the story so far

Nostalgia and New Plans: Birthday Post

Tomorrow is my 27th birthday. It’s kind of hard to believe. I feel ridiculously young. I haven’t had any shift of self-perceived-maturity or grown-up-ness since I hit about 21 – as many things as have changed, I don’t really feel that I’m older than that, but that sure was six years ago. Ancient history. 27 just doesn’t sound right. I’m gonna be 30 before I know it. It’s not that that bothers me, I just consider it truly unbelievable.

Several years ago I had this 25 to 25 list, in which I set 25 goals which I wanted to accomplish before I turned 25 years old. I can’t remember exactly but I think I managed to squeeze in less than half of them. Then I took the remainder and added a couple and had 27 to 27 and haven’t looked at it since, so I don’t even know if I’ve done a single remaining thing on that list. Tomorrow I’ll be 27 and no closer to any of those goals than I was at 25. There’s a reality check for ya!

Admittedly, many of those goals just don’t exist anymore. My life and trajectory have changed so dramatically in the past couple of years, that I’m just not pursuing the same things. Not only are those items off my list for good, but there are entirely new and different things I could add to that list. “Me” of two years ago would laugh in disbelief and then stare blankly at current me if I told her that who she was at her deepest levels would swing a complete 180* and be where I am now. To be fair, it’s pretty comical.

I just found that 25 to 25 post… and I’ve only done one more thing on it since then… and that was “spelunking” in Carlsbad Caverns last month on my honeymoon. #progress

Last year was my Golden Birthday, and I know for sure it can’t be trumped. We were about 2/3 of the way through walking the Camino de Santiago through northern Spain – a childhood dream of mine. I walked with my now-husband and my always-sister. (It was a rocky point in Jefferson’s and my relationship, but clearly we survived and he still wanted to marry me (thank you thank you thank you)). We had walked a full day’s journey and were about to set up camp, when we were told abruptly that we weren’t allowed to camp anywhere in the vicinity. So we gathered up our stuff again, and as it got dark, we began a several hour ascent up O’Cebreiro. We had a gallon jug of sangria we’d grabbed for 2euro at a convenience store, and we were sore and tired, and had dilly dallied during the day (cause I’m the slowest and it was my birthday afterall), but we continued on with renewed vigor, chugging sangria and laughing our asses off. O’Cebreiro was an important way point on our journey anyway, and we had been looking forward to it because it is the site of a Eucharistic miracle back in 1300. We knew we would be able to camp once we got there, but it was a long dark ascent. I wonder what the climb would have looked like in daytime, but I wouldn’t have ended my birthday any other way – climbing a mountain we were told was “impossible to climb in the dark.” We got in and made camp at 2am and ended up taking a rest day and staying two nights. I distinctly remember stopping at various points up the mountain and looking at the dazzlingly bright stars. I felt closer to them than to anything. At one point my compatriots walked ahead to allow me to relieve myself, and I recall standing there in silence unable to hear them any longer, and feeling the mild breeze and smelling plants I couldn’t see and looking at the sky extending in every direction without the slightest bit of light pollution. My heart misses that night.

So yeah, it was a great birthday. Unless it’s your golden birthday there’s no reason to celebrate birthdays past 21, until you’re in the 80+ range and have a long life to celebrate. So I keep trying to convince my husband we shouldn’t celebrate at all and can just ignore it. But he took the day off work so I’m sure he’s got something up his sleeve.

I’m hesitant to try to write a new list, or set deadlines on things. Clearly they don’t really get accomplished. But at the same time, with all these new aspects of life and who I’m growing into, it would be interesting to see what that new list would look like. Maybe I’ll just write it bit by bit and see how many things I put on it, so I can be as practical and realistic as possible. (Huh, maybe I am growing up?) So I’ll just put a couple of things down that I know I for sure want, and we’ll see where it goes from there.

  1. I’d like to have my first child before I’m 30.
  2. I’d like to move out of Florida for good within the next 3 years. Or 2 years. Or sooner.
  3. I’d like to be at least passable playing the guitar again.
  4. I’d like to be done teaching at public schools for good.
  5. I’d like to be a member of the Third Order of the SSPX.
  6. I’d like to have continued consistently writing, whether it’s pen to paper, or fingers to keys.
  7. I’d like to have tried my hand at small scale gardening.
  8. I’d like to have given my husband a happy home life for three years.
  9.  to be continued
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