How old are you, cha cha cha

Me, At Versailles, on my 30th birthday
Trust me, the hair was très fashionable then

Today I turn 48. How about that?

I used to mourn for my youth. I was under the misguided impression that all the best stuff happened in your 20’s. That’s what it seemed like on television, anyhow.  I spent my 20’s working my butt off, and after I got exactly where I wanted to be, I wanted to be anywhere else.

I was pissed.

I played by the rules. I was supposed to be happy, damn it. It seemed unfair, making life decisions in my 20’s, having no idea who I would be in my 30’s. I had no one to blame but myself. I’d planned every step along the way. I made my bed, now I had a lifetime to lay in it.

Most of it was great, to be honest. I just wasn’t very good at seeing it. I mused about this to an insightful friend who reminded me that wisdom comes with experience. She was right, sometimes you learn what you want by experiencing what you don’t. But it’s tiring to play “find the rock” (you know, not that rock, some other rock, no not that one either) with your life.

The last ten years have been like a second adolescence for me, and I don’t mean the unwelcome return of acne and weight that seems to appear from nowhere. What I mean is a time of learning and exploration–awkward and exhilarating–discovering daily who I  am going to be for the next twenty years.

So I guess that means I am in my 20’s again. A new career, all potential and no pay, unproven but sure that I have something to offer, but with more patience and less arrogance. And although there have been many changes in between, I look an awful lot like I did then.

So here’s to being 20 all over again. This time, I will not drink Sunny D and vodka until I fall down behind the sofa. I did eat cake for breakfast. It was delicious. I saved a candle just for you. Have a wish on me. I’ve got everything I  need.

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4 comments on “How old are you, cha cha cha

  1. Happy Birthday, Jeannine! You look 20 in that picture, but I see it says that you were 30. Here’s to aging 10 years behind everyone else your age! I’ve always felt I have that advantage and it looks like you do, too. You don’t look 48 or write 48 either. Ha ha.

  2. whimsygizmo says:

    This is fantastic. YOU are fantastic. Celebrate that amazing young woman today.
    I.Love.This:
    “all potential and no pay”
    Yup. Ain’t it grand?

    Toasting coffee mugs with you in cyber-land. Sending oodles of dandelion wishes. They may come in handy later. Contentment is a true gift, my friend. Cherish it.

  3. whimsygizmo says:

    And Happy, Happy Birthday. 🙂

  4. Lara Britt says:

    Happy Birthday, Jeannine!

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