Tuesday 17 October 2017

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to - but at 51 I don't want to

I've avoided celebrating my birthday for years but I'm finally able to embrace it all this year

'A lot of people don't have birthday parties as they get older, because they think back to their 21st and figure the party they have now will never be that much fun, so there isn’t any point trying to recapture it'
'A lot of people don't have birthday parties as they get older, because they think back to their 21st and figure the party they have now will never be that much fun, so there isn’t any point trying to recapture it'

Victoria Mary Clarke

I'm having a birthday party. People have asked: "Is it a significant one?" Well, it is to me. They all are. I just turned 51.

For the actual 50th I was so embarrassed about having got this old that I had to hide in another country far, far away and pretend it wasn't happening. I also defied my lifelong phobia and forced myself to ride a motorbike at 20mph to suggest to myself that even if I am 50 I can still be a daredevil and go crazy. My niece Rosa, who life-coached me through the motorbike thing, presented me with a hand-painted card on which there was a drawing of me in a red swimsuit with the words: "You've been alive for 50 years! Congrats, man!"

I responded by saying that I sincerely hope I will be able to say the same thing to her in 35 years. Although I also hope that when she gets to 50, being 50 won't be embarrassing.

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