Today is my birthday. I am 35. Officially in my mid-thirties. I don’t know how I pictured myself in my mid-thirties. I didn’t have aspirations to be a scientist or a lawyer, though idealizations such as these may have crossed a thought or two. When I was young, maybe 7 or 8, a friend of mine had a birthday party where everyone was dressed in a costume, a dream of what they wanted to be when they grew up, and I dressed as a bride. Some friends were dressed as doctors or athletes, but I wanted to have a family. This was before dreams such as these meant something, it was of an age where you could truly say what you wanted to be without judgement or guilt, where stereotypes didn’t matter and it was truly what you felt in your heart. I’ve heard that again, in respected literature, that who you want to be as a child is the absolute truth, the uninhibited dream. And I wanted to be a wife and a mother. As you grow up, politics gets mixed up in aspirations and women who go to work are always asked, “don’t you wish you could stay at home with your kids,” while women who stay at home are asked, “don’t you wish you could make something of yourself.” It’s not fair, women know this but still leave those questions hanging in their quiet moments.
Birthdays, they are an interesting day. We celebrate ourselves while pondering our place in life, is it right, were there any mistakes. But this birthday, for me, this 35th year, I feel wonderfully at peace. I am where I need to be, and not only where I need to be, but where I want to be. I am happy. I am truly, body absorbing, all encompassing, happy. I feel confident in myself. I took a rare picture of myself today, and I looked at myself and I didn’t feel old and I didn’t feel young, I felt right. I saw wrinkles creeping from the corners of my eyes signifying a lot of laughs, and eyeliner drawn too quickly because I raced upstairs to grab Ellie from her crib, and a necklace that Mya told me to wear on my birthday, and I said to myself, maybe you could have been a Pulitzer Prize winning author, but maybe you still can be, because deadlines in life don’t really exist unless you set them. I am right, I am as perfect as I want to be, and 35 is going to be an epic year.
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