As the geriatric Chihuahua’s disproportionately large penis sticks sloppily to my arm, I survey the crowd at the boarding gate and wonder where everyone’s going; why one man keeps gingerly massaging the guy one seat over, who may or may not know him; and if the mousy woman watching some raunchy sex scene montage on her iPad has actually ever had sex.
It’s inching close to 5 AM at LAX, and my sleep-deprived mind realizes something.
I’m 30. Thirty. 3-0. 15×2. 6×5.
It was inevitable. Like sneeze-farting in public.
I wonder if there’s a Starbucks around here?
I hopscotch right over what’s supposed to be a horrendously awful milestone and skip it across some unseen reflecting pool — as if I haven’t been panicking about this day for the past few weeks, despite my best efforts to play it cool and be all “Turning thirty is no big thing, y’all.”
Turning 30 is a big deal. It’s the point where the last vestige of adolescent immaturity is hung up for good, like a raincoat on a California hall tree. Where those sometimes ill-fitting “I’m an adult!” clothes become more tailored, with less wrinkles. And when you really start coming to a gut-wrenching, yet bizarrely cathartic understanding of “This is who I’m going to be. For the most part.”
Of course, none of this happens smack-bam immediately. For me, it’s sort of been like playing a game of Jenga-Tetris: figuring out where all of these seemingly disparate elements of my life dovetail, and how I’ll make them interlock on a semi-balanced plane.(Okay, fine. I was never great at Jenga!)
Lately, Andy and I have talked/argued/mused about the importance of balance — of keeping ourselves in check and how exactly that will translate to reality. Because, like most people, we have big dreams that must sometimes be re-imagined; goals that we want to achieve, but whose timelines need to be more accurately re-adjusted (ahem, book deadline); hobbies that need to be dusted off and revisited. Balance is what I want most out of my thirties, and with enough patience and gumption and support, I’ll get close to having it.
Because this is the first decade I haven’t stumbled into; it’s something that’s been looming on the horizon and something for which I’ve prepared — at least somewhat.
And with what I know now, I’ll view every bit of what dawns with it as less of a mystery and more of an experience.
Something to enjoyably behold and mold as I see fit. (Sans Chihuahua penises.)