The rest of the world celebrated New Year’s two weeks ago. Today, I celebrate mine.
The week between New Year’s Day and my birthday is the time I take stock of who I am, my lot in life, where do I want to go, both physically and metaphorically, and the big daddy of all questions: Am I on the right track for who I want to be in 5-10 years?
This question always trips me up because for years, I’ve believed that if I didn’t like the projected trajectory, I could change it. Often I would declare, this is the year I’m gonna make “it” happen, and so, I would make, making “it” happen my full-time job (ring in: if you want it bad enough you will make it happen). I thought that with enough hard work I could make the dream of my 10-year old self, my 32-year old self, come true. After all, isn’t that what all those dumb quotes on Pinterest tell us we’re supposed to do?
Birthdays are an excellent reminder that time does not wait for us. I try desperately to avoid birthdays–I don’t like the attention and the annual slap in the face that another year has passed and the only thing different from last year to this year is my annual budget for hair color, Botox, and chemical peels continues to increase as the signs of aging grow more prominent.
But this year, I’m done! To be clear, I’m not done with the anti-aging treatments, no, that’s crazy talk–I’m done with making the proclamation about making “it” happen. See, I am a societal novelty, a rare breed, who managed to make it to her 40’s and never marry or have a baby. This has often made me feel like a failure, defective, a misfit exiled to the island of broken toys. And for years I’ve tried to fix it, searching tirelessly, endlessly for that one defective gene that I could rip out and finally free myself from the self-imposed societal inadequacies.
Yesterday, I told a good friend who was bitching about her sister-in-law, “you’ve got to let it go.” I suppose I also need to let it go–let go of what I was supposed to be, ditch the road map, embrace my defective gene, and just be, no matter how uncomfortable just being me makes me and those around me.
And so, I think the time has come to get real, bare my soul and unravel the realities, myths and mysteries and truths about this path I’ve been traveling, the path I stare at everyday and wonder, why me?
WARNING: This is not going to be pretty and it’ll break every instinct in my body that wants to say to you, I’m fine, I’m good, I’m okay, I love my life. Well, not always. This road I’m on is hard and I don’t always like it, and many times I hate it, as I go around bitching with the confidence of Donald Trump that I’ve been forgotten and God’s conspiring against me. But then I settle into myself and resign that for whatever reason, I’m on this road–a road forged absent a we, but uniquely me. Here I go.