Thursday, May 17, 2012

enough. is. enough.

"What a draaaag it is", croons Mick Jagger, "getting oooold..."

It's been in my head for a week. You see, today is my birthday. My 29th birthday. There's something about 29 that sounds so much older than 28 and not just because it's another year closer (okay, just one year away) to the big 3-0. 26 didn't feel so bad. 27 felt really bad. 28 was okay. 29 feels bad. Really bad. Maybe it's an odd number thing?

I don't dare post my distaste for 29 as a Facebook status. Everyone over the age of 29 will immediately jump down my throat with their unwanted comments. As silly as it may sound, to be depressed over turning 29, it's the way I feel and I'm entitled to it. So there. 

Most women have a problem with aging for two reasons. The first is sagging breasts, jiggly underarms or that hair you discover on a fluke. That hair you can't believe was as long as it was and growing on your face. You know that hair. 

The second reason is the mile high pile of expectations that teeters on the tops of our shoulders. We tell ourselves, "By this point in time in my life, I should have done, this, this and this. Oh and that." Been married, gotten pregnant, been promoted, bought a house, been to Aruba, insert your unmet expectation of yourself here. 

It's unmet expectations that are making 29 hard for me.

The thought of them is destroying my happiness. My own self-worth. My contentment. My self-respect.

Maybe I need to let go of some of those expectations. Maybe I need to work harder towards some of them. Maybe I need to meet myself in the middle. 

We get but "one wild and precious life" (Mary Oliver). I want mine to be full. I want it to be rewarding. I want it to be enough. I want to feel like I'm enough. 

My whole life I've never felt like I was. I wasn't the son my father wanted, I couldn't make my Mom happy when she was sad, I couldn't grasp the concept of long division and so many other things. I never felt smart enough, or strong enough, or good enough, the way I was.

I thought I'd be the girl to grow up and change the world. As it turns out, I can't even change myself. Or the way I think. Or how I react.

I think my life will really start if I can just believe that I'm enough. When I know it for sure, deep down in my bones, in my belly, in my heart - when I know that I AM ENOUGH - then maybe I can embrace the passing years, let go, be unafraid - maybe then I can celebrate myself.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save. 

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