The first birthday card of the year arrived in the mail four days early. My first guess as I reached into the cavernous mail box, fingers searching for the small envelope was, “Ah, must be Mom.”
I was mistaken. Ripping it open right there in the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with a lovely homemade card with beaded accents. Within was “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” stamped in a calming teal ink. Hand-written was, “Best Wishes From The Audubon Society.”
How very, very cool. I’ve only been an official member for less than a month and the kind birding fanatics remembered my birthday. Even before my own mother. *chuckles*
It occurred to me this morning, as I poured my very dark, very rich, and very caffeinated coffee into my Cedars mug, that today is the last day of my 30’s. Not simply the last day of a year, but the final day of a decade.
My pre-java-jolted brain wheeled from the significance of just how much time has past. Ten years of learning, stumbling, growing, hurting, loving, and coming into one’s own. I started my 30th year in pure Wonder Woman fashion — literally. Red, blue, white, and yellow streamers decorated my old apartment as Seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show played in the background. One friend brought a specially made WW cake, while another brought his muchly coveted Bennie Berry Juice. The party was filled with friends from all aspects of my life: childhood, dance club, wiccan, and other. I loved introducing them to each other and sitting back to watch the freaky geek sparks fly. The evening eventually ended up at the EMBERS where my dancing friends partied with me until I was the last one standing.
Thirty feels like so long ago. My third decade was when I became an ordained Priestess, loved three men, and watched my father die of prostate cancer. I nourished fledgling friendships and had two of them crash and burn before the decade was out. I made tons of mistakes, but was also gifted with just as many revelations. I wrote first drafts of four novels. I ballroom danced. I got corporately laid off three times and fired once. Now I am curious where my new career will take hold. I learned it was okay to be honest and to say “No”. I learned who my real friends are. I learned that all the rebirths I’ve done from the ashes is not a punishment but what I am meant to do to be who I am. I gained weight and lost it and gained a little of it back. I grew hips on this once stick-straight body and grew my hair long. I reveled in being a redhead and embraced my inner geek. My sass has grown sharper and my heart stronger. I’ve learned I can be tough when the need calls for it, and be compassionate when others won’t. I’ve learned what I am and what I’m not and have accepted both. All of this in just my third decade of life.
Forty will be awesome. There will be burning, there will be flames, there will be a Firebird spreading her wings; soaring over her old shell as she shines vibrantly in all that she is. And there may even be a margarita or three. Whatever this decade brings, I will not shy from it, I will not cower. I will look it proudly in the eyes and say, “Let’s rock.”