Blog of the Bicentennial Baby

I am a fire dragon, or so says the Chinese zodiac. Born in 1976, I am also a Bicentennial Baby (as evidence, please note my white skin, blue eyes, and red hair–starred with freckles, I’m a walking American flag). This means that most visits to thrift stores yield some kind of tsotchke celebrating the year of my birth, enforcing my suspicions about my inherent specialness. (Sorry, millennials–no one got that jazzed about 1987.) But this also means that in just under a month, I will be forty years old.

This is significant because I’m the first person to ever go through it, so as you can imagine there’s a lot of pressure to do it right. I’m cognizant of the heavy responsibility I have to guide future generations in making this transition with grace, raging against the dying of the light but also, you know, getting the fuck out of the way.

Really, though, I don’t care for what’s happening and it gives me tummy aches, but that could be menopause. I’m glad that, despite the many ways in which I flirted with other conclusions, I’m still alive. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been and working a kind of middle-aged hotness in which I don’t “look good” but rather “look good for…” I have a lovely family and a frequently infuriating job that still allows me to do what I enjoy and am moderately talented at: Bounty hunting. It’s not for everyone, but I look good in leather and own lots of jewelry with feathers, so it was a natural career move.

But I don’t really want to talk about turning shorty. (I have trouble saying the word sometimes.) Instead, I am focusing on that I am in my thirties, and a woman’s thirties are a time of infinite possibilities, or so the tampon box says. Therefore, I have decided to spend my final month as a thirtysomething not dreading what’s next but celebrating what’s now. For the last 30 days of my thirties, I’m aiming to do something that I’ve either never done or rarely do as a way to push myself and live in a more conscious, thoughtful way.

Yesterday, the first day of this, I started a blog. I get how brave that is, and while I feel the word hero is overused, I won’t argue against it being applicable here; after all, it’s not every day that a middle-class white American woman starts a blog to talk about herself.

But the thing about this project is that it turns out there’s a reason I do the same things all the time. Apparently, having no time or money, while also living in New Mexico, kind of limits one’s options in newness. But I’m not a quitter. Yes, I’ve quit almost everything I’ve ever committed to, but if you call that being a quitter, I think you need to reevaluate your quitter criteria. Unless you don’t want to, then that’s fine I totally get it.

While in-between meetings held on opposite sides of the city, I settled on today’s new task: take selfies. I don’t get selfies. Looking at images of myself is a deeply painful experience, one that is not ameliorated by sharing those images with dozens or hundreds of others. I don’t understand what drives someone to take a picture of themselves and think, you know–I bet a lot of people want to check this shit out. If you like selfies, that’s awesome and I actually envy you for being able to look at yourself without cueing a chorus of self-loathing. Anyway, I hate selfies so here are a bunch of selfies I took today:

I took this in front of an air-conditioning unit in a stairway at work and some kid caught me doing it, so I told him I was “looking for reception” and he said, “um-hmmmm.”
Does this count as a selfie? Was Lee Friedlander taking selfies all those years? Am I basically a great American photographer? Are we all? Can any selfie be said to be of the true self when none can be candid? Is a photograph less a window than a wall against which we project what we wish to be perceived as? Does this shadow make my butt look fat?
That’s the top of my head in front of a skylight. 
I am eating the fuck out of a burrito in my car parked in the library parking lot and listening to This American Life and a dude walking by picked a wedgie out of his butt so there was a moment where I thought, “Do I just keep eating this while watching a dude go to town on that situation?” And I did. 





3 thoughts on “Blog of the Bicentennial Baby

  1. Am I going to come across as come kind of cyber stalker if I click like on your blog every day? I turn 40 this year myself, and this blog is exactly the Bicentennial Fire Dragon support group I need. I’m watching with eager anticipation to see what happens when the big day arrives. Thank you leading the way. (No Pressure.)


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