Wednesday, October 28, 2015
This is 43.
Today is my birthday.
Today I turn 43.
What did you imagine for yourself at 43-years-old?
What DO you imagine for yourself?
I don't think I ever thought this far ahead.
I never thought about life in my 40s.
I never thought I'd feel young or old.
I never stopped and gave thought to what my life would be like.
I was young. Restless. Foolish. Smart. Heartbroken. In love. Angry. Emotional.
I was all of these things.
Each one of them.
Regardless of the age I was. Regardless of where I was in my life.
I was each one of these things.
I still am. Now and then.
I was 8. My daughter's age. Do I even remember it? What did I think about then besides hanging out with my best friend and singing music at the top of our lungs. Did I do that then? Why isn't my child doing that now? Should she be? Has she made some of the friends she'll hold onto until she reaches her 40s? Forever friends? Looking back, it's hard to tell.
I was 13. Connecting with friends. Making new ones. At a new stage in life. Boys. Boys as friends. Silly crushes. Hidden dreams. Spiral notebooks as journals. I sat and I wrote.
I was 16. Crushes grew stronger. Feelings got hurt. Friends moved forward. New groups. New school. My Sweet 16 was the happiest day of my life. How little did I know then?
I was 18. Off to college. With my best friend. Was I truly branching out? Family drove to see me. Brought friends. Friends who came to visit. Surprise parties. College years. Emotions grew and I was weary. Why? Only 18. 19. 20? My 21st birthday came and went. I had already had my first drink. My second. My third. Friends. Surprises. Connections. People I'd hold onto for years to come.
I was 24. I spent the weeks before my birthday overseas with my boyfriend. Our time together eclipsed by the atmosphere. The surroundings. Was it love? Or was it London? Spain? Both? All of it? How little I knew. And yet ... how much I felt.
I was 29. About to be married. To a new love. A new friend. The man who held my heart. Closer to a new decade of life. Thirty. Tremendous. Huge. He surprised me with a dinner party. My family and closest friends were there. Thirty. We barely looked at the number.
I was 34. And I was a new mother. My daughter born in February - my birthday coming months later. Motherhood took hold and changed my world. The number didn't matter. Her world was just beginning. As was mine. Ours.
I was 41. Turning 41 without my father. How was that even possible? He - only 66 - gone. Spending time with my mother as we looked back on her memories of the day I was born. Forty-one. Years. Decades. How does one even consider what the next years will bring when one day can change everything in mere moments?
This is 43.
I'm strong. I'm healthy. I'm working on myself.
I'm finally putting myself out there in ways I never would have before.
I'm writing more. And sharing those words.
I'm in print. Not my own whole giant book, but I'm there.
I have an author page on Amazon.
There is so much more to come.
I plan to enjoy it all. All of it.
Even if - as I do - the tears fall as I remember years past. And I think of what's to come.
This is 43.