September 28, 2015

Looking Down the Barrel of 40

I've been dreading this week for over a year.

I think I've been dreading this week for my entire life.

On Wednesday, I turn 40.

I know plenty of people turn 40 every day—or even 50, or 60—and they say they feel young, and life is just starting for them.

But I don't want to be 40.

I don't want to be 40 and single. I don't want to be 40 and poor. I don't want to be 40 living in a studio apartment with no pets, clutching a stuffed pig as I fall asleep every night.

I don't want to be 40 and damaged goods.

I mourn the life I could've had, if I'd gotten the help I needed earlier. If I'd been spared the trauma that haunts me. If I could have had just one less disability.

When I turned 30, everybody was excited for me. My older female friends told me my 30s were going to be great. Everything would settle out. I would find peace.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I jumped out of a plane for my 30th birthday, and I just kept falling, for the next ten years.

When my 40th birthday began approaching, I couldn't figure out how I could "outdo" skydiving. I've already driven a race car. I've already shot guns and paraglided and kayaked the Salton Sea.

But there was one thing I'd never done before, that kept nagging at me. It would feel like a celebration. It would be magical. It would be special.

When I turn 40, in the depths of my despair, I'm going to the happiest place on earth.

I'm going to Disneyland.

Fortunately I've got two partners in crime willing to go with me.

I hope to take some photos while I'm there, since it will be my first time (and it's fully dressed for Halloween), but if I don't, it's because my hands are full of popcorn or ice cream. Or Goofy.

I need something to look forward to. I'm dreading the next 40 years.

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