This article was written for Holl and Lane Magazine Issue 16: Aging. Read the full article on page 68.
The way people handle getting older has always been interesting to me. From the time we’re born until we’re about 25, we get excited about every birthday. We count down the days, we celebrate half-birthdays, we plan for weeks or even months the celebration of our last passage around the sun. Then a funny thing happens–we approach mid-life and start to dread that anniversary as though we’ve been cursed. A birthday becomes “21 again,” and it’s especially pronounced for those that feel younger than they are.
I’d like to believe that I’ve always been okay with getting older.
I’ll never forget my sixteenth birthday. It was back when making t-shirts with puff paint was cool (was it really ever cool?) I had painted it to say, “Sweet sixteen and never been kissed,” on the front and “YEAH, RIGHT!!!” on the back. I think it was my attempt at proclaiming myself to be the rebel that I wasn’t. My two best friends at school had ordered up a ridiculous bouquet of balloons that I had to carry through the halls, bonking people in the face as I went, smiling and thanking people for the birthday wishes. It was a tradition among the three of us, and I relished every moment.