On Birthdays

Seven years ago I was freaking out about turning 22. Blame it on a project in highschool I took too seriously. When I was a senior, I took home ec. One of our projects was a time line out our entire life, birth to death, the fact that most of us were 17 notwithstanding. When I was a teenager, I had my whole life planned out. I wanted to be married at 20, during my sophomore year of college and have my first child by the time I was 22, soon after getting my degree. I knew what I wanted, and I thought it would be easy.
On the eve of my 22nd birthday, I had none of the things I thought I would have. It was more than having no marriage and no first child. I had no degree, no boyfriend, and I didn’t really want kids anymore (though that didn’t stop me from being depressed that I did not have one). I was so depressed to be turning 22. It wasn’t really even about not having any of the things that the 17 year old me wanted. It was about feeling like I hadn’t accomplished anything in my life.
It’s funny, but tonight, on the eve of my 29th birthday, I can’t imagine my life having been any other way than it has been. I can’t imagine having a seven year old. The husband part might be nice, but I wouldn’t be who I am today. Some of the crap I’ve put myself through wouldn’t have happened, but those were things that shaped the person I’ve become. And when I really think about it, I like the person that my experiences have made me.
29 is going to be a good year.

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