Monday was my birthday – not one of those standard Big Ones, not that those significant numbers have meant much to me since I turned ten. I turned thirty seven. Thirty seven, according to my mother, is a defining age. You’ve got all the building blocks to be who you truly are, your life path is set, you are becoming comfortable in your own skin. Perhaps I’m reading more into it, or missing something. The gist of it is that who you are at (or around) 37 is who you will think of yourself as being in the years to come.
Am I there? Is this me?
It’s not that I’m disappointed in myself. It’s just that I feel I might be a couple of years behind on that one. Maybe it’s because I was ‘frozen’ at a self-perceived age of thirteen for so long? Maybe it’s that the realities of being a single mother and sole parent just have me so exhausted I can’t see the forest for the trees.
I think that I’m poised on the edge of being there. I’ve assembled most of my building blocks – I’ve got a career with several possible paths laid out, I’ve got a wonderful little son, I have solid friends and loving family. I feel like this last year has been about setting the stage for development, but what I have to learn about me and myself is not necessarily going to happen in the next year.
Don’t think that I mean I’m interpreting my mother’s take on things as meaning that by the end of this year that’s it, I am who I am and no room for development. Far from that. I just don’t think I’m anywhere near ‘there’ yet. I see so many possible changes in the immediate future that I cannot quite say I’m at a stable, solid place right now.
All of that aside, it was a good birthday, and a good weekend leading up to it. My mom, Nana, Cameron and I celebrated my birthday on Saturday with cheer, wine, and cake. On Monday, my actual birthday, Joanne took me out for an amazing dinner while Paul watched Cameron along with their two girls. Quiet. Scrumptious. Grown-up. Not a single “why mommy” all evening.