Friday, June 15, 2007

Rebirth

I mentioned earlier that I turned 40. This has a different effect on people online than it does in the real world. While there are pictures of me on this blog, there's no way for people who meet me exclusively in this realm to really see me, how I dress, talk, behave (or misbehave) so there's no surprise factor. When I say I'm 40, you have no reason to think otherwise. In the real world, however, people are utterly amazed when I tell them. Many of them don't believe me. They think it's some kind of joke. Thirty seems to them the more logical scenario. This has always been kind of fun. It's why I don't mind telling people. The fact that I didn't get married until I was 27 and my kids are all very young reinforces the whole thing. It's all made turning 40 a tad more bearable but I'm waiting for the big switch to my appearance like when I turned 30. Around six months after my birthday I noticed I was 50 lbs heavier. I'd been 135-140 lbs all my life but six months after turning thirty and ever since, I've hovered between 190 and 195. And then there's my hairline. Every day the top of my head is just a little more visible. It looks like the stubbly field in back of my parents' house where I grew up. This concerns me because I swore that my full head of hair would not suffer the same fate as my dad's which, except for a long combover, was completely gone from the top of his head by his late twenties. I have no plans for a combover myself, nor to repeat his disastrous attempt to hide the barren scalp with a wig which was such a drastic change for him that those who recognized him just laughed in disbelief. (Mom, if you're reading this, there's no need to let him know what I've written.)

So I guess what I'm trying to say is you don't know what getting older is until you experience it yourself, and I suppose if I asked my parents or someone in the twilight years, I still don't know. As I said before, 40 hit me broadside but I recovered quickly with the help of an author friend of mind. I was feeling like 40 was the end of the line because I hadn't realized my goal of writing a novel before then. I told her this and she had some very encouraging words to say. For one thing, she told me she was going to check up on me periodically to see if I've been writing everyday. And she gave me a book, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamont. After reading that and writing nearly everyday for the last few weeks, I feel reborn. 40 is the beginning. And I'm learning more about writing by writing everyday than I ever did in school or from all those books and magazines that I bought. In the trenches is where it's learned. You read other books and other writers' advice but you don't learn it until you write for yourself. It took me 40 years to learn that.

8 comments:

Callie said...

Thank you for that uplifting post on what I have to look forward to in errr 3 years...

minus the hairline thingy though.

callie

happy plant said...

BTW, I don't really tell him everything I hear, or read. haha

I've known people who've gone through what you're going through. The year one of your aunts turned 40, she went to CA and hid at her mother's house all summer long, pouting and feeling sorry for herself. When your dad turned 30 I found him sitting on the bed saying, "I'm already 30 and I haven't done anything with my life yet." I feel fortunate because none of my birthdays have ever hit me that hard, I guess I took them all in stride, except maybe for 26. My mother just laughed at me. I just thought that after 25 I wasn't young any more. haha. Don't ask me why, but it didn't last more than a day. I think you've accomplished a lot in your life and I'm quite amazed by you!

happy plant said...

Twilight years? I guess from this side of forty, it's hard to think of them as "twilight" years. But maybe it that's the way they look from your side of it. Oh, that's right, you're not on one side or the other, you're right on top of it. lol. My 82 yr old friend keeps telling me she's not old. I'm wondering when she's going to be old. But to you I'm already there. I guess each age we turn gives us a different perspective. I'm just a youngen...62 is pretty young as far as I'm concerned. But 40 is really, really young from my side of things. haha
I love you anyway!!

cassie-b said...

40 is good. Enjoy!
My age is always a constant surprise to people. And I like that. It makes the added years a less uncomfortable.
Cas
And I enjoyed your YouTube drawing. Thanks

nefarious said...

I'm only two behind ya. I still get carded and I just laugh.

I hope like hell that if there are big changes for me at 40 it will be me getting my act together and losing those extra 20 pounds *I* put on at 30.

Just refreshing the blogroll and saying hi!

Happy Plant said...

It was nice to see you guys! I'm glad you could come. I'm always a little sad to see you go. Thanks for being here and being so supportive! We love you! Mom

Christy said...

What a great post! I've still got five more years until 40 but you're making me want to get started on that novel right now!

Anyways I'm off to join your MyBlogLog Community, I absolutely lost it when I saw your "visited by over eight readers every month," that has got to be the funniest thing I've ever seen on someone's blog, rofl.

Hope you're having a great night:)

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