Every year I start off the school year by letting my students ask me questions that I promise to answer truthfully. This year I got two that really made me think. 1) Do you like your life? and 2) Are you afraid to die?
Wow. From 7th graders.
I think the answers to these questions are especially important as I enter the "next phase"-- yesterday was my 30th birthday, and according to popular culture, American society..and all of my friends...I should feel "old." This is the turning point-- hitting 30. Like hitting the wall. Enter depression, questioning self worth, and gray hair.
Well...I do have gray hair...and a few extra pounds in the weirdest places...and the aches and pains...but I am not depressed to be 30. Last night at my birthday dinner, the husband and I decided to "look back" over the last decade-- see where I had started and how far I had come.
I am amazed by me.
I am not the same person I was. I have grown and become so much smarter in so many ways. I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be 10 years ago. I have gained so much. My life might not have progressed the way I imagined it would when I was 19, but I wouldn't give up a single part of the life I have now.
So-- do I like my life? ABSOLUTELY! I love my life. Good with the bad, I LOVE my life. I am blessed with the most amazing husband, a wonderful family, a cute dog, a welcoming home, dear dear friends, and a loving God. I have no regrets, because every choice I made has led me to where I am now. One student asked, "But Miss, wouldn't you get rid of your bones that hurt if you could?" I thought about that for a second, and then I told her "No." If I got rid of my "bones that hurt," would I also get rid of my awesome family? Would I trade it in for a terrible husband? I'm not willing to give up any of my "goods"...so I'll keep my "bads." Plus, everyone has something sucky in her life-- mine happens to be "bones that hurt."
Am I afraid to die? No...not so much as I am afraid to not live before I die. I want to live every moment I have-- appreciate every person in my life-- love every friend and family and tell them I love them. I want to acknowledge my blessings, and look at everything with a positive eye. I want to accept everything in my life as what is. I want to smile more than I frown.
So, Happy Birthday to me. 30 ain't gonna be so bad as they make it out to be!