My happy bubble of self-denial…
There are times I realize that I blissfully live in a state of denial about myself. For one, I think I’m a good singer; however, the funny looks I get from friends and family any time I belt out a few notes quickly reminds me that I’m really not.
Another example: My age. In my mind, I’m young. It feels like I just graduated from college yesterday. (How was that 13 years ago?) And the three women who work with me who are in their twenties…we’re about the same age, right? Then I have moments when I realize how wrong I am. Like when I mentioned Alex P. Keaton in a team meeting and the three of them looked at me like I had three eyes.
Then I asked myself a question that I hated: When did I get old?
In fact, this year does mark a milestone for me: I can no longer say I’m in my “early thirties”. Nope. I officially hit my “mid-thirties”.
Most adults would celebrate this occasion in a dignified way, maybe with a simple cake and a few gifts; however, as previously admitted, I sometimes forget that I’m old. I still get excited for birthdays–just like when I was a little kid. In fact, one of my birthday festivities this year made me feel 25 years younger.
It was 1988. I was in the 6th grade. And there was thing that I loved more than anything else: NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!
Yep–I had it all. The complete sheet set and comforter, posters, t-shirts, buttons, cassette tapes (yes, another reminder of my age!). I knew every word to every song. On the bus, my friends and I would discuss which New Kid was the best (like there was really a competition–it was obviously Joey).
Then to top it off, they were going to have a concert in my hometown. I was pumped! I was going to see them…in person!
But turns out, I never did.
Nope. Apparently I misbehaved, got into some kind of trouble and my mom decided to implement tough love in the cruelest way: No concert for me. Childhood dream CRUSHED.
Fast forward 25 years.
I remember my pure excitement the moment I found out. I checked Facebook and had to read the post on my news feed several times. Could it really be true? Could NKOTB really be back?
My sister and I could hardly wait…the countdown was on!
The plan: My sister and I were going to meet one of my friends and her sisters for dinner before the concert. There was just one tiny detail that I probably should have fully disclosed to my friend: My sister and I were really excited for the concert…like really, REALLY excited. So excited that we had special attire just for the occasion.
So, like I said, there are certain aspects of my life that I may be in denial about. And here’s another example. There are times when I feel really cool and hip; however, I realize that in reality, this “coolness” may be closer to “nerdiness”.
Case in point:
This is us before the concert. Think we were just a little bit excited? We were decked out from head to toe–dressed pretty much like we were 25 years ago. I wish I could take the credit for this, but the full glory needs to go to my little sis. She made us shirts, buttons…even brought pink eye shadow. Yes, this is my definition of cool.
And it seemed that the staff at the restaurant agreed.
The second my sister and I stepped inside all eyes froze on us.
Luckily my friend and her sisters have a good sense of humor and didn’t act like they didn’t know us when we sat down at the table.
My sister and I shared dinners and enjoyed wine. One of the waiters stopped by our table and said, “I like your style.” Like I said, we made an impression. And even though my sister and I stood out like sore thumbs, we could care less. We were having so much fun together.
Nearly four hours of screaming…
My sister and I had tickets in the cheap seats. But turns out, that didn’t make any difference. Instead of going to our seats, the two of us ended up standing in the main aisle and had an awesome view for the entire show. Within just a few notes of a song, I instantly remembered all the words. It all came back to me. My sister and I spent the entire concert on our feet, singing at the top of our lungs, dancing our hearts out, swaying our arms in the air…having the time of our lives.
It was worth the 25 year wait. Here I was, in my “mid-thirties” screaming as loud as I could at my favorite boy band. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
The concert was awesome–it was a giant party. We laughed so hard, smiles were plastered on our faces the entire time.
My birthday wish…
Overall, turning 35 was actually pretty great. My husband treated me to dinner at one of my new favorite restaurants (side note: Besides Joey McIntyre, I also have a small crush on Jeff Ruby for his incredible food!), my team of the three twenty-something year old women treated me to delicious birthday pancakes, my mom stopped by my office to surprise me with presents and my afternoon at work consisted of a huge family picnic at a nearby park. Not too bad at all…happy birthday to me!
Maybe I do live in a state of denial about myself at times…or maybe it’s something else. Maybe in my “old” age, I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter what other people think about me…the only thing that matters is what I think about myself.
So I don’t care that I sing off key…I’m still going to sing! It doesn’t matter that I have no rhythm (just ask my husband!)…I’m dancing! And it doesn’t matter if people look at us like we’re crazy….I’m going to rock a side pony for a concert! Because these things make me happy. And maybe I’m not really cool, but being a nerd is much more fun any ways!
It’s so true…it really doesn’t matter how old you ARE, but how old you FEEL. And I hope that no matter how I old I get, I never lose the ability to laugh at myself and act like a little kid every once in a while. Yes, this is the “right stuff”.
Life is about making memories…the kind that will crack you up decades later when you think about them. And that’s exactly how I feel about my 35th birthday and finally fulfilling my childhood dream. I will laugh about this day for years…and that’s really the best gift I could ever get.