It’s is my birthday. I was born at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 1965, in Abilene, Texas, the first child of an Air Force captain anesthetist and his homemaker wife.
How is it possible that I am 45? I don’t feel 45. I still feel 17 – hopeful, confused, simultaneously proud and embarrassed of myself, awkward and graceful by turns, and still trying to figure out what/who I want to be when I grow up.
I am, however, much wiser than that 17-year-old girl was. I have learned to trust the people who earn it and to let go of the people who abuse my trust. I have cried oceans of tears over events trivial and earth-shattering and I have learned that no matter how crushing a sorrow is, it will pass. I know what real love is and how, like the Grinch, my heart will always expand to make room for more. I recognize what is good for me and what I cannot seem to resist (chocolate chip cookies, I’m talking to you). I accept my body as it is even as I work to re-mold it into a healthier shape. I cherish the different loves in my life – my parents, my sisters, my nieces and nephew, Mary Alice, Himself (yes, still part of the landscape), West Coast Angel, my church family – and marvel at how each love feels different in the giving and receiving and how each adds precious texture and depth and joy to my life. I am constantly learning and re-learning that there are things I can change and things I must simply accept – and constantly striving to change boldly or accept gracefully.
I am grateful for all that I have.
I like who I am.
I am dissatisfied with my life. It doesn’t resemble the life I want in any way. The life I want includes happy marriage, raising children, and satisfying work in a profession/job that challenges me and provides an income that does more than barely pay the bills. The life I have is single and sometimes lonely, childless, and while my work is relatively enjoyable and challenging, it does not feed my soul and doesn’t allow me financial peace of mind. Without a bachelor’s degree, I am at a sort of dead end.
I don’t have any control over love/marriage or children – that’s God’s territory – but I can redirect my career. And so
THIS IS THE YEAR THAT I CHANGE MY LIFE
1. Get a part-time job and save the money I earn. – I am working on this. I hope to start a second job this month.
2. Decide where I want to go back to college.
3. Quit my job and move to that place, hopefully by late summer.
4. Either start school in Fall 2010 or, if I need to establish residency in another state, get a full-time job and work for a year.
5. Go to school full-time, probably while working part-time, for the next 3-5 years.
6. Graduate and get a job as an event planner for a professional association or corporation.
I feel…well, I feel convicted. This plan feels good and true. I know it will be nerve-wracking and I know it will not be easy and I know it will take time, and I need to be patient with that, but it feels RIGHT. I am gathering information, making lists and plans, checking in with my trusted confidantes to make sure I am doing everything with the right motivation.
Today, the day I start a new year, I also start a new life. I don’t know where this new life will take me but, as I heard recently, I “don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.” I will take each step as it appears and hope that I will move ever boldly, ever gracefully forward.