Monday, October 06, 2008

31 Today

I turned 31 today. It's weird to officially be in my thirties. People have a different reaction to 31 than they did to 29 and even 30. It's strange to have my mind increasingly sharpen but also worry about a stray grey hair and fine lines around my eyes which seems so juvenile in a way. It's taken effort to look back at the past thirty years to see how I've grown, to see what I still need to work on. It's also difficult to focus in on what I'm most proud of. I'm hard on myself. I know that.

There are so many things about me that haven't changed since I was ten. Like my loner tendencies. When I was in elementary school, I used to walk around my desolate suburban block and think about what I learned that day. Tonight I walked the streets of NYC, slightly less desolate, and thought about what I've learned in the past year. Warning: it's long and sometimes a bit cliche, but it's from the heart.

I've learned that it's hard for me to communicate my feelings and I'm learning to overcome that. I've learned to compliment people more. I've learned to recognize just how much I have to offer, despite my failed relationships. I've learned to really appreciate a crusty french baguette and homemade vegetable soup. I've learned who is a true friend, and that it isn't someone who throws away years of friendship after a catty fight. I've learned, especially from an ex-friend recently, that people can be so fake for the many years that you know them, and that even though you've seen them drop other friends like they were a piece of garbage, it's hard to realize just how shallow they are until the same thing happens to you. I've learned to judge people by their actions and not their words. I've learned that I can actually live off of five hours of sleep a night, and that I may be both a morning and night person. I've learned that you need to work on relationships and that one event in a person's life cannot make them happy. There are bumps in the road no matter what. I've learned that you can't force attraction. I've learned how to make an amazing shabbat meal. I've learned that giving flowers to someone is an easy and special way to brighten their day. I've learned that those who achieve great things are probably not on facebook all of the time. I've learned that giving on a daily basis and not one big gift is what love is all about. I've learned that modesty is so much more attractive than the alternative. I've learned that a friend who doesn't respect my spiritual path is no friend of mine. I've learned that I respect people a great deal who are honest about their weaknesses and who don't flaunt their strengths. I've learned that people who are quick to get angry are usually ignorant. I've learned that no matter how low I have felt, there is always a way out of my mood, even if it means watching comedy clips on youtube. I've learned what it's like to be on a motorcycle in the summertime over the brooklyn bridge. I've learned that one of my greatest strengths is my ability and willingness to recognize my flaws and grow as a person. I've learned that I want my kids to be respectful and slightly afraid of their parents. I've learned that riding in the back of a cop car isn't so bad (when you are not being arrested). I've learned that good health cannot be taken for granted. I've learned the art of a tupperware lunch. I've learned that my brother is the most loving person in the world. I've learned to hear the beauty in a psalm being read out loud. I've learned that online social networking is the death of real life mental connection, and therefore life as we know it. I've learned that cooking for the person I love, and making music give me an enormous amount of pleasure. I've learned that connections can be made in the most unlikely of places. I've learned that guy friends are fun, but a best girl friend is a true gem; so rare and so special.

31 Today - Aimee Mann