Today, a good friend, a friend of the heart whom I’ve known for years and whom I see at least once a week at work, but whom I wish I saw more outside of work, because she’s the best, asked me if I was 31 years old. This might be the kind of question that would send another woman into a tizzy on her birthday. I’m still a few years away from 31, but my friend’s question was a sign of success, because I’ve been lying (or at least intentionally misleading people) about my age for over a year now. This would be unremarkable, except I’ve been lying up, not down. By some combination of factors, I find myself consistently the youngest in my social and professional circles. I know this will change, and I also know that it doesn’t really matter, but the vain part of me, the part that wants to seem smart and wordly and experienced stops me from telling the whole truth when people ask how old I am. This part of me believes that when my friend asks if today is my 31st birthday, I’ve convinced her that I am the same awesomely secure and accomplished 30-something she is, when I’m really a child, undirected, a 27-year-old disaster.