A Long Time Ago, Or Sometime in the Future

Posted on March 5, 2012

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There was a girl who was 30.
But no story is that simple.
There was a girl who was thirty years old and who didn’t know how old she was.

If you wished me a happy birthday this weekend and I told you I’m 30, I lied.
Well, not exactly.

See, in terms of time the world understands, I am thirty years old now.
Biologically speaking, my eyes, my ears, my heart, my lungs, my fingers, my toes are all thirty years old.
But when I tell you I’m thirty I feel like a fraud.
Because, in terms of how I feel, in terms of my own time, I don’t know how old I am.

It’s such a conundrum, really. Am I supposed to feel a certain way? Is something supposed to change? What were those warnings for? Why is everyone afraid of it? What does it even mean?
Does “I’m 30″ mean “I’m a woman”? I’m just a girl. A big girl who can live alone and take care of herself (and her dog), but just a girl.
Thirty: A number that represents how many years measuring 365-and-one-quarter days I’ve been alive and how many birthdays I’ve celebrated. Is there more?
I don’t know what being 30 means. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. I don’t know how it’s supposed to make me feel. I don’t know how it’s supposed to change anything.

If I told you I’m thirty, even as the word rolled off my tongue, I surprised myself.
It didn’t feel right.
Don’t ask me my age. You’ll make me a liar.

If I tell you I’m thirty, I’m telling the truth. If I tell you I’m thirty, I’m lying.
I know how long I’ve lived. I don’t know how old I am.
I could be twelve. I could be six hundred and seventy nine.
I don’t know how old I feel.
What I know is I’m not a number. And a number isn’t me.
I’m just a girl and I was born once upon a time.
I’m just a girl and I’m alive.

There was a girl who was 30.
That tells you nothing.
Except that there was a girl.

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