@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
32 No More
It’s funny, because when I was a kid, I predicted my 30s were going to be the decade of my life. It was off to slow start, mostly because within my 30th year, COVID happened which hiccuped all our lives, sent me far off the rails, and there were times, I admit, I thought the damage permanent. It’s not like I’m a stranger to hopelessness. Depression is a part of me. Years ago, Brian McFadden (comedian and philosopher), who from the first time met me saw me, really saw me, said I had to learn to like that part of myself. Later, therapists would tell me the same thing. That I had to stop hating this part of myself. That the hatred I had for this thing in me, that I saw as ugly, weak and bad was just this wounded animal. But depression isn’t a weak wounded animal. The more you despise it the more it becomes rabid. And it can eat you alive. It can take hold of the parts you love about yourself. Until there’s nothing you love about yourself. Or, at least, that’s what the darkness will have you believe.
You don’t cure yourself of depression. It’s like one of those STD’s we are all afraid of. The ones that can go dormant and then just return and cause pain and destruction to your reality.
And yet. Here I am. On the other side of that. My confidence is probably the best it’s ever been. If I could coach those struggling, I would, but I honestly wouldn’t know how. My path involved self destruction, madness, drugs. But it also involved a foundation of family and friends who never gave up on me. It involved the ocean, nature, hikes and surfing. It involved comedy, laughs, hearty and sometimes awkard. It involved a lot of pain. It involved pleasure. It involved being lost. It involved being afraid, and embracing that fear and walking straight into it instead of running. I think the two most important ingredients are love and fear. Opening your heart to both of those things. Which sounds counter intuitive, I know. It’s not so easy to do. And I can do a lot of hard things. But that’s maybe what helped me go on. Move forward. I learned how to surf by falling. A lot. By getting hurt. By being in pain. By almost drowning. I learned to be a funny stand-up comedian by bombing. A lot. By feeling like a failure. By being uncomfortably vulnerable. The reward, ultimately, outweighed the risk.
So, while I don’t necessarily look forward to birthdays anymore like I once did when I was a kid… as at this point you start to feel that your hourglass might be more empty than it is full. Though, that’s not quite right, is it? Because your past is still you. It’s still in the sand pile on the bottom part of the hour glass. All the things I’ve said and done— the good, the bad, the mean, the funny, the great, the love I’ve given, the love I’ve received. It’s all mine and it will always be until that last grain drops. Whenever it will be.
I will say this. I started planning for the future. Like years out. I never did that before. I never planned further than five years in the future. I didn’t believe in it. Now, I do. So, pretty soon I won’t be 32 anymore. And I have to say this last year for me has been tremendous. In my heart, I have hope. In my heart, I have happiness. In my heart, I have humanity.
So, 33… let’s fucking go. Let’s ride this wave. The younger version of me fought for this. She fought really hard for this feeling. We have arrived.