I surprise myself. A lot. And it’s never a good thing, because I’m a planner, and planners don’t like surprises. For example, just yesterday, I realized that I need people. Well actually, I need person. Not any person in particular, but the person does need to be consistent, single, and male. I don’t mind if said person is gay, since there isn’t necessarily any sex in this equation.

Here’s the thing. Friday was the worst day I’ve had in a long time. I was so panicked in the morning that I couldn’t get out of bed. I tried to do visualizations but they kept drifting into nightmares. I had to make some scary phone calls and hunt down all the coins in my house. Sadly, the coins are mostly Tanzanian, and the exchange rate is lousy.

But after I was done panicking, I went on this date and for the next five hours, all my worries disappeared. I was sufficiently distracted, and it was a really good thing. We bonded, we ate, we had a good time. So when I found out he was leaving, I felt sad, nostalgic, and a little upset. I didn’t want to talk about it because no one would understand why I was making such a big deal after just one date, so I blogged and typed and did taebo. I thought it would make me feel better. It didn’t.

While I was moping around, my brother showed up online. Ordinarily, you don’t discuss such things with brothers, especially when their response is: ‘I’m not touching that. Not even with a ten foot pole.’ But surprisingly, I felt  better after talking to him. It felt good to let the junk out of my head and to have somebody talk back, even if I didn’t like what they had to say. Besides, I know it was done in love.

So, I’m ashamed to admit that as much as I pretend to be a married lesbian, I do need a sounding board. Preferably one without a wife, a girlfriend, or a three-legged kitty, and preferably, one that knows how to talk back.

Moving on. My second surprise: I’m in panic. I’ve never cared about my age. For my entire childhood, I seemed older than I was. Then somehere in my twenties, it was decided I could pass for a teenager. I’ve been asked for my ID more than once, and I often get frozen from my daughter’s PTA meetings. The other day, I went to get a birth certificate at Sheria House and the guy asked if it was mine. The date of birth was 7th December 2002. So yes, I’m surprised that I am spooked out by the big three-oh. I’m more surprised because it’s only been 60 days since my last birthday.

This is the year that I turn 30, and while I have ten months to go, I’m already in panic mode. This isn’t supposed to be how things go. At 30, I expected to have my own house, drive my own car, have a pretty bob, swing a pretty boy, and be nowhere near a ring.

Instead, I have one pseudo-ex-husband, four pseudo-ex-boyfriends, one former nose ring, short purple dreads, and a gorgeous little girl who just turned eight. Suddenly, I’m asking myself questions like ‘Why am I here?’ I lost religion several years ago, and while I miss the security of belief in a higher power, there’s no secondary belief in Mary’s virginity. When it’s gone, it’s gone. My new age ideas answer some of my questions but not all, and The Secret tells me to stay happy without giving me a why.

I could focus on just raising my daughter, but if I make my life all about her, I’ll have some serious withdrawal symptoms when she turns 16, and it’s not even that far away. I could make my life about work, but that’s not very fulfilling. I need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and it has to be more complelling than ‘I can’t reach the alarm.’

I don’t know why it’s hitting me now. I’ve been around for over 20 years, and my wake up ritual never needed prompting. I don’t know why I suddenly need to figure what my motivation is. I can only conclude it’s because I’m almost 30 and haven’t done half what I expected. I know I have ten months to go, but it’ll take a little longer to buy a penthouse and an 8-million-shilling red car. God I feel old!

209 thoughts on “The big three-oh

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