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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Liebel-Berg

The Year of 39

A few days ago I found myself with a single reality. My birthday was near.

Once I rounded out of my twenties and hit thirty, indifference set in. I would celebrate the day but then went about the rest of the year as if nothing more was different. When I went in with false labor with my daughter and the admin asked me what my age was, I responded with, "What is 2017 minus 1982?"

Poor mind-math skills aside, why did I stop keeping track of my age? Was it an act of self preservation? If I didn't think and anguish about my age, would that mentality give me the perception that I was younger? I found myself wanting to cling to the decade that I once dreaded entering.

Today, I turned 39.

39, the final leg of the year that will lead to the peak of 40. A milestone. For many, the milestone. The mere thought of what is forthcoming is enough to overwhelm anyone who lives among our culture that is obsessed with the appearance of youth. Furthermore, we are lead to assume that the decade years (40, 50, 60, etc.) are the exceptions that demand large birthday bashes, surprise parties and bucket-list trips.

But what if?

Why should I wait for 40? Why should I treat my final year in my thirties with more indifference? What if I laid out the next 365 days to live with intentional purpose? I decided that now is the time for me to embrace my age rather than ignore it in the hopes that I could avoid what was inevitable.

The launch of the project.

Today I begin a personal archival project. A collection of the upcoming days, weeks and months. A series of designed curations to embrace my age and express gratitude for the time that I have been granted. Anticipation of the time that is come. All culminating in a compilation of impromptu and purposeful living.

As this is a recent idea that I have brought to fruition, my next task is to map out what the next 52 weeks will bring. But as my birthday of my 39th year is about the close, I know that regardless of the amount of tasks I mount on myself - The Year of 39 is going to launch the beginning of something that will be built from scratch. And the process of transforming from the blank slate to the outcome come 2022 will be absolutely incredible to create.

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