On lameness and 31.

This morning, for the first time in a while, I felt lame. Someone commented on my New Year's plans and I was caught a little off-guard; the tone had been a tad more biting than joking. Wondered if we had managed to stay awake til midnight or not.

Last night I confessed to Chris that I am avoiding the fact that I turn 31 in two weeks. Ug. Unlike other ages, this is the first time in a while that I haven't seen the possibilities for my upcoming age. What's to discern between 31 and 32 and 33 and 34? What's special about this coming year?

The midnight comment, combined with my slight resistance to turning 31, prodded the same underbelly. If you are perfectly happy wearing your new flannel shirt with jeans and Converse sneaks to dinner on New Year's Eve, does that make you lame? If you have a hard time staying awake past midnight, are you a loser?

Does settling down mean losing whatever cool factor you ever had?

On a night when 80% of the Internet was sharing photos of themselves in sequin skirts, I was happy and cozy with my partner. That doesn't make me better or cooler or less cool or lamer than anyone else out there. I guess I just had a New Year's Eve that matched where I felt I needed to be.

I want to allow myself to be the 31 that I feel I need to be. Inexperienced in some areas of my life and masterful in others. Some days proving myself and some days giving myself a break from that constant pressure. Digging deep and finding the value that I bring to whatever table I sit at - and then keeping my head up when it's not enough.

There is substance here inside this nearly-31 year old shell. There are convictions and a deep sense of self. There is an internal barometer for right and wrong and lovely and threatening and falseness and honesty. I'm proud of that.

Now I just need to learn when to tell people to go to hell.


EricaRW said...

If chilling out on New Years in your comfiest clothes is lame then call me Captain of the Lame Squad. That's what we did, too :)

Sister, you make 30 look awesome. I'm sure I'll be able to say the same for 31 xo

Jen said...

Thanks, E. :) Lame Squaders UNITE! xox

Heather said...

Reading through your post on NYE about what you were doing and here is what comes up:

• being thoughtful
• wandering
• lunching
• sleeping in
• reading books
• writing resolutions
• talking about our values
• stretching
• strengthening
• preparing for another year of possibility

Seems to me you've already got a great foundation for doing what you need to do for where you need to be. Best wishes for 2012.

And as for the person who made the "lame" comment... don't feel too badly if you happen to smack them in the head while you stretch to meet another goal. It will probably do them good.

Scott Carpenter said...

Hey. Some of your readers are 41 years old and haven't seen midnight in many years. Some of those readers *embrace* the lame.

Anne said...

Lying naked in front of the fire with a glass of wine and my husband on New Year's eve a few years ago I said, "This is where all those chumps in the bars are trying to end up by the end of the night anyway." Embrace the lame, indeed.