What 36 Looks Like

Celebrating a birthday meant one thing for me - I am now closer to 40 than I am to 30.

Could that be why I heard "you're so old" over and over again all weekend long? I mean sure, FORTY is kinda intimidating, but I didn't care about 30 so am I really going to care about 40? And I know I certainly didn't care about turning 36. 

Birthdays are a big deal for me. They are milestones, not negative moments to be avoided. Yes, my confidence tends to be over the top and annoys people to no end. And perhaps I rely on my Asian roots to put me above the anxieties of aging. But aren't birthdays just a really great excuse to go out to dinner? 

So that's what I did.
Three counties, two days, thousands of calories
My birthday weekend began in one county, and my culinary adventures traversed across two more. Scott Kuhn is a fellow Solon grad. But more importantly, he is owner of the Driftwood Restaurant Group, which just happens to include several of my all-time favorite Northeast Ohio spots. Among my many stops this weekend, I had chocolate mousse at 87 West 2. Roma tomatoes and artichoke hearts with wild mushrooms at The Orchard House. Yea, I was in heaven.

I had plans to have Sunday brunch at a third Driftwood restaurant, but I'm not gonna lie. I wasn't hung over. I was flat out tired. Maybe 36 is old...

Thanks, Carrie, for this fantastic find!
Or maybe it was the footwear.

Yes, that's a boot of beer
I blame the band. I mean, who buys groupies drinks? Apparently the singer and the drummer of this band do. 

It's incredible to me that during my birthday weekend, even in my "old" age, I am still reevaluating relationships. I am satisfied with where I am in life.

I know I was a bitch when I was in college. And if I look back at 30, I know I wasn't happy. Sure, I wasn't in CLE for my big day, but outside of my birthday week, I was pretty miserable. Dad2Amara and I were having problems. I was drinking bad wine. I was working insanely long hours (oh wait, that hasn't changed). And I didn't recognize - or appreciate - how truly brilliant some of my loved ones truly are.

Now, believe it or not, I'm more humble. I'm actually quieter. And I can drink more than you know (although please keep me away from Tequila. Tequila and I are not friends. We broke up a long time ago.)

So if this is how 36 looks, I'm ready for it. And I'll be ready for 37 and 38 and 39. And when the big 4-0 is around the corner, I'll be throwing one huge ass party. And you'll all be invited. Consider this your save the date. Boots optional.