that over the next year, various implications of being in a new decade or whatever will filter through to me as part of the becoming process. But I don’t feel I measure my age as much by the number I’ve reached as I do by the body I inhabit.

I say this because what gives me far more pause for thought than the digits on my birthday cards is the changing texture of the skin on my face. The altered waist-hip ratio. The stiffness in my joints. The many acquired scars. The signs of wear. The mileage. I have been paying attention to these lately, contemplating the impact of my choices on the form I find myself wrapped in.

Becoming a mother aged me. In so many ways. And so dramatically. I think, for me, any disturbed peace that may have been caused by this ‘milestone’ birthday was already surrendered to motherhood.

Looking at myself in the mirror is different now. I have had to concede that I don’t totally like what I see. That I feel like a compromise. That I look better in clothes than I do naked. I have had to work to be okay with my vessel again. And I worry about how it will be received by another. And I accept that this is all a normal, possibly approaching universal, human experience, in one form or another.

I’m okay with it. But it’s still tinged with regret. I look forward to transmuting that into something more joyful.

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