But I turn 35 today – I can’t believe it. And now, as I sit here, a newly minted 35 year old, realizing that I’m closer to 40 than 30, closer to retirement than to the beginning of my life – I wonder what comes after the tuxedo t-shirt. Definitely not the bikini t-shirt, but I’m also not quite to the sweatshirts with printed animals stage yet either.
35 could have meant more suits, bags and shoes that cost too much, longer hours at a job I disliked, stress making me older, faster. But instead, 35 finds me sitting in a community college classroom. The suits and shoes have been replaced with the old Celtics T-shirt I’m wearing today and new braces, sitting awkwardly on my teeth. So if 34 is like a tuxedo t-shirt, will 35, for me, be like a Celtics t-shirt and braces?
What it will be for a while is living with my parents and going to community college – hanging out with my 10 year old brother Jack on a Friday night – doing yoga in the backyard with my mom and aunt – studying anatomy – going to high school football games to watch my brother Tommy – volunteering at the hospital – applying to graduate schools. And what it will definitely be is finally, FINALLY being brave enough to wear a swimsuit without shorts in spite of thighs that are a little too white and definitely too fleshy.
So I think maybe I'll hang on to the tuxedo t-shirt for a while – along with the old Celtics t-shirt and braces, the new bathing suit hanging in my closet, and even occasionally still the shoes and suits.
This year on my birthday, come find me on the beach. Just look for the 35 year old girl, with a pair of pale, fleshy, happily liberated thighs, looking blissfully undefined!