Sorry, friends, it's my (cough, cough...38th) birthday this weekend and (as I've been tied to a computer all last week at work), I'm taking off a few days (and away from a computer monitor and keyboard) in celebration.
I'd like to say I am happy about the milestone, but some days I'm not so sure. As so many people who get to this point, I look back and wonder just how the hell I got here most days. It's not that journey has been even close to bad, even...just really unplanned and totally unexpected. (And for an Aquarian to say something is really unplanned and unexpected, that generally means really baffling, spontaneous and worrisome to most of the other planetary signs...LOL. We revel is our ability to take almost everything we encounter in stride, all the while doing a hundred new projects at once. We live to perplex and confound other people, truly.)
Last week, it was suggested to me from an acquaintance that I need to 'simplify', to realize my role and (supposed) limitations, and to do and think less because she couldn't keep up and/or figure me out. (I wasn't aware that she 'needed' to do either one of those actions, but hey, to borrow and alter from the great John Lennon...whatever gets her through her day.) Apparently my 'need' to do and learn and experience things on a more diverse schedule is worrisome and/or threatening to her. (Other than that, I am a fabulous person...LOL.) So, if I followed her logic, I should start allowing the brain rot to take hold now...so she would feel better. Continuing that train, I guess I should 'start to conform' a bit...whatever the hell that is. Poor woman, even now she doesn't realize my personality and outlook is now well into its third decade, and is not like a faucet that can be turned off and on at will...even when I've tried to in the past. Even now, she's oblivious to the fact that she just waved a red flag in front of a charging bull. Even now, she doesn't realize her words, while perhaps well-intended in her eyes, were an insult. People are strange...live and let live, damn it, and you just may enjoy the ride a helluva lot more. I hate pigeonholes, but I positively hate those that do the pigeonholing even more. "Let it be", indeed.
Honest to God, I can think back on my 18th like it was yesterday...I still remember the goals even. Some I'm glad didn't work out: like moving to London and becoming an entertainment radio reporter with a 'Yank's perspective'; as it is, I didn't really like London all that much once I got there...too expensive, too congested, too cold, too much for this descendant of an ancient Scottish clan. But some I wish still had: like practically all women, I bought the myth that by this age I surely would have been married and with a child or two...at one time, I even had names pre-selected. Sometimes I can't help wondering about the 'what ifs' that have prevented those last two, and if my decisions will ultimately be the 'right' ones.
I'm getting better with the 'being alone' aspect of life, as I realized long ago I need to be happy with myself before trying to make others so. God knows I'm a 'lot of work to keep up with at times' (quote from the ex-boyfriend), and that's so true...but that's also so me. I've resigned myself that's probably the way I will always be, for better and for worse.
I've been blessed with some fantastic friends and some wonderful adventures...while those I've lost are never far from my heart and my memories. The lessons I've learned have been fruitful and painful at times, but they've made me a better person. I have seen things and people and places in this world that I could never have imagined seeing as a child all those years ago. I know now how awesome the Great Pyramids at Giza are at dawn, or how intimidating the Coliseum is in Rome. I remember how excited how I was taking my first international flight or driving my car alone cross country for the first time. I know now how charming the sounds of a kookaburra family are, and how supremely quiet the same is with a family of deer. I know how therapeutic it is for me to just go stand on an empty beach and listen to the roar of the waves, while the incoming tide laps at my feet. I have been loved and have loved others. I have been crossed, lied to, and left high and dry by those I thought I could count on the most, but I have also been aided with not only the basics but the actual wisdom of life by complete strangers. I have done good things, and I have done bad things...and I like to think I've learned from both experiences. Still I soldier on, still trying to find the right 'road' for me. Right now, though, I like the road I'm on. Who knows...I may just be one of those people who are destined to never marry, who are destined to keep exploring, who are destined to buck the established role of what a woman is/is not supposed to do, who are destined to always be trying to learn and never be at a loss for a question, who consider a suggestion to 'simplify' like that of a death sentence. Stealing a line from Little Big Town's "Boondocks": "This is me, this is who I am."
So, like all birthdays for the past few years, it's a bit of a bittersweet one when I give it too much thought. But at least I'm having another one...and I'm damn happy to be here to do so.
I was going to go out of town to the beach (for a non-swimmer, I am paradoxically addicted to celebrating my birthdays near the ocean), but that will probably not happen until next weekend now. So, instead, I will be vegging out in front of the telly (might even buy some PPV cricket or something equally quirky, but something that reminds me that summer is indeed somewhere and will be here again soon enough) and maybe do some much-delayed reading. Failing all that, it's guaranteed I'll enjoy some extra snooze time. It's gloriously quiet and serene at the new homestead, so relaxation should be natural. And deserved.
I'll be back and posting updates again either Monday night or sometime again on Tuesday.