I am thirty-nine years old. 39. It’s kind of cool to be here, teetering on the edge of a decade that starts with a four. I’m not overfond of the number four but I’d rather not be dead so here’s to picking your battles!
You’re as old as you feel. If pressed, I might say that I *feel* thirty-two. I think this is because I had a child at thirty-two and my life is on pause. I mean, not really. I am living my life. Here I am right now in this moment. Hi.
Part of me feels like my old life got suspended in amber when Arlo was born and this seven years of my new life is just a fork, a path I took, and maybe when it ends I’ll go back to being thirty-two. So let’s see, that would be when he’s eighteen, in eleven years, when I am hey fifty!
Oh, I see. That would be the mid-life crisis: when I come back to being not-a-parent, or, a parent still but not of small children, and I’m not thirty-two at all, I’m fifty.
Ha ha! Surprise! The path back to your old life is CLOSED. Overgrowth, snakes, you know how it is. You can’t go back.
(But wait, childless people have mid-life crises too.)
Of course I know all this, but there is a difference between what the head knows and what the soul wants. The soul sometimes wishes she could pick up where she left off at thirty-two. But the head knows a) that’s a fool’s errand and b) the soul and the head are way better off now. All smart and more accepting and empathic and relaxed about stuff.
Where are we going in these woods? Where does this fork lead? I don’t know. But I have bear spray and common sense and some trail mix and overall, it’s a nice walk.