Well. I’m just about 40. And you know what? I’m much less this:
And way more this:
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t too bad off with the 40 thing, it’s just made me more reflective. There’s been a whole lot of living in those years. I’ve grown up, I’ve regressed, mourned the death of people I love, rejoiced at the (painful, epidural-free) birth of two beautiful new souls, moved maybe 45 times, realized my limits, stretched my boundaries, overcame fears, and created new ones. I still have a long way to go.
Tomorrow The Rock is throwing me a little party, and I’ve only questioned his judgment a giant’s handful of times. It’s like I always say, why let go when you can go crazy trying to plan everything yourself? My absolute favorite party would be to have everyone I love, have grown to love and learned to like a whole lot, gathered around a campfire telling stories and singing songs. (Don’t worry people coming to the party, I didn’t win out on that one.) Instead, there’ll be a fire pit and an iPod. (But my friend, Mike, has a guitar and he’s not afraid to use it.)
I’ll see some special friends tomorrow night, friends who crimped my hair and snuck me to Tijuana when I was 18, friends who made me laugh after my heart cracked open, friends who nurtured my spiritual development, friends who saw through me when I said I was done with marriage, friends who support me in everything I do, and friends who don’t, for good reason. And also? My off-color, politically-incorrect, buffoony, lovable dad will be there. So…
I’m feeling pretty blessed.
Except should I wear jeans? Or a tiara? I’m not one to call attention to myself, but I’m thinking I should sparkle just a tad (hint, hint, The ROCK).
Anyway, I thought I’d close with two things: one, an exercise I absolutely love (more on that in a minute) and two, an announcement of a birthday giveaway by a jewelry designer I adore. So, first things first.
Esquire Magazine runs a monthly column called “What I’ve Learned,” and I look forward to it in every issue. I always wondered what my answers would be to some of the posed questions, so I took the time tonight, on the eve of my 40th birthday, to think about it. Here’s some of the questions (in bold), with my answers.
My first memory is when I was probably three years old, swinging in the jungle backyard of our home in La Brea. The swingset was positioned close to our neighbor’s backyard, so on every thrust, the soles of my feet came close to where the neighbor’s dog barked a few feet away, and tried in vain to catch my heels through the metal circles of the fence *just* separating us.
The best lesson my mom taught me was to not wait. This sounds cruel, but it’s not meant to be: my mom never went after her dreams, and I watched her potential and her hope and her yearning fade over time and I don’t want to follow. My mom also taught me, after her death, to forgive.
The great thing I have in my life are the many flawed and beautiful people who teach me every day to keep learning, and to not take it all so seriously.
As you get older, you need to be willing to shed your skin. Who you were “then,” doesn’t have to be who you are now.
Men look great when they’re stripped of their egos.
My whole life has been one long road to realizing I don’t have all the answers. And that it’s OK.
I call myself a dichotomy.
My last words will be I kept on trying.
So there you have it.
Read what celebrities, authors, political figures have to say about “What I’ve Learned” here.
Now, the giveaway. I thought a nice way to celebrate my birthday would be to share something I love. I discovered Kelly Meeker Designs about a year ago and then my friend, Ellen, bought me something from Kelly and I fell in love deeper. As luck would have it, Kelly has generously offered to give away a $50 gift certificate to her site, and I can’t wait for someone to win it! Maybe you can buy something like this:
or like this:
Or something equally as fabulous. Just visit Kelly’s site here, see what you like, then come back here and tell me all about it in the comments. (It’d also be real nice if you signed up for her newsletter.) On Monday, Nov. 24 at 5PM, I’ll randomly pick a winner of the $50 Kelly Meeker gift certificate.
And meanwhile? Thanks for being at my campfire.
p.s. ANYONE can enter the jewelry giveaway. The more, the merrier. I don’t care if you know who I am, give a fig whether I turned 40, or are here for the first time. I love Kelly Meeker’s stuff and I think you would too. So, cast your inhibitions to the wind and try to win!