Reflecting on 35 years of Holly living

Today is my 35th birthday--how did THAT happen? I mean seriously, 35 is like a REAL adult. Honestly, I am dumbfounded how I got here. The last 10 years in particular are a blur. But unless I am on some kind of mind-altering drugs or am otherwise mistaken, today is December 18, 2009, 35 years to the day that I was born, according to my mother, who should know.

It's been a pretty crazy life so far. Nutshell version: Born in KS, moved to CA, moved to TX, moved to GA, moved to KENYA, fell completely in love with it, had to depart for adulthood (which broke my heart so badly I went married someone completely wrong for me at the age of 19), spent 8 years in an awful marriage, left, found Kevin, got my doctorate, moved to DC, got a job, had a baby, bought a house. Boom. Technically speaking, I've learned a lot along the way, although I can't say that I act like it. But here's a few things I've learned in theory, if not in practice, in random order:

1. If someone has to inform you they are very important--either explicitly or through arrogance, condescension, or demanding behavior--they probably aren't. That includes oneself. If you are important, that will be apparent to others in time. If you aren't important, get over it, most of us aren't either, and there are worse things. Like being an annoying jerk. Besides, convincing everyone you are awesome all the time is really exhausting. Take that energy and channel it toward actually becoming awesome in a way that doesn't undermine or seek to control others. Just put in the work and shut up about it.

2. Marry your soulmate. They do exist. Marriage is always hard work, but marrying your soulmate makes a HUGE difference. It's like you can cut a tree down with a little bitty axe or you can get yourself a big ass chain saw. Either way, it won't be easy and you might end up dead, but one is a lot easier than the other. Trust me.

3. A really good prank to play on someone is putting baby oil in their shampoo, but it only works with an opaque bottle. And play it only someone who can take a joke and/or is pure evil.

4. No one is really pure evil, and we are all evil to a degree. Don't judge, even though it is SO much fun, like THE MOST fun. But the day will come when you are judged, and you won't like it.

5. Men and women are fundamentally, irrevocably, completely, and utterly different. I don't care what Gloria Steinem says, she is just dumb. One of the biggest mistakes a woman can make is to think she can act like a man and get away with it, or expect a man to act like a woman. It never works, it just leaves a lot of crushed expectations littered all over the floor. And then some woman will just have to come and clean it up.

6. Jesus is full of grace and forgiveness and generally rocks. His followers, however, can really be quite heinous and annoying. Learn to differentiate.

7. The world will not stop spinning on its axis if your bathroom is not spotless and you are 5 lbs. overweight. OK, I am still learning this one a little bit, which is totally embarrassing.

8. Acne does not go away with age, even with wrinkles. Which totally sucks, but let's keep some perspective here, it's not like I am living in a cardboard box and wondering where my next meal is coming from.

9. The fashion industry does not in fact care if you look good. This was a shocking revelation to me. They care about making money, and that means they have to keep changing the styles, whether they look good on anyone or not. Just because something is supposedly in fashion does not mean you have to wear it, especially if it makes you look like an ice cream cone. Just say no.

10. A work place should have a roughly even gender balance. If you go too far one way or another, you have yourself either a fraternity or a sorority house, and that's never a good thing even when it is a fraternity or a sorority house. No thank you.

That's all I got. I don't want to think my birthday away, there are so many better ways to spend it.


  1. Happy belated birthday Holly. I still can't believe you saw snow for Christmas. Enjoyed your thoughts, truly.

    I find it incomprehensible that I am 36. I say to myself everyday, "How is that even possible."


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