It's time for it to be Friday. I am ready. I've been ready. I am about an hour and a half from the exact anniversary of my birth--1 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time, on the dot, the 22nd of September (which was the first day of Autumn, the hottest day of the year, and the last day of Virgo, in 1983--the appropriate year). And I was done with 22 somewhere back in April, or so. Done, done, done. Ready to be 23. Not sure why. Prime number, odd number, odd number. Half of 46, the transposition of 64, my favorite number of all. .
But pulling at it, biting at it. . . I've never been so impatient for a year change, silly number change. So, so ready to be twenty-three. So ready I changed the number in the profile blurb a week ago. So ready I told the teller at the market. And the one at the fish counter. And the fruit stand. Champing.
So ready I didn't want to have anything to do with Thursday, usually my favorite day of the week (I don't know). So ready I wanted Wednesday to be Friday. So ready I wanted Thursday to be Friday. So ready I can't get it out of my head. Waiting for the reality of it to line up with my sense of it.
This is the first year in my life I've anticipated rather than had to find my way into later. That is, I've been 23 since I was 22 and a half. At 18, I still thought I was 15 or 16 ("jailbait" was a common defense mechanism, for me). At 20, I didn't remember I could rent porn. At 22, I didn't remember I could buy liquor. Or vote. Though I still remembered to vote. But never did I think at 14 and 3/4 that I was as near as 15. 17 and 340 days was not 18.
I suppose it's not very surprising.
I was told it would happen. Things would change. Is this my turning point? The famed time in one's life where one stops being "n and 1/2" or "x and 3/4" and such, and starts becoming either precisely the year one is (and nothing else) or the year marker one is nearest?
I suppose so.
It's becoming that kind of year.
My luck with even numbered years has been suspect, so I'm ready for an odd one. 8 was the downhill for my dad and I. 14, he'd just passed away. 20 was a very poor birthday, indeed, for utterly mundane reasons, and 22 was strange. And the last two years have felt like transition--wonderful and terrible, stressful and exalting, and it feels like it's finally coming into itself. It? Itself? Maybe my life, I mean. I'm not too sure.
But two is supposed to be the magic number of years. After two years in a relationship, they say, you stop seeing the glamour and start seeing the person. Or the worst. You know, your lot--the scales coming off of the eyes and all. And after two years, maybe, the sting and edge comes off of tough times, too.
Lately, remembering tough stuff has felt. . distant. It's been just long enough, maybe, finally. Enough time has elapsed that I don't feel so sore, so tender. I can see things in a more fuzzy abstract. I'm forgetting.
And starting into the third year, my lover feels absolutely, wonderfully right.
Is this what getting comfortable is like? I don't know that we've ever hugged so much, kissed so much. Just. . . warm and tight and perfect. I feel right. Hopeful. Steady. Good. Coming up against him and pushing my arms under his, stretching my forearms up his back, my palms between his shoulder blades, my face at his collarbone, his arms snug, bellies close, just fitting. Inspired.
I'm ready for the third year.
I've been living with Chris for two years, two months, and a few weeks, now. Everything annual now is the third. The third time we celebrated his birthday, or mine. The third school year starting. It'll be the third Halloween, the third Thanksgiving at my family's, the third Christmas.. The third Autumn, the third Spring!
I can't explain why that delights me so much.. . . but something about it does. The third is magic. 23 is magic, good juju.
I'm ready to be 23.
I feel arrogant.
No, not arrogant, but. . beautiful. Capable. I am in my best time.
I refuse to let my youth be wasted on me, if that makes sense. I was 40 when I was 14 (and was also very much 14). My age felt discordant in both directions--I forgot my chronological age had progressed and felt my emotional age was vastly forward, but I feel a kind of nexus, now, a kind of focus--I am feeling absolutely correct.
