Thirty Four

Image courtesy of Little Miss Nerd Girl
I'm thirty four.  Today.  It's a weird mix or happiness and fear.  Happiness because of all the good people and blessings in my life.  The fear, because I'm almost 35.  And for some reason 35 always seemed a long way off... Until now.

I don't think I'm afraid of getting older.  I still feel 25.  Ok, so the lack of sleep and the laugh lines and crows feet beg to differ.  Overall though I'm surprised that I am 34.  Like the kids on American Idol (I don't watch, but read daily) did songs from the year they were born, and they were songs from the 90's.  Then NINETIES!  Like when Whitney died and they kept saying the Body Guard was 20 years ago... TWENTY!

When did that happen?  When did Nirvana become "classic" rock.  When did movies like Swingers and Office Space become cult classics, like The Breakfast Club? 

How am I suddenly 34?

Being on the cusp of 34, has made me think a lot about being 17.  Makes sense since 17 is half of 34.  I've been listening to my old punk cds in the car, when I get the luxury of driving without my kiddos.  I think about my old pair of blue Dickie's and how comfy they were.  I think about the small night clubs me and my BF Vee used to inhabit at the chance to see punk stars in the making.  Life seemed so carefree and exciting.  The world was my oyster... I had endless opportunities.  I was young, naive, and free.

But really looking back 17 wasn't all it was cracked up to be.  I put on a fabulous show of self confidence.  I was a rebel, before it was cool.  Wearing Dickie's pants, before they were designed for women.  Wearing wife beater tanks and baby T's that said "Girls Kick Ass".  I was that girl in the Vans, with the short hair, and the bad ass attitude.  I wasn't going to college, unless it was Berkley.  I wasn't about to marry no Republican (which I actually did), and I sure as heck wasn't going corporate (which I also did, twice).  I put on such a good show that most people probably thought I had all the confidence in the world.  What a great show I put on.

Really, though, I hated myself.  I thought I was fat.  Never pretty enough.  Never cool enough.  I tried so hard to get that boy to notice me, another to love me, and another to just entirely forget me.  While I had some great friends I still treasure, high school was not my glory days.  So while I looked like I was comfortable in my own skin, I was far from it.

As hard as it's been, I'm embracing 34.  I'm older, but also wiser.  Maybe it was college (not Berkley), maybe it was my sorority (yes, that punk loving chick, turned into a sorority girl), but most likely it was motherhood.

Motherhood makes you grow up.  Makes you stop focusing on yourself and your worries.  Makes you re-group and focus on the tiny human you just grew.  I lost all insecurities I had about myself during labor and delivery.  I gained all the insecurities of motherhood before the placenta was thrown out.  It was no longer about me, what I wanted, and who I wanted to be.  I was now, and forever will be mom.  Not just a mom, but some one's mom, mom to a real live person.  How's that for insecure?

But now, even those insecurities are fading.  I'm finding that motherhood has helped me rediscover my self confidence.  And as scared as I was, and have been about motherhood, I'm finding that as I get older I'm better prepared.  Emotionally.  As I gain more experience, I feel I'm turning out to be a pretty good mom.  I feel like the attention has been off of me for for a long time.  And in that time, I have been able to redefine who I am, and what kind of mother I want to be.  And the added experience has helped me along the way.  Sure I'm still making mistakes and missteps, but they don't zap my confidence as quickly as they used to.

Now, I smile and remind myself that at 17 I would have never left the house without make up or dirty hair.  I would have been embarrassed not to be wearing what I thought was the latest fashion.  That I would have cried every day over those last 15 (post partum) pounds.  That I would have hated myself and my looks post baby.

The good thing about 34 is that I don't.  I don't care that most days, tinted sunscreen, bronzer, and lip gloss are "made up".  That a dirty, poofy pony, is an acceptable hairstyle.  And since I've cut bangs, my hair time has been cut in half.  At 34 I no longer care about the latest fashion, but still find it thrilling to wear colored denim, when I have somewhere to go. 

I love, that at 34, I really do love myself.
Every laugh line, and all the crows feet.
The gray hair that I have trouble covering up every 4 weeks.
This body, that will never be the same since baby one,
but is totally acceptable now.
My face, which I finally think is pretty,
and not in an arrogant way,
but in an I'm a mom, hear me roar kind of way.

As unhappy as I was about turning 34, I'm actually happy today.  I have a hubby that loves me fiercely, which was unimaginable at 17.  I have two beautiful daughters, which wasn't even in "the plan".  I've happily traded Glamour for Redbook (I know, it's still shocking), and InStyle for Parenting.  I'm more sure and secure about myself than I have ever been.  I hear that's because of experience. 

So today, I'm 34.  Sure, I freaked a little, but I'm going to keep calm, and make a birthday wish, that life and love really do get better with age... I mean experience...



  1. I love this post! A very happy birthday to you!

  2. Happy Birthday Megatron! Even though we're family, I love how blogging has brought us closer together. Have an amazing awesome blessed day! Love you tons!

  3. Happy Birthday! I turn 34 this year and though I don't have kids.. I can relate to so much of this post. I usually feel older when I see things in the media reaching a milestone or on my sister's birthday (she's 4.5 years older than me). I reserve my own birthday for fun and not sweating it ;-). Enjoy your day and don't sweat it!

  4. Happy Birthday! What an amazing post! It's amazing to think back on the journey thru our life and to see where we end up; and most of the time, it's never where we intended to go. Just shows the plan for our life is bigger than we know!

  5. Happy birthday!!! A fantastic post. I kept nodding and thinking up I remember those high school insecure faking it till ya make it days. I love that you're happy with who you and and where you are , that's not easy to do. Many many happy wishes for you!

  6. What a great post. It's so nice to hear that someone is comfortable in their own skin and appreciates where they are in life. I hope you have a wonderful birthday today! Happy 34th!

  7. HAPPY BIRHDAY CHICA! 34 was a good year, but 35? WAY BETTER! Trust me...I felt like a new woman at 35 for some reason (sexier, wiser, happier...)
    Enjoy your 34th year of life:)
    "You've come a long way, baby!"

  8. happy birthday love! beautiful post! hope you have a good one xo

  9. Love this post! And you go girl! Embrace 34!! You're beautiful inside and out and I'm glad you realize that. I hope you have a very happy birthday with your hubby and baby girls!

  10. Love this post sweet friend! Happy Birthday - I hope it was WONDERFUL!!

  11. Happy happy birthday!! Hope you are enjoying it!!

    Remy / Cinnamon Bubbles

  12. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! I think it is VERY interesting how things change in your life from about age 17ish to 35ish. I am 31 and I am SUCH a different person! Wow!!!! If i could write that girl a letter about what her life would be like she would NEVER believe it!

  13. Sooooo true!! And I would never go back to 17, I like exactly where I am. Good for you for saying so! I thought the same thing about the body guard, It's 20 years old, No Way!?!?

  14. Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a beautiful day!!

  15. Happy, happy birthday!! Hope it's a fabulous one. :)

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