Turning 36, no turning back

Last year on my birthday I woke up with a pounding headache.

At first I thought I had a migraine. Everything — the light outside, the noise from the TV, my dog licking my feet — was bothering me.

I was in severe pain, didn’t want to get out of bed, could barely think clearly.

When it donned on me: I didn’t have a migraine. I had a hangover.

At the age of 35, I was experiencing — for the first time in my life — what most 21-year-olds wake up with the day after their birthdays.

It was a bit pathetic, I’ll be honest, but it was also a hard lesson: I wasn’t a young kid anymore. I was getting old. And that meant my body wasn’t as resilient — or tolerant — as it used to be.

Now, I realize 36 isn’t that old. But it’s not young, either. If I got pregnant now, the chances for chromosomal abnormalities is substantially higher. If I wanted to lose weight now, it would be twice as hard, as my metabolism has slowed and my ability to burn calories on the decline.


But there are upsides to being older. I know better, for one. And I tend to care less about what people think of me or my wardrobe choices.

We are a society obsessed with our ages, with getting older. We do anything to stay younger, from eye creams that promise reduction of wrinkles to major surgery to restore our bodies to our previously youthful state. It’s a lot of pressure to not get old.

But, for whatever reason, I’m not worried about getting older. At least not yet. I actually like the fact that I’m in my 30s. I feel like people will take me seriously, that I’m not some young kid trying to assert herself in the “adult world.”

I say that now. We’ll see how I feel when I turn 40.