It's only been three years since I wrote, "Fuck 27...Where You At 30?'' Back then I was clamoring on to the thought of turning thirty and wishing that the state I had found myself in would quickly dissipate. I had carved my way down onto two fine lined parallel roads that would at times intertwine with each other. Though, most of the time it felt like a battle between dualities and my body was the war zone. I remember yelling "Get a grip!' at my reflection over and over as lifeless tear-filled eyes gazed back at me. It wasn't pretty...I wasn't pretty... nothing felt pretty...I was merely a backseat passenger then.
I've never been one to fear "getting older" from a young age I became aware that I was on a journey and sort of embraced it. Even though I had moments where I was so engraved in the situation I was living that I forgot it was only meant to be a lesson. But let's face it; thirty gets a bad reputation as if turning thirty means life hands you a Wednesday afternoon bingo pass and a walker with two brand new tennis balls! And your excitement for the day is which flavor of Ensure you're going to pick that day (Strawberry...It's Pink...Duh!) Are you excited yet?
Well, that's obviously far from the truth. But the night before the clock struck 30 I became overwhelmed with the desire to commit suicide. I looked out at the world under warm skies on the rooftop of a beautiful hotel laying in a cabana, and all I could think of was, "Is this roof high enough?" For some reason, my mind began hanging old skeletons back up into my closet, while trying to find more dirt in the back right behind my dusty childhood shoes. Whether you like it or not one day you will be face to face with everything you have buried in there and you will have to make some very difficult choices. Fortunately a couple of years ago I became aware of the build-up and sought out professional help when I didn't trust myself to be alone anymore. But still, at 29 years 23 hours and 50 minutes, a voice not true to my existence whispered in my ear "You aren't supposed to be here! You don't belong here! How did you even survive this long! I wish I were deployed again! Your life is not worth anything just leave it all behind! It will be so much easier once everyone and everything disappears" All echo's of the evil things I would tell myself when I had lost faith in my journey. My boyfriend at the time found me in the dark sinking into my thoughts and held me as I subtlety confessed my dark desires. It had been a long and strenuous day for the both us and our relationship but I still found comfort in his presence. I went to bed that night alone, conflicted, scared and wondering what was next for me? Who goes to sleep alone on their birthday while on vacation with their partner?
In the blink of an eye, I rolled over and watched as the sun danced across the floor from underneath the red curtains... "One day at a time," I whispered silently to myself.
The tension was still thick but amiable. After all, one bad evening was not worth ruining a new day of a life gently gifted to us. The day had already been planned so we decided to make the best of it. Later that morning we embarked on a road trip under an unfamiliar sun with a car full of silence, arguing, laughter, Spice Girl singles and a shit ton of cigarettes. Fights could last minutes; hours or even days sometimes and then you forget what even started it. Road trips though, you never forget those so I'm glad we made the best of it.
On our way home that afternoon, I starred out onto the road and I smiled to myself and thought, "Wow I really crossed a milestone last night! You're fucking 30 dude!" I broke through the finish line that granted me access to the next level in life. I felt a deep connection with my past and was grateful to be alive and even though there had been moments in my life that I couldn't believe I survived, I was happy that I could still speak of their existence. I felt loved and congratulated by unknown familiar forces at that moment. Spirit guides, Guardian Angels, God, Colonel Sanders (Popeye's for life), whatever that energy was I felt its magnitude as waves of joy lapping at my existence. I closed my eyes and I observed my future self in a distant life. I watched as the Rene that didn't kill himself lived a long happy life, painted great paintings, wrote beautiful words and used his struggles to help others. I sat in that moment and a tear-filled smile parted my eyes... Only to be followed by the argument of where we should eat commenced.
Now two months later I can confirm that my face didn't prune up. Which let's be real! It never will, thanks to my greasy Latino genes. However, there is a change that happens spiritually after turning 30 and you've reflected on your past mistakes... for most of us that is #MANCHILDSYNDROME. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's as if a slight shift in your perception of the world takes place and you are ready to take it on. The burdens you carried through your twenties shrink down to merely an afterthought and you find yourself saying, "I remember going through that phase" a little more often than I expected. You value your time more than you ever have so if someone tries to serve you plate of bullshit, you simply look at the clock, shake your head and walk away. I guess I feel more like an adult now than I ever did when I legally became one at 18 with no direction in life. You also want to sleep more and you start yawning by 9 pm (Literally just yawned! WTF) so don't even think about inviting me out past 10 pm because the only dancing I do at that time is my booty shaking up them stairs right into bed. If I can make it up that far! No more straight from the club "I'll shower at work! Sleep when your dead" nights for me. I'm still figuring this all out and getting used not being so impulsive and you know! Actually thinking rationally. I'd swear its like I'm thirty or something.