It's creeping up, this birthday of mine. I am a few short weeks shy of turning 36. Thirty-six. I've never been that girl who freaks out about birthdays and aging in general. But given that I seem to be embarking on an early-ish midlife crisis (I say early-ish because I'm not prepared to die at 72), I guess it's fitting that this particular birthday is totally wigging me out. I'm wigged, friends.
This wigging is occuring in large part, other than the seemingly sudden onset of some pretty dedicated crow's feet around my eyes (amazing what two straight years of sleeplessness does to your face!), because I can't really pinpoint anything significant that I've achieved, nor can I pinpoint exactly where it is I'm going.
Yes - I have actively participated in the making and raising of two gorgeous and feisty little humans. They are lovely and clever and really gorgeously feisty. But I'm only partially responsible for their fabulousness. They're growing and taking on the world with all kinds of bravery and gusto they didn't get from me!
Yes - I wrote a clever master's thesis. It might have actually made a contribution to scholarship, you know, if I'd actually done something with it. As it stands now - I'm the only one it made any smarter. Also - it looks very nice on my bookshelf, all blue with shiny gold lettering - very pretty. (Moreover, despite my current determination to get to that old PhD, I have this nagging anxiety that my recollections of my MA are kind of like a bad movie starring me as the high school football star who blows out their knee, loses that college scholarship, and spends their days selling insurance and reliving the glory days. It's possible that four years of not using my brain has robbed me of my brainpower. It's also possible I'm remembering that brain power as better than it actually was. It was small, small pond, that M.A. program of mine).
Yes - I've even had fun, cool jobs here and there (sex educator, peer support trainer, crisis shelter worker, research coordinator) but they're so diverse they make marking out an employment niche more than a little tricky. Which is perhaps a gentler way of saying that I'm not really qualified to do much of anything (capable and bright and lovely though I may be).
And therein lies the angst of this particular birthday creep (you know, aside from the physical aging related angsty garbage that people, particularly women, have to deal with, which is, you know, also there).
Thirty-six is going to be a year of change for me. And change is tough. But necessary. (Really, really, really necessary). I am simultaneously excited and terrified.
But - given that people- both in bloglandia in and in real life- have been giving me a great deal of flack of late for being too hard on myself - I guess the project of year 36 is going to be taking on the great wall of me. Being braver. Getting outside the comfort zone. (Getting outside the house!!). And giving myself a break. Okay - trying to give myself a break. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
So I'm ending up with an old favourite song, Precious Heart, by the fantastic Veda Hille. It's been my go-to song for those scary life-changing times for years now. (Many, many years. Not to belabour the point or anything). Hope you like it as much as I do :)