I’m 29 and I’m actually not sad about it… Usually around this time I count the unchecked items on my to-do list, but this year I’m counting my blessings. Twenty-nine years of life!
Starting at the age of 23, I would get very sad every year on my birthday. I was so disappointed in myself and my life. I made all these plans, but then life happened. When I hit my 23rd birthday, I just really felt like life couldn’t get any worse. I was so tired and broke. Instead of being closer to my plans of graduating with my bachelors, working my dream job at MD Anderson Cancer Center, not living from paycheck to paycheck, owning a house and traveling the world; it seemed like I was getting further away for my plans.
I was at the university pharmacy and the pharmacist noticed that it was my birthday. “Happy birthday”, she said. I can’t remember my response but I was less than enthused about getting older. I explained to her that I was a super senior (without a graduation date in sight), my car (my only mode of transportation was totaled), my job was cutting hours, and my job hunt was grim.
What was I really saying? Basically, I felt like a loser. I was working so hard to get the degree, the job, and the house; and it’s wasn’t working. Everything that I equated to success wasn’t happening for me.
The pharmacist looked at me and dismissed everything I said. This stranger reminded me I was still young, healthy, and at least looked like I was loved. (Matter of fact, my husband was in our rental car waiting for me). She pointed out, “You’re not picking up medication for a life altering disease.” Tears began to well up in both of our eyes. She was right. I had and still have so much to be thankful for…
Even a year or two later, I would enter this cycle of sadness on my birthday. Because my to-do list and everything that I hadn’t accomplished was still weighing heavily on me. The disappointment of watching others achieve everything that I wanted, killed me. Others would remind me, “At least you have a good marriage”. But still… there were days when I was too sad to get out of bed. I didn’t want to go school, that made it worse. I was very unhappy with my major, but my pride wouldn’t let me change it. I hated my job. My co-workers bullied and belittled me because of my age. I felt trapped. For a while, I felt like I was roaming aimless trying to obtain these things that I didn’t really want. I just thought they would somehow validate me. They would somehow prove I was worthy…
Now, I’m 29. I still don’t have the degree, house, or job — but I have so much more. I have peace. I’m truly grateful. I still haven’t accomplished those things on my life list, but the good news is I’m still here. Thankfully! That means I still have time. I’m constantly reminded that it’s not in my timing. I now know that God’s timing is perfect. I’m wiser. I’m much more appreciative of every little thing I have.
I have my husband who makes me better. He lets me, be me –who ever I am in this moment. I have my son who is now two. The two loves of my life. Here’s a pic from last Christmas. Oh and my canine ladies. (I love my dogs!)
This year, I changed my outlook and perspective. Instead of counting the unchecked items on my to-do list , I’m counting my blessings.