You guys... I feel like a flower that has burst into bloom, or a tree that has borne big, juicy, happy fruit.

I'm unsure whether this is because TME is over, or because I'm turning thirty, but the combination of the two did something really remarkable for me. As a woman in America (and prolly as a man, too), we all know that there's this stigma around turning thirty. I felt it when I decided to start this project, that dread of facing the fact that I was no longer "in my twenties" which meant I was no longer young. I know, it's stupid and makes no sense, but let's be honest: that's how we think, way down deep in our animal midbrains. We think that somehow when you cross that threshold, you're fat and lame and no longer relevant, or are supposed to have it all figured out, or whatever. Thirty = old.

But combining my thirtieth with TME made me look forward to turning thirty, and even better, it helped me learn to accept myself as I was gradually and without having clothes or makeup to hide behind. It made the last year of my twenties one in which I learned to think I looked just fine without all the extra stuff, thank you very much. It reduced my Big Scary Thirtieth Birthday into what it really was: just another day. It forced me to face my fear of not always being young and beautiful and helped me focus on other aspects of myself over a long period of intentional work, instead of having thirty "thrust" upon me.

In short, TME made my thirtieth birthday a coming-to-fruition day, instead of a falling-off-the-tree day. Look at me, all glowy:

 Now remember, that's not my real hair. It was a gift from The Less-- which would have cost over $2000 if he had been paying full price. This is NOT sustainable for me. (Well, my bangs are real.) And yes, I acknowledge that this is another form of "fakery"-- it's not MY hair. But the way I see it is, I feel bloody gorgeous like this, so I'm gonna go with it. Tonight I'm going out in a short dress and some new boots Mom got me for my birthday, and Less will take pics, which will be posted. Oh yes.

The other thing is, I fully believe that the universe supports you when you have faith and go out on a limb in the service of bettering yourself or the world; if that's true, then the universe (God, as I call it) has met me more than halfway. I grew spiritually and emotionally, and now, on the other side of TME, I have a relationship where I get to have this incredible coming-out party and all this crazy-ass hair, two augmentations to this experience I never would have had otherwise-- and the experiment itself was part of what drew him to me in the first place.

You know what I was thinking? What if I wrote a book about this, and other women could choose to undertake TME before their thirtieth birthday? It made turning thirty a highly positive rite of passage for me-- which, sadly, is not the case for most women. Many of us deny that it ever happened, or try to ignore it when it does. It really is just another day, but for me, it's the day I get to emerge as a happier woman, inside and out, and I can't wait to celebrate. How great would it be if there were a movement towards making the unacknowledged milestone of turning thirty into something to look forward to, instead of dread all through one's twenties?

What if I could share this with other women? Would you read a book like that, one that walked you through and supported you in designing and undertaking your own Modesty Experiment?

The party is tomorrow, comments book and all. I can't believe how great I feel.