• Jillian Rose

Is Turning 33 a Thing?

I turned 33 on June 6. Usually, I love my birthday. On my 30th birthday (three years ago for those of you with poor math skills), my body was looking particularly spectacular at the time. My roommate asked me what I wanted for my birthday, so I had her take nudes of me, on our second floor patio overlooking Venice Blvd. I understand readers like visualization, but these are not appropriate to post for the internet. Just picture a toned, lean figure with a flat stomach, lithe limbs, and perfectly blended highlights cascading my shoulders. My bank account's aesthetics did not match match up to my physical physique, but that was okay. I was starting a business, so all new entrepreneurs are in the red for a period of time. Basically, I was apathetic about the state of my bank account and quite enthusiastic about the fruits of my daily running labor.

The celebrations consisted of the usual Santa Monica debauchery - happy hour at Enterprise Fish turned to a lit Tuesday evening at Circle Bar followed by uneaten ramen from Postmates. The subsequent hangover was inevitable, non-negotiable, but not regrettable. We can say it was a successful birthday.

Fast forward to 2020. I am now a boomerang 30something who has moved back in with her parents due to the fact LA drowned my bank account and attached a giant anchor to it and dropped it into the depths of the Pacific. You know, real brag-worthy stuff. The weeks leading up to my birthday were giving me anxiety. I had gained unwanted Covid pounds and my two single friends decided we should have a pool party. You're probably thinking, "Get a one piece, and get over it." Ah, but that doesn't solve the issue of cellulite protruding from my thighs, so there.

What was I celebrating? I wasn't starting a burgeoning business, a slew of Bumble dates, and a killer body like I had at 30. I had stomach mush and a monthly loan payment to Wells Fargo to my name. Didn't 33 mean you should have the white picket fence, a significant other and some sort of plans for offspring? My assets included a closet full of Ross Dress for Less, Target, and a couple faux furs, because the real deal is expensive (sorry PETA...). I had swiped on Bumble from my parents' house for shits and giggles, and the selection was cringe worthy at best, Trump supporters at worst. This meant there were no contenders for birthday sex, which is just tear inducing. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling exactly confident about the reality of another year of life having passed by. When I explained my sentiments to my therapist, she told me I was choosing to place meaning on the birthday event and the age issue.

So I did what any obedient patient does who has weekly therapy sessions. I scoffed at her notion and declared her to be dismissive of my feelings and her perspective to be utterly annoying.

Begrudgingly, my best friend and I constructed the guest list. I told her I didn't want to do it, but she reminded me as the birthday girl, I needed to take some responsibility and initiative for the festivities. The final list was comprised solely by married couples of high school friends who now averaged 1.5 children ranging from age 5 to 3 months. But I'll give them credit. They took their Saturday afternoon, hauled up the kids, packed the floaties, the diaper bags, and came to celebrate my birth.

"Thirty-three sucks, doesn't it?" my friend Jessica* asked as a greeting when I arrived with a tray of hoagies I wouldn't touch because, carbs.

"I don't know, it's only 1pm, so I've only had experienced a few hours of this new age." Her negativity wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear. Which is an ironic statement coming from me, since I can be quite a negative Nancy. Maybe 33 would be the year of no negativity. Nice rhyme to it anyway.

Of course as soon as I had that thought, one of the babies went to into hysterics, the poor mom doing that bouncy thing as she held him.

"Does he need a new diaper?" I asked, trying to be helpful.

"Oh, no, you can smell that," she explained.

I nodded at this logic, and she went back to figuring out if he needed to be fed, burped, wanted to sleep, or hey, maybe he just didn't want to be at my birthday party. Maybe he wanted a beer, who knows. You do you, little man.

Hours later, my best friend and I eyed each other from across the pool as we played with little people. "I'm not ready for kids," I mouthed at her.

"Oh, SAME," she said out loud, just as I was summoned to play a five year old's version of "shark" in the deep end. I almost drowned a few times, almost drowned her once, but hey, anything for the kids, right?

The party ended around the time my parties normally were kicking off with a solid pregame. Bestie and I went back to my parents and took over the basement with sushi take out and threw on the Jeffrey Bernstein Netflix documentary. Passed out before midnight.

This is thirty-three.

And that's okay.

I'll get my pre-Covid bod back.

I'll figure out how to re build a business.

And I'll be okay.

Because hey, I'm 33.

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