I turned 38 today. I don’t mind admitting that. I’m not one of those woman who keeps her age secret or lets on that she is younger than she actually is. I own my age. I’ve lived and earned the right to be who I am right now. Yes, I’ll admit that I have moments of anxiety, when I feel like my life is rushing past me, when I feel like I haven’t yet accomplished what I want to do with my life. When those anxious moments hit, I try to take a couple of deep breaths, remind myself of what I have accomplished and focus on my plans for the future.
On a whim, I decided to dig out my old journals and see what I was doing and thinking on my birthday over the years.
20 Years Ago Today – I celebrated my 18th birthday with my family. High school was a weird time for me. My family had spent a couple of years traveling just as I was entering high school. As a result, I didn’t have the credits needed to complete my diploma. I spent all of my high school years playing catch up and being in classes with kids a year to two years younger than me. I didn’t fit it and couldn’t wait for it to be over and move on with my life. When I look back now, I wish I’d been able to enjoy my high school years more.
15 Years Ago Today – I was finishing my second year of university. I was writing my exams and excited about the mark on got on my Political Theory paper about Plato’s Republic. I was taking over the leadership of the Amnesty International group on campus and had plans to meet a friend for dinner. I can tell that the woman writing this journal entry has matured from the teenager writing about her 18th birthday party. This woman is more connected to her world.
Ten Years Ago Today – I had just finished journalism school and had started my first job. Once again I was feeling a bit lost. I knew I wanted writing to be a part of my career, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into journalism, public relations or publishing. In my indecision, I took a job with a business writer doing research and writing business and technology case studies. To date, my least satisfying job. No longer defined by school, the woman in the pages of this journal hasn’t figured out her place in the world.
Five Years Ago Today – I was recovering from major back surgery. I’d returned to my apartment after spending two months living with my parents. I could make short trips to the drug store and grocery store, but I was still in a lot of pain and taking narcotics. It would be another five months before I would return to work part-time. Despite the pain, I was writing every day and I remember being so happy about it.
Today – I’m between jobs, but I’ve had several promising interviews and know that I will land a good job soon. I expect to make more money than I’d ever imagined I would. I’m still writing, not as frequently as I like, but I’m still at it and that has to count for something. I have a great group of friends – many of whom sent lovely birthday messages through Facebook. My back has mostly healed. It still hurts sometimes, but it serves more as reminder to take care rather than incapacitate me. I still have lots of hopes and dreams, but I am comfortable with who I am and where I am in life.