My birthday is this week. I'm going to be 35. I don't think of 35 as old. 36, however, is a different story. But 35... that has always seemed to be an ideal age to me. You are old enough to really do whatever you want and appreciate that fact. I'm enjoying my early thirties very much, thank you. However, this may be the last year you are allowed to ask.
Ever since I turned 30, birthdays have made me rather philosophical. I look back at chunks of my life and realize how far I've come. For instance, ten years ago, I was turning 25. I was at the end of an emotionally abusive relationship. I had determined that I did not have enough money to make a trip to England and Scotland with my amateur theater group and was forfeiting my ticket and redirecting funds I had raised to those worthy of the money. My father was one-year post diagnosis of prostate cancer and was preparing for a surgery that had good potential to prolong his life. I was working at a smallish publishing company and I was almost done with my first library school course (Introduction to Reference Services). I had proposed to the company I worked for that they needed a full-time librarian, and they were listening to me. I was living in the hood in Greensboro, as it was the only place I could afford on my own, and my roommate had just gone off and married the guy she had been dating since college. A guy I introduced her to, incidentally.
So all that said, my life seemed to be pretty well decided. However, if you had told me then that in ten years, I would own my third home (not all at once, of course... I just moved twice more) in Apex, be married to a mouse-killing gamer who I met while pretending to be a vampire, and have two beautiful children, I would have scoffed. Never mind all the other water that has quickly moved under the bridge. Or is that over the dam. Anyway...
I did end up going to England and Scotland with my troupe after one of the performers had a heart attack and although he survived, he was not allowed to travel. He redirected all his funds into my account because he felt that I was the most worthy recipient.
My father passed away that November despite the surgery being successful. The cancer had just spread too far.
I bought my first home the following January with money from an insurance policy, greatly improving the quality of my own life. I lost 40 pounds because that house was on a park and I was able to walk every day for pleasure/exercise. I've since gained it back, dammit.
I completed my Master's Degree, and assumed the full-time job of librarian/archivist... a job I created practically from scratch. The systems I developed there are still being used today.
I went to Greece with a girlfriend for one of the most fantastic vacations of my life.
I met and married Chris. um... that's all I'll say about that.
I ran my own business for two years, with moderate success.
I had a successful career at Dialog, which got me into management, allowing me to gain the experience I needed to get my current job with the public library.
And now I have the kids and the job at the local libray and the well-written blog that you all already know about.
I did all of that in ten short years. That's the time it took me to go from 3rd grade to graduation. At the beginning of third grade, I didn't even know the multiplication tables. By graduation, I learned most of them. Seriously, think of everything you learn in THOSE ten years. And yet, it seems to have only been a blink of the eye when I look back on it.
Is life like a box of chocolates? I sure hope not. Thirty-five-year-old chocolate is NASTY. Bleh.