September 5, 2012

on loving me, life, & the big four oh

Just one month ago I was on the beach laying on my stomach with my back baking in the sun. A Cabana boy walked by asking if we’d like an “iced towel” just as beads slid from my back to the front, creating a pool of sweat under my ridiculously ample chest. The iced towel felt like absolute bliss on the back of my neck and soon my eyes dropped for a bit until I could no longer take the heat from the sun, the sweat laminating my skin. My bare feet swept across the prickly hot, shell-littered sand as I made my way into the warm salt water of the Gulf of Mexico which held me up with such ease. I floated with the back of my head submerged in water, marveling over the pristine blue sky with its cotton balls painted ever so daintily here and there.

Just one month ago I was in heaven…on earth. And I was there celebrating the first 40 years of my life alongside my BFF/cousin who also turned 40 this year.

We laid around for three full days doing absolutely nothing, and, when we grew tired of that, did a little more Nothing. It was glorious and it was by far the best birthday celebration I’ve had to date.

Oh, but there were other memorable birthdays, don't misunderstand me:  

  • 10: I was super giddy to be hitting the double digits; there was no turning back!
  • 20: I found my very first gray hair whilst sitting on the stoop outside my sister’s house in Utah where I was spending the summer taking care of her children. I was more than ready to return home, return to my life as a college student at one of the country’s largest arts and media colleges: Me, myself, and my new gray hair.
  • 21: Cheap beer in hand, brand new driver’s license with blue background ready to be whipped out, I left the grocery store plastered with WE CARD ANYONE UNDER 30 signs without ever being asked for my ID. The one time I wanted to get carded, I didn’t get carded.
  • 25: I had a date with the dentist after biting into a Now and Later candy while working the customer service job I hated and feeling and hearing a POP from inside my mouth (the candy pulled off one of my caps).
  • 28: I felt like a 12-year-old with the case of the giggles as my boyfriend (now husband) took me on a “romantic getaway” to a little suite adorned with mirrors EVERYWHERE and a swing in the closet that was to be hung above the illuminated bed.
  • 36: I got shingles IN MY MOUTH after spending the day at an apple orchard with little kiddies just one month after having a d&c.
  • 39: I spent 6 hours in the emergency room after having been feverish and extremely exhausted for nearly 2 straight weeks (turns out I had some cousin virus to mono).

But now, maybe you can see why laying on the beach with nothing to do for a couple days seems heavenly to me, yes?

So heavenly.

And well deserved, dammit.

I'm not saying my life my 30s haven't been good to me because while there’s only been a couple memorable birthdays in my 30s and not for good reason, I have absolutely no doubt and pause not one bit to say that my 30s have been the best years of my life. There were some damn trying hard times and some very dark days, but overall, they were the best days of my life:
  • I learned to love all of me
  • I learned to truly not care what others think, how others live
  • I learned to live each and every day as fully as I can
  • I learned to grab life by the horns and celebrate, which landed me in Heaven on earth one month ago.

And now tomorrow, I really celebrate; because tomorrow is the day I finally turn 40. Yay me!





  1. Happy Birthday!! Doing nothing sounds like an awesome way to celebrate, yay you!

  2. I knew I liked you for a reason, Christina- you fellow Virgo! (My b-day was 9/2!) I hope you have a fantastically fabulous fortieth!

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Another Virgo here (My birthday is the 15th!) And I would LOVE to have a vacation full of nothing! I'm hoping I can have that next summer???? We shall see!

  4. This is right around the corner for me. It's fun to reminisce about the various version of self. I love "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros.

    (Also-consider adding name/url to your comment options. I don't use LJ anymore, but don't have any of the others.)

  5. Happy birthday!! That really does sound like heaven...aaahhhhhhhh. My 30s are shaping up to be my best years as well (I'm 37). That whole not-caring-what-others-think thing is what I'm finally getting better at :)

    1. oh yes. once you *really* start living like that, it's empowering!

  6. Happy Birthday! And what a great perspective on turning the Big 4-0!

    (And how does one get Shingles in their mouth?)

    1. thanks!
      Shingles in the mouth? ugh leave it to me. my doc said he'd never seen it before and he's about to retire. it's a stress related illness, generally, but not so common to happen in the mouth. i couldn't eat or talk for about a week. horrible time.

  7. I don't know if it gets more beautiful then this post. First of all I can almost spit I am so jealous of three days of nothing, nothing and more nothing. Also, I am totally in aw of how you can remember those different birthdays. Most of all your reflection of your thirties is beautiful. I know life can be hard. It can be miserable. It can be down right painful and awful but that moment when we survive and take in all the positives is a really beautiful moment. Happy Birthday!!! -LV


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