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Turning 30

This morning I will be 30 years old. Birthdays have never held a lot of importance to me, but this one has been heavy on my mind. I thought I might be depressed about it, because I started, a few months ago, thinking of all the things I hadn't accomplished yet in my life. Society (and mothers) think we should have a career, a mortgage and a husband, with a couple kids, by 30. And I don't. Not even close... though depending on the presence of money in my bank account, I might have a career : ) But never one to stay gloomy for long, I switched my thinking to the past, and where I had been in 30 years, and what I had lived to see... and I realized I really ought to be celebrating this day. The more I thought about it, the more full of myself I got. I've gone completely over the edge and can't sleep, so I hope you can forgive me while I prance around with joy for a moment. I promise I will collapse into sleep and be quiet for at least 6 hours when I'm done :)

There was a long dark period of my life when I honestly doubted I would live to see 30 years old. I remember focusing on 18 as a target, and then 25. But thirty was so far away... it seemed like I had a huge chasm to cross first. I believed in my inherent ability to fight, but I wasn't so sure "the Gods" were going to let me win. But I did survive. I survived my well intentioned but often emotionally hurtful parents. I survived being a teenage runaway, and five months on the streets crisscrossing the country with a bunch of bikers, perpetually stoned and drunk. I survived having my jaw bounced out of my head by a gang of teenagers, before I finished high school. I survived high school. I survived nearly 4 years in a brutally abusive relationship with only a few broken teeth and an eardrum that throbs when the rain is coming. I survived five years of night college. I survived bouts with life threatening illnesses. I survived having my heart broken more times than I care to remember. I survived 9 miserable years of being a government drone. I started a dream business, and so far, I've survived that too.

What an absolutely amazing 30 years this has been!!

Though I know there will be more bad days to come, I really don't have anything to be afraid of. I learned lessons that I probably have not managed to learn in countless lifetimes and I have that knowledge now, to guide the rest of my journeys.

I learned about human nature, by seeing it up close, raw, and undiluted. I learned about perseverance, by pushing myself to get a degree just to prove I could. I learned about feelings, by losing all my feelings and having to force, then welcome them all back. I learned that broken hearts aren't fatal, because I still want to love. And can. I learned to cherish freedom, by giving it away and having to nearly die to regain it. I learned about people by immersing myself in their midst. I learned to truly appreciate the good things in life, because when you have lived in darkness, you can truly appreciate light. I learned that I have an incredible power inside me. I learned that dreams can come true, if you only believe it.

Just like a real turtle, I can continue on my journey with a shell of fortitude forged in fire, protecting the "me" I've fought so hard to discover and preserve.

I must say - this has been the greatest life :) I have learned so much, experienced so much already in my short years, that I can barely contain my excitement wondering what the rest will hold.

Happy Birthday to me :)

(Well on my way to being an obliviously quirky old lady with the purple hair, wierd silver jewelry and a permanently engraved smile)

ep 06/10/97


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