I woke up to the combination of grease, chocolate, and sulfur, from the saliva released throughout the night, swirling my taste buds. Quickly, I head to the bathroom releasing a massive somewhat impressive piss in the toilet. As the fluids flowed, my stomach toned up. I lifted my shirt midway to view the results in the mirror.
After brushing my teeth and wiping the red washcloth that removed the remnants of coconut oil from my face, I took a moment to study my reflection. The observation became judgement as yesterday’s attempt to seal my youth resulted in coming in before ten o’clock laughing at a situational comedy about being old. With a nasal exhale, I raised my inner white flag, accepting that I and the universe royally f*cked me.
“Hey, my son!” a text stated. “Call me soon. I know you’re excited for your birthday!” my mother concluded. Rather than lie, I decided to call. “I’m going to be 30!” I said in a dramatic tone. If anyone would understand my exhaustion, my mother would. “Oh, me too!” she replied. I raised my eyebrows and released an exhale silently. “What’s wrong? You sound bad.” She added. My mother only allotted me five minutes of pity with groans and discerning exhales at my current anguish.
“You’re my child. I claim you. You’re the spitting image of me and thank GOD for that.” her confident tone sent alarming vibrations in my mind. The words “spitting image of me” rained out my drought of cynicism. At the age of 32, my mother returned to finish her college education, obtaining her master degree within a few years. Moreover, she graduated with honors. The passion my mother had for law was eclipsed by her newfound love for teaching. Thus, before 40, my mother became an asset to the education profession winning accolades for top standardized test scores and innovating methods of motivating her students. My mother’s timeline was my checkpoint.
“I love you, Mama!” I responded with my words dipped in sap and mushy feelings.
“I know!” she ended the conversation with a hearty laugh.
The fear of my thirties wasn’t removed. However, rather than being a detrimental fire to my existence, the fear became this unknowing warmth fueled from motivation and experience. I didn’t have all the answers but intrigued with questions, such as what if and why not. Maybe the attractiveness of twenty-somethings was playing with the gift of possibility while building a confidence from consequence.
The lights were up and my twenty-something themed party was over. Instead of Time bouncing me out of the fabulous land of make-believe the twenties offered, I was being happily escorted to the upper level of the authentic thirties. A party where the guest was learning how close one can fly to the sun without melting their wax wings or getting over their reflections before drowning in it. And unlike the previous decade where I had to fake it till I made it, at this party I was enough.
Happy 30th Bday, Herb!