Will be turning 32 soon and for the next seven days leading up to my birthday, I’m going to try to write down any lessons I may have learned from the past year when I was 31.
Years ago, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann released @#%&*! Smilers which included the track “31 Today”. I remember thinking I can’t wait to turn thirty-one just so I can sing the song. And turn thirty-one I did. And boy, did the song hit me hard.
It’s a song about turning thirty-one and realizing that things could be better. I don’t own my house. Aside from a retirement account, I don’t really have much assets. I’m in a relationship that is stagnant at best. No wedding ring, no kids.
Things weren’t BAD. In fact, things were not horrible. But things were basically substandard. And frankly, this is happening because I lack the will to do something about it. I do not own a house because I feel comfortable renting a place with the same roommate I’ve had since I moved to New York. I do not have any assets because I don’t clamor to own things. And my relationship is stagnant because I resigned to hold on to my boyfriend’s hand and just slow down to his stride. I am not settling, worse – I am just plain lazy. And I have given up on dreaming big – because whatever I want, I actually have already. And maybe that’s what I just need to wake up, my ambition. Ambition that knows how to appreciate what is already is on hand, and strive to make things better – and not a blind greed of just wanting more.
Yes, it’s a song about turning thirty-one and realizing that things could be better. And let this console your seemingly old soul: things would be better.