Yesterday I turned 27. Balloons, please.
For my 17th birthday, my mother came into my room with a pop tart, lit candle perched on top, and sang to me as I dragged out of bed. When I went to leave for school, my car wouldn’t start. When I turned that key and the engine didn’t turn over, all my troubles melted away. No class, no long drive, nobody at home but me, all day. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.
Unfortunately, Year 27 has gotten off to a rather less auspicious start.
In a letter that has become one of my most prized possessions, my father wrote, You have guts and you’re smart, so you’ll always make it. It sometimes isn’t always where you think you will be but it’s always where you are.
Ages 25 and 26 saw me accomplish quite a lot: Marriage, moving, new career, certifications and classes, losing friends and finding new ones. I was excited, every new problem was a challenge, and all the warning signs around me faded away as I focused on my prizes, just a little further down the line.
The dust is settling now, after all that frenzy, but not at all in the way I had hoped, planned or ever expected. I’ve spent a few weeks blinking dumbly, taking it all in. Now, I’m trying to find a way out.
This is not what I worked and wished and dreamed so hard for. These are not the people I want to share my life with, and this is not what I want to be. It is heartbreaking, frustrating and unbelievably un-fun. But.
I am here, now, and that’s as good a start as any.