I’ve been listening to a lot of Aimee Mann lately and there is one song of hers that hits me in the gut every time that I hear it. It’s called Thirty One Today and it’s on her @#%&*! Smilers album. That’s the actual name of her album I didn’t do that to save your innocent eyes or anything. Like I would do that! Anyway, there are a lot of lines in it that strike cords, but the strongest would have to be one of the main lines of the song. “I thought my life would be different somehow. I thought my life would be better by now.”
Don’t we all come to that point, usually several times in our lives, when we think, “I should have gotten this, this and this done by now! What am I doing?!?!?” Now I don’t want anyone to think that I am complaining right now. I know how profoundly lucky I am to have been born when and where I was. I have a family and lots of friends who love me despite myself sometimes. I have a job, I have a place to live, I have more yarn than I can probably use in my life! (Though I am not calling S.A.B.L.E. yet! I’m only thirty-four!) But there is no getting around the fact that the last few months have been, by far, the toughest of my life. There was the move which was rushed ahead due to the health issues of a family member. I have been sick more in the past four months than I have in the past five or ten years combined. It has been a time of massive adjustments, loneliness and generally relearning how to stand on my own again. Even as I go through all of this, I can look at everything in my life and say, “This isn’t who I am now, it’s just a rough patch in my life that will pass with time.” I thank God that I’m not going through all of this in my early twenties when it seemed that my favorite thing to do was to beat myself up over what I hadn’t accomplished with my life:-)
It would be easier, of course, if it didn’t seem like all the women my age suddenly decided to have babies. Or get married. Or both. It just makes for some awkward conversations. Here they are talking about their seventeen days of labor with no drugs and I reply with, “I held a goat upside down while the vet battled her uterus back into her body. He had big hands. It looked painful.” Talk about an awkward pause! I would like to have a child at some point, but I am grateful that it hasn’t yet happened. If I had a human being that I was fully responsible for I don’t think that I could have done what I did, which I know is for the best in the long-run.
As I write this, birthday greetings from 5 different time zones are piling up on my Facebook page and in my email inbox. I know how lucky I am.
Still…I’m thirty-four today.