What I Want From 31

I turned 31 yesterday.

Wow. That’s very strange to type.

I’m THIRTY plus ONE. Really? Because I swear I just turned 22, and I feel like I’m 26… except when I look in the mirror and see the gray hairs and bags under my eyes and the lines on my face from exhaustion. But other than that, yeah, totally don’t feel like I should be 31.

I’ll deal, though. 31 and I can actually become great friends, I think, so long as we get a few things straight.

For one, I would like for 31 to be a year I don’t assume I’m dying of cancer every time I get a cough, sniffle, bruise or cellulite. Because 30 was a little bitch like that. F-ing 30 and all it’s anxiety and irrational thoughts that came with it. F you, 30. Good riddance.

As 30’s parting gift to me, it gave me a week of worry over a giant bruise that appeared on my knee after I discovered a small, sorta itchy, kinda sting-y bump on it the night before. It’s very unsettling to find bruises in places you don’t recall getting beat with a baseball bat. Especially bruises like this:

Note: If you are prone to freaking out about things like this, don’t post a picture on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook. 1% of people will tell you it’s okay, you’ll be fine, you’re leg won’t fall off. 99% of people will tell you you’re going to have to get your leg amputated, you’ll have nerve damage, you should get your white cell levels tested, and that a spider might have laid eggs under your skin and in a few short hours your knee will erupt and give birth to thousands of tiny spiders.

Google will, of course, do nothing but confirm the suspicions of the 99%.

So, on my birthday, I woke bright and early to head to the doctor to ease my fears that this was a cancerous bruise, or possibly brought on by a brown recluse bite that was going to turn into an open, seeping wound of flesh rot.

The verdict was it’s likely a spider bite of some sort, though the doctor couldn’t say what kind, and that… I’M FINE. Totally fine. Just really not fit to be wearing any skirts at Blissdom this week.

So, 31, let’s not be so alarmist, okay?

Also, I would like 31 to be the year I don’t sit in front of my computer, refreshing Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and WordPress all at the same time, while accomplishing nothing and simultaneously freaking about all I should be accomplishing at that very moment. I want 31 to be the year I attack every day and have a PLAN.

I want 31 to not feel like I’m drinking water from a fire hose and putting our fires with spoons.

I’m not asking for the perfect body or for wealth from 31 (though I wouldn’t mind a book deal), I simply want 31 to be a year I feel in control. Just a little bit. That’s a reasonable request, don’t you think?

  • MamaBennie - Just to let you know, Spiders do not lay eggs in flesh so you are all good if anyone ever tries to tell you that. Will never ever happen. That is the stuff of horror movies right there.ReplyCancel

  • Raphaelle - Happy Birthday! And yes it’s a very reasonable request! I do have pretty much the same one for my oncoming 31st birthday :)ReplyCancel

  • molly - Oh, I missed it! Happy belated birthday. I hope this year is a good one for you!

    I’m still waiting to feel in control at 33 . . . oh, and the book deal. I’m still waiting for that too :)ReplyCancel

  • jennifer - Happy belated birthday Jill!!!!! I’m with you (I’ll be 31 in April)… I feel like I could have written (clearly not as well as you) this about myself! Cheers friend and I hope you had a fabulous day, minus the spider bite.ReplyCancel

  • Mama Durso - Happy belated birthday! I like what you’re asking of 31. I think that’s totally attainable and will make you feel a hell of a lot healthier… I should probably take some notes.ReplyCancel

  • Corey - I don’t get cancer bruises, but in my spare time I check for lumps…because that’s normal.ReplyCancel

  • Sean - I completely agree, just a phase in life but it can be hard to deal with at times. Did you Instagram the shit out of that photo? ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Not really. I think I did the clarify filter on camera plus, though.ReplyCancel

  • Abigail - Hope other than the doctor visit your birthday was wonderful. And yes, here’s to a wonderful year that’s only exciting in the best ways.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - Welcome to thirty-fun! I’ve been here for a few months, it’s not so bad. :)ReplyCancel

  • Melodie - That’s all good stuff. Hard to do, yes, but good stuff. And as for cancer bruises and checking for lumps…as much as I hate to encourage your anxiety (because lord know I know what you’re going through, girl) I have to encourage getting things you’re kinda freaking out about checked out ASAP, no matter how irrational you may think you’re being. A couple of years ago I admitted my fears of cancer to some coworkers and my OB-GYN (I was pregnant at the time.). They all dismissed it, but 3 months later it turned out I was right all along. I was diagnosed a week after my 30th birthday and 34 weeks pregnant. Sometimes those lumps, bruises, tired spells, etc. do add up to something. Don’t let your anxiety confirm or deny it (like I did) until you talk to your doctor.

    By the way, I too have an anxiety disorder. The good news is that I made it through to see age 32 and my daughter is happy and healthy, along with her older brother. The bad news is that I freak out every few months before a follow-up. You think googling cancer symptoms causes anxiety, try having a ct scan and then waiting a week for the results! Ahhhhhhh!ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Ugh, I know. I’ve been to the doctor quite a few times, and I’ll definitely be on top of all of my physicals. Thank you for your gentle reminder, though. I’m sure that’s terribly scary for you.ReplyCancel

  • MomEinstein - Happy birthday! I’m glad your giant bruise is not deadly. Weird that spiders are attacking you, though.

    I love your goals for 31. Hoping you can achieve them all – especially the book deal. I’d buy that. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes, everyone :)ReplyCancel

  • Tessa - I am so glad to read that I’m not the only 30 year old being suddenly consumed by fears re my own mortality. And re mortal bruises. I thought I was a bit weird or Emo – not saying we’re both weird and Emo, but that we’re perhaps both normal? I hope so!

    You have filled me with optimism that I, too, might be able to regain control over facebook, pinterest and general web trawling by the end of my 31st year – I’ll keep indulging my fears and addictions till December, lol. I hope your 32nd year brings you all you desire and more. xxReplyCancel

  • Imel - Happy birthday and get well soon :-)
    I just turned 30 plus 2 by the way, if it can make you feel better, lolReplyCancel

  • Michelle - 31 was hard…you are suddently not “30” …you are “in your 30s”. However, 35 was the worst yet–you can legally be elected president. THAT was scary!ReplyCancel

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