February 22, 2012 § 1 Comment
My little sister just turned the Big 18. Now she can legally vote and buy cigs. And it got me a thinking–we’re never really ready for the next year. What’s weird is we have no idea what it will feel like. We make assumptions about growing up and getting older, yet we have no idea what the truth is until we get there:
We feel the same.
When you’re younger you think that when you get to a certain age, say 30 or 40, that it’ll feel this way or that. That somehow life will feel different. That you’ll know more than you did on your 28th birthday than you did the day before. But it’s not so.
When a 55-year-old tells me they don’t feel any different, I’m finally starting to believe them. Because it really doesn’t feel any different. Change and growth are such subtle progressions, that you can’t measure them by any means. And age is certainly no indicator of such change and growth.
So you just roll with it. It’s a number. It’s a bodily state that effects your physicality more so than anything else. Yet in our society, there are tons of pressures, spoken and not, to be at certain life stages when you hit a date on the calendar.
When you reach 18, it feels as if the world is telling you to be graduated from high school, to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, and to have a plan.
At 30, it’s like they expect you to have it all together. The job, the car, the significant other, perhaps even the kids.
Once you get to 40 it’s like some unspoken expectation that you have to feel old. That half your life is over, so you’d better be acting like it.
But can I just say, let’s throw these cockamamie ideas straight out the window? They’re ridiculous. And untrue, to say the least. There’s nothing that says you have to be at this place or that. It’s for you to decide. It’s for you to accept.
I know getting older isn’t the funnest thing in the whole world. At least it’s not the same as when you were seven going on eight and couldn’t wait for the “big bike” on your birthday. However, if you look at it as simply time passing–because that’s what it is–and not a way to measure your achievements, success, or lack there of, perhaps you’ll be able to embrace the joy of your birth!
Happy Birthday, Itzel! I love you, lady. I hope you can embrace eighteen with the same passion, energy, and excitement that you’ve done with all the years before.
July 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
For my birthday, my good friend Kristen and I went and did a bit if girly shopping with money that my Pop had given me. I bought myself a cute pair of oxfords (see above), a comfy pair of Madewell jeans, and a sweet necklace. I hadn’t really spent much on myself in awhile, just fulfilling basic needs. So it felt good to love on myself a little bit.
Sadly, the oxfords just hurt my little tootsies. I can tell that they’re just not meant for my feet. Which my gut was telling me in the store, but I really just wanted a nice pair of shoes. So if you’d like to buy them off of me, they’re for a sale! They’re size 38 Euro/8 US Brazilian leather oxfords from Aldo. Not usually my size, but the 7 just didn’t feel right. Neither do the 8′s apparently.
What I think is important is to know what your needs are and be open to different ways of having them met. I’m hoping for a comfy and cute pair of shoes to wear during my pregnancy, yet I haven’t penny to spend on a thing.
And as I shared with you on Monday, there are quite a few professional goals that I have that I have no idea how to support. Yet. That’s the key perspective, I believe. I’m totally 100% open to listening to myself until my gut prompts me to, the ideas of others, and even the letting go of what I believe my needs and expectations to be.
Sometimes we can’t have everything we want. Sometimes what we want isn’t the same thing as what we need. And sometimes our viewpoint is that we need this or that, rather it’s not even reality. Reality is, in fact, an entirely different matter altogether. Let’s save that last thought for Friday.
April 30, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I never met him before that night. I didn’t even know his name. He was the guy on campus all the girls would swoon for. His shy demeanor made him all the more mysterious. He acted as though he didn’t have a care in the world. As if nothing mattered except for him and his art. He tottered around in his bare feet, ripped jeans, and paint-ridden shirts. His beautiful air about him presented himself as being so powerful and self-assured.
The night I met him he walked straight up to as if to kiss me. He was strong and bold. He talked of himself as if he really knew who he was. As if he enjoyed playing the role of himself. His dusty brown hair and blue eyes sparkled. When he walked through my front door and appeared amidst my twenty-first birthday party, he felt perfect. And I turned my gaze from the friends ruining the spoils of my self-purchased alcohol. The loud chatter around me of anything but important or worth note faded into the background to discover the soul that had just entered my 1940′s college homestead.
