And then, 24 became 42.

It was my birthday this weekend, so I thought I’d do something special. Flew down to Costa Rica for a few days. Pool + Cuba Libre = Yes.

But I’m getting ready to pack it in, early flight in the morning…. I’ll be up at 3am. I was thinking this morning about how things change. When I was 24, I went to Mardi Gras with complete strangers. Four of us shared one hotel room for a week, and I met my new roommates for the first time at the airport. We drank vodka and Gator-aid on the plane and then we just didn’t stop all week.

The flight home from New Orleans was also an early one, like this one, but when I was 24 I just stayed up all night, walked straight off Bourbon Street and into a cab, and home we went.

Now at 42, I’m very much looking forward to a balanced meal, a hot bath, and some quality shuteye.

The numbers have been transposed, and so have I.

My 24th birthday was my hardest so far. Not the typical 30, not even 40. For me: 24 was the one. It’s the last birthday before the downhill slide to 30, after all! I was officially in my mid-twenties at that point. The horror. I know.

Turns out, I like getting older. I feel better. I feel more grounded, more in command. I feel more like me, instead of someone just inhabiting a body, just existing. Sometimes barely breathing.

I’ve acquired a few wrinkles, and recently I stopped plucking my gray hairs because it became too hard to keep up with, but the truth is that they just don’t bother me. And if I’m going to have lavender hair when I’m an old lady, I’ll have to let it go anyway. And I already decided I’ll have lavender hair when I’m an old lady.

It’s not just that getting older is “better than the alternative”, as they say… for me, getting older is awesome. I don’t mean “cool” awesome. I mean that it inspires awe in me.

It is indeed a privilege denied to many, and I’m pleased to have made it to the point where I can inhabit this body and this life with some authority.

Pleased to see that it really does get much better, in a lot of ways.