I keep trying to write about what a freakin’ year this has been. There’s a LOT of material. I switched careers, for one thing. I attended a yoga intensive which, as crazy as it sounds, kind of changed my entire perspective on how to live life and interact with other humans (I wrote a teeny, tiny bit about it here and here). Oh, and last year I did my first pull-up the night before turning 34. This Memorial Day I surprised myself again by doing 100.
But, honestly, all I can think about is a decade-old episode of Sex and the City.
On Carrie Bradshaw’s 35th birthday she sat alone at Il Cantinori waiting for a party that never happened. Then she paid for her own birthday cake, which she promptly dropped in the wet tar of a freshly paved 5th Avenue. Some jerky, sexist construction workers yelled at her while she used the pastry box cover to scrape up the remains of her dirty, expensive, inedible cake. Since I first watched this episode in college, this is image that comes to mind when I think about turning 35.
My well-meaning husband actually suggested we celebrate my own 35th birthday with a dinner at Il Cantinori, perhaps in an effort to reclaim the year? Um, no, thanks. Let’s not tempt fate. Plus, I could never pull off that infamous crop top/headband combo.
It’s funny to watch those episodes now in syndication. I’m starting to catch up to all of them age-wise, yet they still seem like such fully-formed adults, despite their flaws and missteps. Meanwhile, I feel simultaneously young and old; I can’t stay awake after more than a couple cocktails, yet I never really learned how to properly apply eyeliner. Technically, I have the same job as Carrie. And, like her, I spend my days tapping away at keyboard, regularly pausing to stare out my street-facing window. (I resist the urge to transition between paragraphs with the phrase “I couldn’t help but wonder…” )
However, I haven’t yet figured out how to fund an UWS apartment and a high-fashion shopping habit on one weekly column in a free newspaper. Maybe that happens at 36.