Meditations on Turning Thirty-five

I tend to do one of these posts every year around my birthday, where I take a look back at the last twelve months of life and evaluate where I was, what I accomplished, and where I've ended up. This year, it's a little different. There's still the view in the rearview mirror but it's a longer look back.

Currently, at this very moment, I am upstairs lying on our bed powering through a Netflix documentary called The Staircase.

It's my last day being thirty-four and in a few hours I'll be thirty five. Lord Almighty where has the time gone? I remember turning twenty-five and thinking it was the most awful thing that could have ever happened to me.

That year, I refused to celebrate my birthday. I didn't want cake. I didn't want gifts from anyone. I didn't even want to go out for family dinner to a local steakhouse. I had always thought (up to that point) that by twenty-five I would have been married - engaged at the very least - with a kid or two, or maybe pregnant. I hadn't given much thought to a career or anything like that at the time. I had always thought that that part would just fall into place and that everything else would just take care of itself. I also had never really left Newfoundland for an extended period of time. My parents were always only an hour's drive away. I had never really had to stand on my own two feet and take care of myself by myself.

Ten years later and here I am. In some ways, not much has changed. I'm not married, and no kids to speak of but I am infinitely more comfortable about that fact now than I was back then. I often think that I was beyond lucky not to have started a family back then when I was still young and naive. I'm convinced that if I had gotten married then that I'd be divorced by now. Hell, even if I had gotten married five years ago, I'd be divorced. I grew up on a small island in a small community where the majority of people started family life young. I'm glad I didn't. I wouldn't have had any clue about what I would have been doing, or of the effort and commitment and time and work it takes to make a healthy adult relationship work. I had no idea back then who I was as a person, or what it even would have meant to be a supportive partner. I had no idea about any of those things, or of any of the myriad tiny things it takes to run and maintain a home. Even now, I'm still figuring a lot of that out.

Perhaps the biggest thing I have learned, and continue to be reminded of, is that everything happens in it's own time, following it's own course, and the best thing to do is to be patient and accept things as they happen - trying to control my life and the course it takes does more harm than good,at least that's been my own experience. For those along my path who have reminded me to be patient, and sometimes in ways that I never expected ... from the bottom of my heart ... thank you.

If you had asked me if I would have ever seen myself living on the other side of the country by myself I would have told you that you were crazy. Even three years ago, living in a big city like Calgary - when you come from a town with a total population of 2000, almost every city seems huge - seemed more like a vague possibility.

But it was possible. Did I get to this point by myself? Good God, no. I've had help from a few close friends and family.

Ten years ago, I was getting ready to graduate from college after an agonizing academic career that was filled with the general stress and anxiety and tears of any college career, filled with doubt about what I wanted to be when I grew up, never ever having to face the possibility that I would have to endure and survive unemployment for seven or eight months. It was a reality though. I survived it.

But, here I am. I have my own apartment that I pay for myself (although, I tend to spend more time with my partner in crime at his house than my own). I have my own vehicle that I pay for. My bills are all covered. When I was a kid, I always told myself that I was going to live in a big city one day - that I was a small town girl, with big city dreams. Well, that part is still true.

My parents are no longer an hour drive away. They're more like a full day's travel via airplane away - a trip that knocks me on my ass. Jetlag is a cruel, cruel, thing. I see them now about once a year, as opposed to basically whenever I wanted to, when I was still in Newfoundland. My relationship with them right now is so much more meaningful and important than it ever was before.

I've also been lucky enough to be absorbed into this wonderful man's family. Just tonight we were all together discussing our next camping adventure and ate some early birthday cake. We see them almost every week or so, and it makes me feel a little less homesick some days, and incredibly lucky and grateful most every other day. They're a crazy bunch with beautiful hearts, easy smiles, generous homes, and genuine laughter. My heart is full.

Thirty-five. That's how old I'll be in just over two hours. I've come such a long way from being a scared, naive, insecure, twenty-five year old. Now at thirty-five I stand a little taller, know and understand my own worth at least a little better than I used to, and am more confident in my own skills and abilities than I ever was. My tolerance for bullshit has greatly diminished. My friends circle is smaller - it's about the quality of your relationships that are important, not the quantity of relationships that you have.

So, bring it on thirty-five. I'm ready for you.

Image result for my  35 birthday meme


Popular Posts