Another birthday is on the horizon. I’m cool with the inevitable process of ageing, however, this particular birthday is met with my mind weighing and tallying several things. These thoughts are not the depressed ‘whoa-is-me’ sort of thoughts, but rather honest and introspective considerations. I am staunchly in the camp of age ain’t nothin’ but a number, but as this birthday approaches I do find I’m putting a bit more thought into my personal big picture and the notches on my timeline that put me in my current position.
Only child, adopted by father at infancy, mother depressed, me with ADD (undiagnosed for thirty years), creativity blooms, happy family, gifted kid, shattered family when dad dies, high school trouble and a ride in a police car, mother painfully depressed, Algebra: I just don’t get it anymore, accepted to Art School!, mom and daughter make up – grow strong through distance, loves had and lost and had again, poor married artist couple, fill in gaps with pets and things, ups and downs and cancer manifests, surgery happens and life analysed, nine years married and a divorce later I’m in the UK, new life and new love, write and code, ADD painfully strong, love is stronger, cancer is five years gone, life analysed and course correction plotted, a birthday on the horizon in January 2007, next…
Those are my brain-dump thoughts that come to the surface when plotting a loose linear timeline of me. Happy times have been more common than are listed in the above ramble, but it’s rarely the happy times that cause you to grow stronger or create change- this is why they float to the top less. No one seeks therapy or enters into this sort of inner dialogue because everything is or has been rosy. I’m not saying things aren’t good now – they are – but that’s because I recognise the rough stuff. It’s like in a video game: you don’t reach checkpoints or save points when things are going smoothly; it’s always after you’ve endured something or met a challenge. Remember your battles, learn from them, and then you can make sense of new directions and grow. Perhaps it sounds trite and trivial to compare life to a video game, but that’s all I’ve got right now and I think it’s pretty much on the money anyway. 😉
I’ve been watching a series on modern artists and am oddly encouraged that struggle never ends (not even for those geniuses)- we (people in general) just have to find ways of coexisting with it. I’m always in the process of doing this but I can’t say it’s without fear. Though I’m armed with the understanding of why I am who I am and I am always learning new ways to love that flawed being, having another birthday reminds me that time is not going to stop and wait until I get my shit together. My life has been good so far, and if it had been better would I be so prepared as I am now to try harder, understand more, and be happier? Probably not. That’s why things are just fine and I couldn’t give a damn about adding another year onto my age.
Besides, my skin care regime is working out pretty well… 😉