Reflections on My Birthday

I know, I know, you read Fan Fun with Damian Lewis because you are Damian Lewis fans, and you prefer, and rightly so, to read about his birthday and not mine ☺ But today is my birthday, and I just wanted to reflect on it a little bit, and thought you all may get to know me a little bit better through these reflections…

Well… I am turning 43 today.

First things first: I got the BEST birthday gift ever last night… Wolf Hall!


Second things second: Just to make you laugh, here is some birthday magic for you!

My birthday: 01/22/72

Let’s do the magic now! Just turn all 1s into 2s and  all 2s into 1s in my birthday.

Whose birthday do you get?

Hint: 02/11/71

Exactly ☺ Fan Fun with Damian Lewis was always meant to be ☺


BUT… if you had asked me 10 years ago, firstly, I would say 40 was too old to start anything new but you would never ever read that anywhere because I would never start a fan blog back then. Not because I did not know Damian Lewis back then, and yes, I did not, but I would not be able to start a fan blog for anyone for the life of me, because I would deeply care about what other people would think of me : “She has an academic career, and she is married, and what is this nonsense about being a big fan?” All true. I am a professor teaching at a great institution, and yes, I am married, and very happily so, I may actually have the best husband ever, my biggest supporter in all my crazy endeavors! And, when I am a fan, I am always a super fan. And, 10 years ago, honestly, don’t go that far back, even 5 years ago, I would not be able to bring myself to say “But I want to do something just for myself and I want to do it just to have fun.” No, I would not be able to say that.

Why? First of all, I had a lot of stress building an academic career that I would not even be able to think about something else but work. More importantly, even though I always knew I was a little bit different, a little bit more enthusiastic than other people in “being a fan” department — including “being a fan” of an actor, a book, music band, soccer team, politician, etc — I always saw that side of me as a flaw, not as a gift. “I am not normal.” And, on top of that, I always felt conscious about how others would judge me… a little bit too much. Maybe because… maybe because of the culture I grew up in… where everyone’s biggest concern is what the OTHERS would say about you. “OTHERS” feels sort of an inquisition that you cannot escape and they are always THERE to get you!

NOW is a completely different story. Not only that I am thinking 40 is young enough to start something new and interesting and fun, I am probably feeling younger than I felt in my 30s. How come? Firstly, the work situation has changed. I am not a rookie anymore, and have an established career in which I do not stress myself out all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I am still too busy, but now I know what I am doing, and I know what I want, and I use my time much more efficiently. But, more importantly, I HAVE CHANGED, and I really think it has something to do with turning 40. I somehow came to accept myself as is, I even started to like myself as is, I do not sweat the small stuff as before and cannot care less about what others would think of me. Thus, I am way happier than I was back in my 20s and 30s. I am actually very happy about where I stand.

And, honestly who wants to be that “normal” boring 43-year-old woman? I want to be this woman who other people are welcome to see a bit crazy, maybe a little bit too much, maybe a bit too deep into her mid-life crisis that she wants to do whatever makes her happy! Yes, I want to be this woman… But, hey, I am that woman ☺ Last year, around my birthday, I read this article in NYT called “What you learn in your 40s” by Pamela Druckerman. This article, especially some parts of it, just resonates with me so strongly that I want to share it with you. You can read the entire article here and I am sharing some of my favorite lines below ☺

“There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.”

I cannot agree more! Yes, everyone is winging it, and some just do it more confidently. And I want to be one of those “confident” ones ☺

Another favorite:

“Among my peers there’s a now-or-never mood: We still have time for a second act, but we’d better get moving on it.

My feelings exactly! That’s why I decided I’d better get moving on it. So, I did, and started Fan Fun with Damian Lewis. Damian’s been my favorite actor for some time now, and Homeland, Forsyte Saga, and Wolf Hall are absolutely a few of my favorite things! Moreover, and maybe more importantly, he’s from my generation (now that I come to think of it, Damian Lewis is the first actor that I have really admired in my generation) so I can relate to a lot of things about him, from the football team he supports, the pop culture references he makes, his sense of humor or the music he likes — I know some people have found his music taste “unsophisticated” on Desert Island Discs, but hey, we grew up in the 80s, cut us some slack please ☺

source: bbc
source: bbc

When I like something, I REALLY like it, and I want to spend time with it but I don’t just want to keep it to myself, and I want to drumroll and spread the word about it! So, Fan Fun with Damian Lewis is a unique platform for me to express myself freely on a topic that I really enjoy reading, thinking and writing about… not just that but it also gives me a chance to put a piece of me into everything I write. And, I am so happy that I can share all this FUN with people from all over the world, people who like Damian Lewis and his work as much as I do! It’s amazing that Fan Fun with Damian Lewis has readers from all over the world including the US, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, France, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Czech Republic, India, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, Australia… I really cannot think of a better FUN… at least, not at this moment. I have zillions of ideas to write on that I sometimes feel like my head will explode if I don’t sit down and type, type, type! So, I really think this could be my second act, and I want to wing it confidently on this one ☺

THANK YOU all for making my dream much more real and fun than I could ever imagine!

Life is too short to postpone something if you believe that it will make you feel alive, put a smile on your face, and make you feel good about yourself. And, you know, when you are happy, you make people around you happy. So, whatever your dream is, go for it! It’s worth the pursuit no matter what “others” think about it ☺

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

2 thoughts on “Reflections on My Birthday”

  1. I love love this post!!! Happy birthday first of all:) I couldn;t agree more ith you..I am also in my 40s and an academic! and I love to spend my time doing things I love without caring about what people say–and one of those is singing:)) and being a fan!!!
    Can’t wait for your next post!

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