Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday Reflections

Me (center) and my friend April on my 14th birthday

When I grow up, I'll carry a stick 
and be very dignified, 
I'll have a watch that will really tick, 
My house will be tall and made of brick,
And no one will guess that it's just a trick, 
And I'm really myself inside.
- Marchette Chute

My birthday is on Tuesday. I'm going to be 29 and I'm a little freaked out. Not because I getting older, but because of how little life is left. I still feel like I did when I was 14. I have no idea where the last 15 years disappeared. I look back at my 14th birthday party - my first real, grown up, weekend evening party - and I can't believe we're all grown up now. Most of us are married - including two of my best friends who married each other. A lot of us have kids. April, with me in the picture above, passed away just 15 days shy of her 25th birthday. But in my head, we're all still teenagers. We still go to concerts every weekend and giggle about kissing boys. We're worried about our clothes and our hair and how we're going to convince our parents to let us see The Blair Witch Project in the theater.

More from my 14th birthday party...
Gifts included a newspaper article on Bigfoot and cans of whipped cream
This is the first birthday that has ever bothered me. Maybe it's watching my little guy grow up. Maybe it's my 30s looming on the horizon. All I know is that I am not a grown up yet! I thought by this age I'd feel different. I'd know what I was doing or at least what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I'd feel prepared. But I don't. Shockingly, I'm still just me.

My life has taken all kinds of twists and turns and ups and down. There are good years and bad years, just like there are good days and bad days. I wouldn't trade a single one. I only ask for more. There is so much life to be lived and it terrifies me and thrills me and challenges me every day. I don't know where life will take me. I don't know what kind of sorrows are up ahead. I don't know what kind of joy awaits. But each year that I am blessed to blow out another candle, I thank God for the years behind me too. 

My mom made brunch for all the girls the next morning.
Cause she's awesome like that.
Notice my oh-so-cool stripped hat.
And my friend Christa's awesome Star Wars shirt.

The last 29 years have gone so fast and I'm certain that the next 50 will go even faster. I think that's about my life expectancy these day. Just 79 years. Or about 675,000 hours. 

Maybe that's why I write. To leave something behind when I'm gone. Or to let myself be a teenager for just a little longer. I don't know. But if I only have 427,200 hours left, I want to make the most of each one. And maybe, just maybe, I can trick the world into believing I'm a grown up for a little while.


  1. ^I loved the last part about this entry. Not that I didn't like the rest of it, but I like how you tied it back to why you write. I think that's part of why I write, as well.

    And, haha, the pictures of your 14th birthday party reminded me of the one I had when I turned 10. It was equally silly and just plain fun.

    Happy early birthday! I hope this one is a great one. :)

  2. Thanks! I had a very silly, very fun group of friend growing up! I wish I got to see them more, but most of them are still in Ohio.

    I think just about everything ties back to writing. It's kind of all consuming, isn't it?

  3. Happy early Birthday. I hope you have a wonderful day. Those photos are great and thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks! We're all fighting colds but I hope we're feeling well enough to celebrate tomorrow!
    I was such a dork in high school and perfectly ok with being a dork. I like looking at old photos to remind myself that it's ok to be me :)