He felt comfortable. More comfortable than the previous four boyfriends I had been with. More homey than the 6 past partners I’d had. More delightful and alluring than the previous 23 individuals I had kissed. He felt like an old friend once long forgotten and a new lover. A kindred spirit and a tease.
He locked eyes onto mine and never let go. He starred at the empty liquor bottles strewn across the table and asked of a secret stash. I ran off and returned with two red cups of Jack and Coke. He sipped gratefully and returned us to his endeavor in getting to know one another. We bantered on of art, music, and school as if we knew the history long since past. As the conversation drifted we found ourselves seated out on the front porch. My leg curled behind his and his sweatshirt on my shoulders.
Two o’clock approached and the crowd soon began to find it’s way home. When the numbers dwindled to close friends and a hopeful gentleman, he made his way to his lifted Chevy. Of course. As he walked away and looked back at me under the night sky I mouthed,
He returned. Twenty or so minutes later he found me battling with the said gentleman to leave me be. The gentleman insisted on continuing the party in my room. I resisted. When my comfort came back he dismissively stated,
“You have to go home.”
“Why?” said the gentleman.
“Because I’m staying here tonight.”
At that the gentleman walked out the door. My comfort turned and looked into my hazel eyes. And kissed me.
“I’m sorry I didn’t bring you a present.”
“That’s okay,” I truthfully replied.
“You can unwrap me if you’d like,” he teased.
He was cheesy to boot. And delightful. We snuggled on the couch and found ourselves in trouble with each other the next day. Like a good man, he took me to breakfast. Over our coffee and eggs, he still felt the same. None of that awkwardness that comes along with some people. No heartache that comes with others. The conversation again flowed naturally.
“You don’t know who I am?” he persisted.
“Am I supposed to?”
“No, it’s just…well…you…” his voice trailed off, but I knew his insinuation.
And after hearing his explanation I laughed, “I don’t care who you are. I just like you.”
I don’t think he quite understood. He was so used to being liked for WHAT he did and not simply WHO he was. A little part of my heart hurt to find this out. I wouldn’t find out for a long time that I was the only one.
As we stepped outside for the finishing of our day and reality’s requirement of finding us again, we drove along route sixty six and foothill with the windows down. After our Sunday drive he returned me to my home. Dragging on his cigarette balanced on the edge of his lips, he again looked at me as if to kiss me. I did.
“You kissed me even though I smell of smoke?”
“I don’t care.”
“I like you.”
“I like you too.”
April 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment
It’s amazing what can happen over time. When I had my first birthday with Trever in the not-so-distant past of 2008, I told him,
“I hate birthdays. Something bad always happens on my birthday. It’s never what I want it to be.”
I would even encourage him to NOT buy me a thing. Not celebrate me. Not do anything special. And certainly not throw me a party. Therefore, I thought, the bad stuff wouldn’t happen.
I hadn’t realized until Trever loved me so much that a ton of my issues came up. Issues that I didn’t know were there or were a problem until he came into my life.
Birthdays were one of those days (as were pretty much all holidays). My family background caused me to dislike a lot of celebration. I connected celebrating directly with pain, hurt, and arguments. My parents, though I love them to death, had issues of their own that were brought up on holidays. Causing a groupthink to occur that brought negativity to flow through what should be a happy day.
Since that first birthday with Trever and many subsequent holidays, I have gotten over myself. So to speak. I never really “worked through” my birthday garbage. I just felt loved by Trever and beautiful people like you. Now my birthday just feels nice. I enjoy thinking of the celebration of the day I came into the world.
Audrey has added to that feeling by knowing the importance of the day that she was born first-hand. Her birth day caused me to see the day for what it really was: A celebration for the life of a person that has just begun. She is my sunshine. My love. Her life beginning has been the most important cornerstone of my life thus far. Without her, I don’t think I would fully understand the beauty of birthdays.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to know this now and to not have wasted any more birthdays on my own self-pity. Let’s celebrate my day. Your day. Every day. Each day is someone’s birthday, so might as well. May this birthday and this year be the best one yet.