I love birthdays – more specifically, my birthday – in the most unholy of ways, like expecting a genie in a bottle kind of way or mom said I don’t have to empty the dishwasher kind of way. I am boss (a.k.a. one who acts with confidence and finesse) for one whole day. It goes something like this:
I wake up and pour some cereal and get back in bed and slurp over my laptop, like a boss. Click, tap, tiny splatter, just like that now I’m watching the new season of HBO’s Girls, like a boss. And I don’t worry if it’s the anti-Christ or the anti-Friedan because bosses don’t pay mind to the thought minions.
I see this episode in which Hannah, this chubby-cherub of a twenty-something, is sitting naked in the bathtub. If you know Hannah, you know she is always naked, like eating a cupcake in the nude or having a painful pee in the woods nude. So when her friend Jessa barges in on her in typical crisis mode, Hannah stands up to grab a towel, not ashamed or anything but trying to polite, and instead Jessa says, “No stay,” and then takes her shirt off and sits down in the other end of the tub and it’s a small tub because it’s a Brooklyn apartment but there are these two girls with their tits out in the tub (pardon me) and I think to myself, lucidly, I want that.
I turned 29 on Saturday. And I think there are things one should be capable of doing before they turn 30. Like mowing a lawn or sewing a button or getting naked with girls and feeling absolutely free and alive and non-sexual, if you like. It can start small, too, like inviting them into the dressing room with you or going skinny dipping in the hot tub together. I don’t want to wait until I’m eighty-five and roaming around the YMCA locker room to finally start acting like a boss.
Before I turn 30, I somehow want to find this zen blend of being so very mature in wisdom and so very childlike in winsome. To that end, I’ve made a silly list, but a serious one, too, of the 30 things I want do before turning 30. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Don’t color my hair for a year; let the gray grow in like weeds, all wiry and mud
- Hike Mt. Mitchell, with an overnight pack and tent, the dog and husband, too
- Start putting sunscreen and moisturizer on my lady neck
- Find Mom a house in Durham and learn to love her up close again
- Take a cooking class – try harder, woman
- Get excited about some graphic design software and learn how to use it all proper
- Make up a name and labels for fake candle-making business
- Film a video a month and put it to my favorite music; screw YouTube copyright laws
- Read better writers; ask for recommendations
- Put up a hospitality table at the end of the driveway and pass out dog biscuits
- Start reviewing products and restaurants and clothes purchases; pretend like I’m famous and work for a magazine and people actually care what I think
- Open a Tumblr page for said reviews
- Plan, design, and lead a retreat
- Raise my hands up in worship and stop worrying who’s looking
- Put a bandaid on and wear high heels
- Sponsor a global woman entrepreneur
- Start inviting guest bloggers, once a month
- Experiment with audio and video blog entries even if they’re super homemade
- Throw a kick-ass book launch party for Talking Taboo and invite all my favorite people and all the people I want to be my favorite people
- Write next book; come up with a calendar for completion
- Convene a writing group that comes together quarterly to share and support
- Eat Scripture for breakfast, never get full
- Be a fan of other bloggers, especially younger women
- Follow my friend’s work; comment on it often
- Have a conversation with someone who has adopted children domestically; how much does it cost?
- Come up with one action I can take to curb violence in Durham; get more comfortable with death
- Give money to panhandlers, freely and whenever asked
- Practice watching people on television lose, on the Voice or in the NCAA; it’s good to experience disappointment, my own included
- Get me a pair of high-top wedge sneakers that don’t cost $195 or look like Sketchers
- Love my husband like it’s my job, like a boss.