As I celebrated my fortieth birthday a few weeks ago, I got a bit reflective. Forty years went by quickly, I mean relatively speaking. Time is funny, it can sometimes go by quickly or slow or even both at the same time. I feel as if I’ve blinked and all of a sudden I’m here, in this moment. I’ll blink again and another forty years will have passed by (Lord Willing). My pop culture references instantly date me ( Seinfeld anyone?), and my bedtime for sure reflects my current stage of life. (Of which I have no regrets on that, sleep is my jam!)
I wouldn’t want to go back to my twenties or thirties because though there were good times, they also belong in the past. Romanticizing the past just puts a different filter on it.
I’m grateful for the the person I am today, right now at this moment. I’m grateful for the hard things and the joyful things I’ve experienced. I’m grateful to have the relationships I have loved ones. Most of all I am secure in my faith in the Lord.
I would not be the person I am today if I didn’t know Jesus. I used to be an angry person, unable to let go of hurts and slights. I used to believe that I was unloved though I was surrounded by it. Without Jesus, I would not have any sense of what peace and contentment could begin to look like.
The idea of being Forty used to look like something else to me. It used to look like I had checked all the right boxes. Boxes that I never truly strove to check off. I don’t know if I was ever meant to check off those boxes. It used to look like I was supposed to have all the pieces of the puzzle of life in place. The reality is in my life, the puzzle looks more like a mish mash of pieces from different puzzles. Some of which fit together well and others that don’t which I have learned to stop forcing to fit. I have this inkling that those puzzle pieces I’ve been searching for and even those I haven’t will start to fill in. Creating this beautiful but still incomplete picture.
I’ve learned it’s not so much the boxes I check off but what my heart is looking at. My heart today strives for the Lord. In my thirties my heart struggled to understand what this could look like or even mean for my life. In learning to let go of those ill fitting puzzle pieces, I’ve seen God all the more.
At forty , I’ve learned a few things but I still have so much more to learn. I look forward to this new decade of Life.
Today I turn thirty seven. Yep, that’s a 3 and a 7. Officially on the other side of thirty-five and not far from forty. I don’t feel like I’m an adult yet. But here I am, an adult.
Some years call for large parties and great fun. Others are more quiet .[Tweet “Some years call for large parties and great fun. Others are more quiet .”]
One isn’t better than another, it simply means celebrating comes in different sizes. I’ve had those parties and I hope to have more in years to come. But right I crave the quiet celebration. I celebrated with family and friends this past weekend. That was just lovely for me and where I am in my life right now.
The Mechanical Man (2013)
Today is my 36th birthday. This means I am now officially on the other side of 35. That much closer to forty. This cannot be! But I surely am. A child of the eighties, teenager of the nineties and young adult of the 00’s. I can recall a time before the internet, playing outside until it got dark. A time when Mtv actually played music videos and when Nirvana first came onto the musical scene. Ah recalling all that makes me feel ancient.
The thing is I don’t feel like I’m 36. For most of my life I have drifted, starting but not finishing college. Going from one dead end job to another, with no real goals in mind. Simply just trying to get from one day to the next. Feeling relieved as I made it through another day.
All the while I was writing. Journals, starting short stories, attempts at novels. Ever since I learned to read, books became my constant companion. The makings of becoming who and what I was created to do, Write
The quote at the top of this post reverberates within me. I have always marvelled at people who seemed to know what they wanted in life and just went after it. As if they had some insider information on how to achieve their goals. I have encountered so many young adults who seem to have a better grasp on how to be an adult than I still do. Finding myself stuck on the how as much now as I have in the past.
The difference now is I don’t allow the fear to hold me back. I may pause, or take a moment to do what I need to do. But I do it. Perhaps not always well or as gracefully as others. These days I try, as opposed to not doing anything at all.
I have more hope these days than I ever did when I was in my twenties. I’ve embraced being a late bloomer, ceasing to compare my life to those around me. By doing so, I found myself freed from so much regret. My past is what has helped formed me to become the person I am becoming today.
I do not know what to expect for my thirty-sixth year. I am open to the opportunities and challenges it will surely hold. I still feel a bit lost from time to time. I have learned that being a bit lost means also eventually finding your way. That is part of the adventure of life isn’t it?