Another year has gone by and I have a lot to look back on, particularly, the post I wrote last year after my birthday: Not Where I Thought I’d Be At 38 . While there was truth to that post, I’m taking a different look at my life and surroundings this year, through the eyes of 39.
Thirty-Nine. Big number, huh? I can honestly say that this past year has been better and more rewarding than the last. I can also say that I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year and what I want out of my life. You can say that I’ve gained a bit of perspective, and I have writing to thank for some of that. Looking back on the recordings of my life during the past year, I can visually see all my ups and downs and recognize patterns and so that I can make the changes I need to make to be happy.
Birthdays are a big deal for me; they always have been. When I was younger, it was all about being the centre of attention. I had 2 parties every year – one with my family and one with my friends. I felt like the luckiest girl around.
However, birthdays hold a different meaning for me now that I’m older.
First, it’s been 21 years since I was in a terrible car accident four days before my 18th birthday. The accident kept me in hospital, but I was able to go home and celebrate my 18th year with my family and friends.
The other reason, and probably the more meaningful one, is a bit harder to swallow. When I was sixteen, I was going through some pretty rough and destructive depression and anxiety. Mental Health was new to me and my family and we were all learning how to swim with the currents. In my diary, the one covered with cut-up pictures of Drew Barrymore plastered all over the cover, I had explicitly written that I would not live past eighteen. That never happened, nor was an attempt ever made.
Since I turned eighteen, I’ve been silently celebrating these miracles at each and every birthday. I give myself a smile in the mirror, pat myself on the back for my amazing recoveries, and promise myself to keep trying.
I may not be exactly where I thought I would be at 39, but I feel like I’m finally in a place where I’m happy. Mind you, life hasn’t always been all gumdrops and rainbows, but I’m a work-in-progress and as long as I hold on to that, things are going to be okay.
I’m learning to accept that I’m where I’m supposed to be at 39.
I made choices a long time ago that got me traveling and experiencing a life that I wanted at that time. Those choices put me behind career wise, but you know what? I’m happy about the choices I made. I got to experience things I never would have experienced if I didn’t do what I did when I did them.
Because I’m a dweller, I keep having those pestering “what ifs” thoughts. But I think it’s time to pack up the dwelling and bury it along with the other garbage that plagues my mind. We all make choices and those choices are what brings us to where we are now. I can’t change the past, despite my anxiety’s insistence that I can, but I can change my future. I’m not old. I still have time; tons of time, in fact!
Where I am now, is a good place. I have a beautiful son who lives to drive me crazy. I have a wonderful and supportive husband who I’m lucky enough to call my best friend. I have a family who has my back no matter what.
And I have my life.
Despite the daily struggles and my overactive anxiety, I’m in a good place. I’m reaching goals and meeting a lot of my expectations. I’m still as hard on myself as ever, but I’m noticing that my hard work is starting to pay off and I’m learning to breath a little deeper and a smidge slower.
The hardest thing that I have to come face-to-face with is that it’s the journey, not the destination. That is what I need to keep my eye on.
I know what I want and where I want to be. Now I just need to go get it.