I'm turning 33 this week. I've been excited about turning 33 for a while. It's a pretty nice looking number, and it's solidly in the middle of my 30s, which is the age where we seem to get to start to achieve some of the dreams we've spent our 20s working towards. (I.e., I can see a light at the end of the tunnel of debt payoffs and we now have space for a dog).
I also turn 33 on March 17. Have I ever thanked my mom for teaming up with me for a cool birthday like March 17? Well, then. Thanks, mom! Good work! Excellent timing. And thanks for not naming me Patricia. It's a great name, but a Patricia on St. Patrick's Day? Cheeeezy.
And... um, no pressure, family, but 33 has been the birthday I've been looking forward to for years. You guys should call me on the phone on Saturday to wish me a happy one. I'm actually excited about this birthday. I can't remember when I was actually excited about my birthday. This time, I want a freakin' party.
It's a little strange, though. As a kid, I was promised this world where all I had to work was work hard enough and I could do anything, have anything, and be anything. I would have the world at my fingertips and security and freedom like the world has never known.
Instead, I am living out my adulthood in a giant economic downturn (WHY is this not a depression, again?). I have a good job that I love, but there's no way I'm planning to buy a house. The rollercoaster economy and its neighboring ride, the Home Prices Slingshot, just scares me too much. I grew up in a fairly large house with a yard, and always figured I'd buy before I was 30. I'm a little surprised to find myself at 33 not only living in an apartment, but too afraid to even consider looking at home prices. (Besides, for the last 15 years, we were building our houses too big. 2000 square feet was great for my family of five... but for two of us? We'd be lost. I'm waiting for either the small houses movement to gain more traction, or for Louisiana State University to give me a birthday present of Beau Soleil, the Solar Decathlon house I've been in love with since 2009.
No one has yet cured cancer. In the last few months, several types of cancer have taken several friends and family members of friends. In particular, I am really pissed off with lung cancer right now. It's so fast, it seems people get diagnosed one day and are dead a month later. I hate it. I really hate what that disease does to people.
So it's an exciting, happy week, but it's coming in the middle of some of the greatest sadness that people can know. I'm a little conflicted about the celebrations.