When I was 16 years old, some old man told me, “live it up, kid. Because it’s all downhill from here.” And I have good reasons to believe he wasn’t alluding to the fact that I had no mortgage to pay, children to take care of, or taxes to tally. He was referring to the imminent downward spiral of my waistline and baby face. I’m 30 now. And I thought he might be interested in what my Tinder profile might look like (if I actually had one):
Face: Spotted with acne and sun spots. I think I’m supposed to give a shit about this. The fact that I don’t makes me, quite literally, more comfortable in my skin than I was with arguably less severe acne at 16. (And, perhaps not too ironically, I am also WAY better at applying cover-up).
Body: Missing several major organs, with several scars to show for it. One scar looks like the aftermath of an attempted murder by some psychopathic Warhol wannabe. The result being an obnoxiously large scar resembling a Campbell’s soup can that looks tragically more like an oak tree. That scar has taken up its permanent home next to a 10-inch long beast that has been re-carved four times now. Each attempt at fixing my body through this (apparently inviting) stretch of skin has left me looking less like a real, live human being and more like a cadaver. These scars are so bad-ass. If spending more than 15 hours under anesthesia having my insides sliced and diced hasn’t killed me, any bullshit you want to send my way won’t either. I promise.
Mind: I am intuitive enough to realize that the only person on this planet I can change is myself, wise enough to know I will always be a work-in-progress and cultured enough to know that John Lennon was definitely the most talented Beatle (if you don’t agree, I’m sorry that you’re deaf). I’m jaded enough to know that the quickest way to piss off more than 10,000 people is to get into an accident on the BQE during rush hour. And I’m confident enough to speak publicly to large crowds of very important people about shitting my pants.
Soul: I try to find that by cycling with a gang of 50 suburban hedge fund wives several times each week. I never thought that sweating in a room with 100 fake tits would bring me closer to god than eight years of religion class, but sometimes life brings surprises.
The point is, kid, that 30 looks a lot different than I had ever anticipated. My breasts may be sagging and my hair may be streaked with gray, but I have never in my life felt closer to complete. When I look at you, I sometimes want to pop you into a tiny time capsule because you are cuter than even the cutest baby panda. But then I think about what it’s like to be a girl at the age of 8, 12 or 16. The insecurities. The ineptitudes. The fear and the misguided energies. And I realize that you are about to face a world of hurdles. But one thing I don’t want you to ever fear is turning 30…or any age for that matter. Because one thing that I have never been so sure of is that each year you put under your belt will make you just a bit more beautiful.