Today I am 36. Why is it that with each passing birthday we fall deeper into brooding? I don’t remember celebrating my 20th with deep thought. At any rate, I am pensive today. I’m thinking about the life that I was convinced that I would be enjoying in my 30s when I was 15. Positive that I was going to be a renegade filmmaker, I knew that I would be a celebrity who eschewed the red carpet gowns for jeans and a leather jacket, riding my Harley to interviews. I fantasized that I would travel the world with a handsome hero, the Indiana to my Marion. And when at home, in my bungalow right on the Pacific, I would spend my free time writing my next hit while waiting for the peak surfing waves.
Obviously, I made some different choices along the way. I can’t say that I regret not having that life. I’m satisfied with where I am for the moment, although I do still have my fantasies of what life is supposed to look like. The dreams have just been modified. I still want to live in my home state of California or at least somewhere where the sun always shines. I still want to travel the world but I’ll settle for being a visiting professor instead of premiering at Caan. I still want Indiana or a close approximation. Now it’s just a matter of biding my time productively until the kids are grown and I can get the hell outta here.
Last year I was really angry about my birthday because my parents moved it and did some things I didn’t want to do in order to appease Erin. Robert gave me excellent advice and told me to go do what I wanted to do alone. I packed up the kids and some lunches and we climbed the local butte. I had never been to the top before. It was spectacular and we ate our lunches in the sun, looking out at the whole valley. It rejuvenated me enough to see me through the family nightmare that night.
This year, they actually asked me what I wanted to do and I was feeling pretty excited. That is until Dad hijacked the plans behind my back and invited my sister, again! So once more, I’m dreading my own fucking party. Why would he think that inviting a bipolar, alcoholic, bulimic mess to a night out with the kids was a good idea? God, I hate that girl! I never finished telling the story about Erin. I gotta face writing that one day soon…
Sigh. Not today. Today is my birthday. I’m taking care of myself through diet and exercise. I’m moving forward in a new direction.