My 35th Birthday

Two years ago from this exact weekend, I decided the best way to celebrate a milestone birthday (my 35th) was to do it with a group of my nearest and dearest girlfriends. Using every last bit of my savings — or checking– depending on how you look at it, (I admit, not one of my wisest moves), we spent the weekend at a nearby resort in an oceanside villa, drinking, laughing, eating, sunning, toasting, cheers-ing, walking, talking, drinking and taaaaawlking some more. It was my treat. My joy. My pleasure. My honor to spend a weekend with a group of women (including my mom and aunt) who were privy to all my secrets, all my stories, all my dating ups and my dating downs. To make a birthday wish surrounded by my biggest cheering squad was the best feeling in the world.

That weekend, a bottle of champagne was sent to our room with a note:
“Is this what old people drink? Happy Birthday. xo, P”
Drinking said Champagne. #Classy 

My girlfriends and I died. P and I had literally just started dating. Not only was this the sweetest and most thoughtful gesture, but the “old people” part was a very clever reminder about our first exchange and that I am, in fact, older than P. (It’s okay, we can laugh about it).

Two years later, P (who we can now call Peter) will become my husband in March.
It’s crazy how life works. It’s crazy and lucky. And fast. And not always what we think it’s going to be.
In just a few days, I will turn 37. This birthday I’ve decided the best thing I can give to myself is confidence. Stop the bullshit. Stop the unnecessary brain chatter. And just grow up. Be an adult once and for all. As one of my best friend declared, this birthday beckons an important mission: “Operation Grow a Pair.” aka OGAP.

Anyone else familiar with this OGAP? Something tells me that if you are in your 30’s, it rings a bell. You want to grow up, feel good, and be better. You want to possess the confidence you hear that you finally get to have when you turn 30. Like this automatic switch that is supposed to go on…. Like the one that went on automatically when I turned 14 and I became a raging boy freak and biaaatch. Or the one that went on when I got to college and became entirely invincible (Example: deciding that smoking Parliaments when I had bronchitis was better than smoking Marlboro Mediums. I have a plethora of examples like these but for sake of time, (Remember? I’m on a mission!) I’ll leave it to you to let your imagination picture a young Jenny Brandt careless and free, living in New York, backpacking through Europe, etc, etc.

Yep. I remember her.

And guess what… As you might have experienced yourself, the so-called switch – the OGAP switch- doesn’t activate automatically.

Apparently, you can’t get samples of confidence like you can with Kiehl’s eye cream.

It turns out, not only do you have to earn it, but you have to work at it. You have to dig deep. And you have to get out of your own way. And unfortunately, like any good skin regimen, you’re supposed to get started earlier than later.

This past weekend, approximately two years after my “old ass” friends and I drank his champagne, Peter and I spent a night down at that same resort. As we walked along the ocean, I couldn’t help but acknowledge how far I’ve come in just 2 years…  how much light has come into my life in just a short amount of time and how lucky I am to start this next chapter with such a great partner. And it’s not just me. There’s Jonah too.

2 years later and older… same resort. 

While meeting Peter (who we should note is still younger than me), has been the best thing that has happened for me… for us, I realized this weekend that not everything is random. That good things come to those that wait… and work hard. I had a hand in my luck and my fortune. I made choices, decisions and moves. With full consciousness, I opened myself up to a possibility and worked hard to make it a reality – in love, in life, in work, in everything. It’s not all just random. I did this…. I got me/us here. 

Holy crap, I’m feeling confident!

Moments later, that Beyonce “We run the world” and Fergie “Imma be the flyest chick- so fly!” feeling faded. But now I know it’s there somewhere, and now I know how to find it. Like skin treatment, I shouldn’t have waited this long to figure it out or feel good. They call it preventative treatment for a reason; Wrinkles are not easy to get rid of after you’ve sat in the sun without sunscreen for years. You gotta take care. Nightly. Daily. All the time.

On that note, if anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, kindly direct them to the Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Nieman’s etc etc cosmetic department. Or shoe department. Nothing preventative there, just height and hotness… for all ages.

FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Monday, September 9th, 2013
    I will tell you with unabashed shamlessness that tears dropped from my face as I read this. WITH YA. ON ALL LEVELS. This beautiful post is not only the truth, but a solid reminder that working hard and waiting (day in and day out) does pay off in various ways (for whatever you're seeking in your life). I needed to read this today.. like, REALLY needed to read this today... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU JENNY! (And thank you for the gift of this wisdom that we all need to hear every so often!) :)
  2. Thursday, September 12th, 2013
    I'm totally with you . I'll be hitting that milestone this month. It feels good to look and see how far you've come. It's pretty damn awesome!
  3. Saturday, September 21st, 2013
    Loved this post. You go, girl. ;)