Yesterday was my birthday. It made me think about a lot of things. First of all – where am I and what the heck am I doing with my life? Secondly, How can I make the most of my life? And third – which of my kooky friends am I planning to celebrate with, even if due to unforeseen circumstance the celebration will occur a wee bit later than my actual birthday.
Then I got serious around 5 in the evening. Surrounded by flowers and hugs and my dog, I began to consider life as I know it. I am at that age where I am contemplating the meaning of life. My inner teen says it’s always been about the muse, the music, and the poetry, my forced adult says it’s about making it without breaking the bank and breaking down like an aged Citroen with stripped gears and 3HP.
Things are a lot different than they used to be; the 80’s are long gone, and technology has whizzed by on electric scooters. I am over the grey hairs (they started showing up at 16 anyway) and can choose to be the redhead of my dreams. I can still sit Indian style, walk for miles and my bike still insists on leaving me with a royal pain in the arse – literally. So I guess, in my mind, I am still a young one. And I plan to stay that way until I can’t anymore. Can’t what? Well, do all the things that make me happy. I am going to be that 90 year old with funky hair, Doc Martens and a love of live music- bring on the concert halls! I will be honest with my likes and dislikes and live with a vengeance.
I am not complaining about my life, although I am not where I thought I’d be, or even where I want to be right now. Life is a circuitous route that will take me to my final destination in stages. So I learn patience, acceptance, and gratitude. Self-knowledge is a beautiful thing. It makes a girl so comfortable in her skin. And by the way – I still use bar soap on my face and no foundation…no sense mucking up those good old genes. I am lucky enough to look younger than my age, I suppose being just shy of five feet tall will add to that, but I have learned to love my quirky, goth girl, hippie chick self. I am merely fun size, and if you know me, I AM a lot of fun.
At this juncture in my life, I can embrace the understanding that comes with a little life experience. Life is NOT fair, and it is hard work. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the little things along the way. I am able now to step back a bit and see both sides of the proverbial coin. Good and evil coexist, and honestly, it’s alright for us to see different perspectives. We don’t all need to agree to get along in the world. It’s all about tolerance and forgiveness.
I am finding that it is harder for me to be manipulated by friends, my children, employers, etc. and that I am capable of a more significant mental discipline than I was in my misspent youth. I can handle chaos, function in the company of those I secretly abhor, and revel in the delightful company of friends. I am still a bit of an introvert, but I have learned to step out of my comfort zone now and then, sometimes with a little help from a friend. I have learned how to cope with difficult situations, yet I still harbor those mini-freakouts when I get too stressed. I have learned the art of flexibility.
There are times when I wish I had all this remarkable knowledge when I was younger, but then life may not have been so much fun. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. I know that age and discipline go hand in hand, and there is not enough money in the world to make me re-live my teen years. I like to think my life began at 17 when I started college. I do feel a certain nostalgia for the simplicity of those years – less responsibility, more freedom, or so it seems. Overall, I am pleased with my personal growth, as I continue to learn ways to open my mind and heart, and, in most ways, I am a happier human than I was then. I fully expect to continue to grow and to find happiness over the next significant chapters of my life, even the annoying, inconvenient plot twists.
Ok life, I am ready to make it happen; bring it on!