I am 31. Last year I was 30. And before that, you guessed it, 29. And when I was 29- I was a rockstar. Not in the literal sense. I actually was a working single mom. But I had a great job selling laser hair removal, which sounds kind of funny, but it was a great job and I was good at, really good, I had a cush schedule and made a lot of money. I got to dress like a nurse, and I also helped thousands of people get rid of unwanted body hair, I was at the top of the company and at the top of my game. Yep-it still sounds really funny 🙂 I also was finally getting the hang of being a mother. I began to really love it. And rather than feeling bad for the guys I dated about being divorced and having a child, I began to see those things in a very positive light. I was wisened by my previous failed relationship, and I was a twofer!- I came with the most fun little bonus, my Bitty.
That year, I met a super hot guy on a plane on the way to Hawaii, and our first date was a night swim on a private beach followed by a perfect week of vacation fun. Then I dated a lawyer who sent flowers and planned romantic dates and wanted me to meet his mother. I met another guy at a ball game who would plan our funny wedding details over long phone calls. I sky dived, bungee jumped, did lots of hiking and skiing. All of this while also being a cool mom making playdates and dressing up for birthday parties. See, I was a rockstar. And it got to my head. I took a little solo trip to Paris. I enjoyed my alone time writing in cafes and wandering through museums, and when I saw him in his uniform on the river sein, I had to have him. He would be my first one night stand. This American rockstar was going to take that French sailor back to her rented parisien apartment…
He did ask me out. I did take him home (which is a whole different story in itself). What I thought would be a one night fling turned into love, an international romance.
And now I’ll skip forward to turning 30. I had a girlfriend traveling in Asia and so another friend and I decided to go meet up with her there for a couple of weeks. Another friend flew from London to meet us. My french boyfriend flew from Paris. Four American girls and our French boy traveled from Kuala Lumpur to Bali to and then to other Indonesian Islands. (That trip is also many other stories in itself).
But I wanted to write about my 30th birthday, so I’m gonna take you straight to Gili Air. It is a tiny little island surrounded by crystal clear waters. No motorized vehicles were allowed and so we rented bikes and passed people on horses and carts. We had a beautiful home for the nights we were there with the coolest bathroom ever. Which is important for the story-because that is actually where I spent my last moments in my 20’s. On my birthday eve, we experienced a tropical thunderstorm, and so the girls who had been sleeping on the second floor came downstairs to get out of the rain. One slept on the window bed, and the other on the floor beside the bed. At some point in the night my stomach began to cramp. I snuck out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom, and learned that I was sick. I was at first grateful for the noise of the storm, as I didn’t want to wake the others with my moving around and unpleasant noises. I crept back and forth between the bed and the toilet. Eventually I stopped going back to the bed.
The bathroom was really beautiful- all stone, with an open shower that flowed out of the stone wall, a modern vanity with a huge round mirror and double glass sinks, a stone tub that stood alone and raised and could easily fit a family of four, and a metal roof that somehow didn’t touch the walls. You had the sense of being outdoors in the jungle, the rain beat loudly against the thin metal and you could see as it poured out beyond the walls.
My cramps became worse and worse. I had horrible diarrhea. I was feverish and dripping with sweat. I could hardly balance myself on the toilet. I didn’t want to wake anyone, but I desperately wanted to wake someone. I was scared that I would faint, and once on the ground be stuck there. With the cockroach. One thumb sized cockroach plagued my thoughts and swarmed my vision. I imagined myself curled up in a ball on that hard and lovely stone floor, with the cockroach scurrying around my sweat-drenched head. I was too sick and too weak to get the bug out of there, so I watched it with all of my might. Maybe for hours. I turned 30- Sweating on a toilet, clenching my stomach, madly focusing all of my attention on a cockroach.
And yes, I would imagine that is a story shared by many an aging rockstar 😉