I am in some kind of best time, I think. I am young and know I am young--I know I have progressed through the physical maturation and into the pool of stasis before the charm of decay. But I am an adult and know I am an adult--I have, potentially, a lot of life left to look forward to, a vastness of experience and change. Somewhere within the next 80 years, or so, sooner or later, I will die, and be dying, and this time will become "before"--isn't that a strange thought? I am young in the way that will still be young when I look back from age, but which is not so young as child, as before.
This is the time of my life that my body will be best. Statistically speaking. But I feel it, too. This is the strength and beauty portion of our show. 23! It can come at any time, I know, but this is mine; not pubescent, not fading. I am in bloom.
I look at pictures of my mother, my aunts, everyone's mother and everyone's aunt, when they were "young," and see beautiful people, perfect and lovely, just by virtue of being caught in that moment, that loveliness that people have in them.
A few months ago, I caught it in myself.
I looked at myself, and knew it, somehow. I was as beautiful as I was ever going to be. I was the most lovely I had ever been.
It wasn't a smashing kind of beauty, nothing someone would put on TV or any nonsense like that, but exalted; I have my beauty, now. This is the time that someone will take a picture of me, and twenty years from now, my neices and nephews will go, "Wow, that's Aunt Lu? Dude. . . " because it will have been that time, for me. I think everyone has it. But how many out there can say that they knew how good their bodies were when they were best? I think I will. And maybe in another year I will still be as lovely, and maybe in forty years I will be that kind of older lovely, but I have an idea that actually appreciating my body and my face and self, now--and that it will change and fade and that that, too, is fine and natural and good--will do me unspeakable good. It cannot hurt me. If in a year I'm an even sexier bitch, so be it. I have never liked myself well enough. I have never thought I was good enough. I will.
I will now.
I will not look back in a year from now and regret the vastness I have missed. In twenty years I will not be one of the masses who wonders why I didn't realize what a wonderful thing I had going when I was younger, who didn't realize how cute I really was or how I really wasn't so bad at things as I thought. Why the fuck should I? I am not flawless, I am not infallible, I am not blind--I'm not that kind of young, I am not hateful of the future and invincible--and I'm not out to burn myself out or destroy myself. But I am not going to live waiting for the shift, either. I have it in my hands.
From 12 years old, my joints have been achey and weak. When I am 60 my joints will be achey and weak. But I am strongest, now. I am stablest, now. I am prime, somehow. My knees are not giving out on me, now, like they did and will. I have at least a few years of that owed me, and I think they are now. I owe it to myself to take care of them. To enjoy them, use them, exalt them. I am learning. I am growing. I can more clearly envision the consequences of my actions and surroundings than I have ever been able. I know I'm going to fall down these stairs, because I fling myself down them too carelessly. I can tell when I'm ovulating. For two weeks, now, I have been able to cook and bake at will, and get pretty much exactly what I want from it. Whatever I want to cook or bake! For a month I have been starting into the time where I will be able to grow food. I can create beauty in my surroundings. I am in synch.
23 is my magic. For now. Next year there will be a new balance, a new weight, but this is what I have for this year. A Major Arcana year. A seeing year.
I am ready. I am well.
23 is the age at which 40-60 year olds will stop being surprised at my actual age, and my age relative to my partner's. 22 sounded too young to them--23 is just young. 23 is what they expect. Wink.
Christina is coming over for movies and a delightful birthday dinner, tomorrow. We're having sustainably raised lamb, halibut, salad (including peppers and cucumber from my own garden) with homemade blue cheese dressing, and blue potatoes. And a strawberry tart without so much rat in it.
This is the first birthday I have (a) told people about beforehand, (b) thought about at length, (c) been pleased at the thought of since I was probably. . . seven years old, or so.
I am very, very happy.
Even the battery power on my laptop is lining up: I have plotted my time absolutely precisely.
Edit: No, really. It hit zero percent and fell asleep the very second after Blogger said it had published. Things have just been happening that way (see the previous post). Oh, and (for the moment) I measure a whopping 5'4". That fits in this post, somehow, too.