Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hallelujah - I'm 41!

I'm 41. Good riddance to 40.

The past year - gah, I've been a mess. I may still be, but just being past the year in which I was 40 is a giant relief. 

In the late evening last night, I went to the library. After an enjoyable 20 minutes of texting with Amy in library-desperation of finding a book, I walked out into a beautiful sunset. I sat on a bench and took a picture and I realized: it's over. I don't have to be 40 anymore. The sky and the birds and the trees and the twilight all over made me so happy and relieved. 

There haven't been many moments of sheer joy. There have been way too many filled with other emotions (that just writing about feels me with dread.) I know that an age really doesn't matter, but the 365 days that began on July 4, 2015 were all tied in to the idea of turning 40 and feeling betrayed by my body and my mind and everything about myself that I thought I knew. 

I went to bed feeling happy. I woke up feeling happy. My birthday has been really great and it all seems so simple and unexpected. I wish I could have felt on my 40th birthday what I feel today. But I was a different person then and I guess I needed to go through this past year to know what it can be like.

At 41 -

I'm more willing be authentic.

I'm more willing to say my feelings.

I'm able to understand my feelings.

I'm able to control my reactions. Maybe not perfectly every time, but I'm much less reactionary.

I'm less willing to believe everything I think.

I'm trying hard not to spend so much time in my head.

I realize that not making a choice is making a choice, so I'd rather just decide and move on.

I'm trying to not worry about what others think.

I've been thinking about the Harry Potter quote from Deathly Hallows, when Harry is asks Dumbledore "Is this real, or is it just happening in my head?" And how Dumbledore says, "Well of course it's happening in your head, but that doesn't make it any less real." (I'm paraphrasing!) It's sort of been playing out daily for me in two ways: real things seem less so, and my thoughts seem immeasurably real and giant (and, honestly: frightening!) But I'm ready to believe more in the things I can taste and see and smell and feel and that are real and stop living in the imagined future and reimagined past.

41. I'm only 1 day into it, but I'm so happy it's here.


Feisty Harriet said...

This is easily the best birthday post of all time. :)

I hope 41 is fan-freaking-tastic.


Amy Sorensen said...

Hooray for leaving hard years behind. 41 will be awesome!