Turning 30 During A Pandemic

Photo by Craig Adderley

It was late March when I started to send the first of many handmade and store-bought cards through the mail. Each package would be lightly sprayed with a disinfectant like unbathed women spritzing pungent perfume before the invention of indoor plumbing. Like everyone else, I had a different idea in mind for 2020, and I had to adjust to a changing world. I felt most terrible for the kids who missed out on seeing friends from school, students who missed out on graduations, and those who have lost loved ones during this time. However, I couldn’t help but also feel a little bummed that the kids I used to hang out under The Tree with in high school would all be turning 30 away from each other during a pandemic.

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That One Time I Actually Could Have Died Because Of My Opinions

“I’m sorry your January has been rough, Jasmine.”

I read the email and had to pause. For one, because I legitimately thought that we were in the middle of February, and two because I really had just experienced a wild ride of a month. 

I began 2020, speeding through the snowcapped Grapevine mountains from the Central Valley to Los Angeles. I brought in the New Year with my sister in shorts outside at midnight watching illegal fireworks shoot from backyards. Local residents twirled sparklers over dampened lawns in 40-degree weather, and I smiled as we took turns watching our exhaled breaths become visible against the pitch-black night sky. By January 4th, I had already hiked so many miles in the cold and been to so many holiday and birthday parties that I was for sure I needed to put down my Christmas tree because it had to have been March by now. However, I’m glad I took my Christmas stuff down the next day because, after that next week of traveling to Texas, I would actually almost die because of a case of the flu.

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