Born on the Cusp in the Month of November

When I was in the midst of my terrible early-20s, I wished that I could be 30 already and just skip past the anxiety and the struggle of my 20s.

Most of my friends thought I was completely nuts for wanting to be 30. They thought the 20s were their prime years and that it would all be downhill from there. But today, my last day as a 30 year old, I can say unequivocally that 30 is eons better than 20, at least for me.

It’s not like I’ve become somehow enlightened at 30, but I am a little more accepting of my quirks, like how I get stressed about my birthday.

It’s ridiculous to feel stressed by something that is supposed to be a joyous, I know, but it’s what I do. I feel overwhelmed by all the options and by everyone who wants to be included. And I don’t understand how I’m somehow supposed to know ahead of time if I’m going to feel like being social or not on my actual birthday.

Now, at least I’m better at laughing at my birthday indecision. I even accommodate it by making reservations at two different restaurants, one in San Francisco and the other in the Napa Valley. It wouldn’t be my birthday if I didn’t keep myself up at least one night wondering whether I might prefer a pumpkin cheesecake from Miette or an ice cream cake from BiRite Creamery.

I’ve also learned that I can relieve some of the pressure I feel about my birthday by doing something before the actual day.

This year, I’ve been surprisingly calm about my birthday and I credit it all to the camping trip Mr. WholeHog and I took a week ago. It was only an overnight trip to the coast, but it was perfect. We watched shooting stars at night and tried to identify birds by day. We fell asleep to the sound of the ocean. We came home stunned that 48 hours away could make us feel so relaxed.

Ever since that trip, I’ve felt like I already had my birthday. I was so convinced that when I got more mail yesterday than usual, it didn’t dawn on me that I was receiving birthday cards.

As people inevitably ask what my birthday plans are this year, I’ve been happy to say that I don’t know. We have restaurant reservations and delicious dessert options and we’re taking the day off. On my last day of 30, that feels like plenty.

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