Thursday, February 25, 2010

Perspective.


I had a quick conversation with a dear friend the other day that has had the horror of growing up beside me for almost half of my life. He's seen me through a few different shades of hair, at least eleventeen different style changes, 2 study abroads, leaning how to wakeboard, 27 medical school rejections, 9 roomates, a broken heart, a trip to Vegas, 4 moves, countless debaucherous anecdotes, one boston terrier, finding my soulmate, 1 wedding, and 3 college degrees. We discussed my impending birthday and how crazy it is to be a certifiable "adult." As my thirties bear down on me, I'm weirdly calm about it.

I used to hatehatehate my birthday. On the cusp of turning 13, I opted for a pragmatic 12b. Even as a kid, I knew things got a lot more complicated when you were a teenager. I'd gotten really good at being a kid, I didn't want to give all of that up just because I had an ides of March birthday. So 12b I was for a good six months.

When I was 15, I managed to crash a car on the driving range mere weeks before the liberation my 16th birthday would have allowed with a driver's license. Aside from the shame exacted from everyone at school knowing I crashed a car in the school parking lot, I was a little relieved that the responsibility to maneuver 2 tons of metal down a windy mountain canyon each day had been delayed. I was still figuring out how to be a teenager, I wasn't ready to steer yet.

My 21st birthday, looked forward to by so many, found me driving my good-intentioned and quite inebriated roommates home after a single cranberry and vodka. My celebratory night on the town turned into an obligatory designated driver evening. And that was ok with me. I knew wasn't ready for the teeth of young adulthood. I quietly transitioned into my twenties. Mindful and terrified.

Now, with thirty staring me down like a mean girl at the mall, I find myself uncompelled to smooth my hair and reapply my Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers. I'm happy with the self-worth I've mined out of years and miles of muck and uncertainty. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and my strong, amazing body. My need to dodge and tarry the oncoming years has dissolved into a comfortable state of acceptance and gratitude. I get to wake up every day. I get another opportunity to say "thank you," "I love you," and "I'm important."

I get the luxury of hindsight and perspective. And that is only possible with time.

Photo from 1999!

2 comments:

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  2. Lauren, I love the old photo! Good old high school days.
    I turned 30 in November and it was a bit odd. For my birthday we went out west toward BFE and shot our newly acquired .22 rifle and BB gun. Not bad. No party, no pointy hat. Just me and my man and some hatin'-it soda cans.
    Your day will be special and I am glad that we can embrace our wonderfulness and know that "old don't mean a thing!"
    :)
    Kenzie

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