I'm thirty-nine today!
No, seriously. I really am. I was born in 1975. I'm thirty-nine. I'm not thirty-nine "again" or anything cutesy.
I'm not one to really celebrate my birthday in any major way, but this year? I thought I would share something with you all.
For the last five years or so, I've been terrified of turning forty.
I rarely say this aloud, but when I have the immediate reaction is always, "Oh, please! Forty is nothing! You're fine! Don't be ridiculous! Additional generic comment to indicate my foolishness!"
I'm not afraid of getting older.
I'm afraid of getting cancer.
As I've probably talked about before and am too lazy to check right this second, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was forty. I was sixteen at the time, almost seventeen, and forty seemed like some hazy number so far in the future that I couldn't really fathom it. Not old, but not anything I needed to worry about.
I'm almost there now.
Earlier this year, one of the only people I've been friendly with in my neighborhood was diagnosed. One of my old Girl scout leaders. My favorite radio personality. It's all around us. It's not cured yet.
October is breast cancer awareness month. You either love that or you hate it, in all of it's pink glory. I don't feel strongly either way about the month as a whole, but I have decided that I don't want to fear forty.
I'm doing the best I can to make myself healthy. I do my self-exams. I go to the doctor regularly and the therapist even more regularly. Am I perfect? No. Will I ever be? I certainly hope not.
I have to stop being afraid. I have to stop beating myself up for every single thing. I have to calm down. I have to be okay with me.
If I get cancer, I will deal with it. One day at a time. That's all I can.
I'm going to stop wasting time worrying about it.
Because, you know. Happy Birthday to me.