Last year, I looked at my birthday as goodbye to the twenties and hello to the thirties. I was bound and determined to have a great time, and so I did. But the next morning when I woke up, clenching the pillow to my head to stop the version of Stomp that was playing inside of my still intoxicated head, I started thinking about what I was going to do. I mean, 30, that’s adult. That’s not cute, wild-n-crazy twenties – not that I was that crazy. I was a mother, a wife, a full time employee, a student – not a college kid. But there was something tugging at me. Not that something was missing, because my life was fairly full. But there was something there.
I was standing with my foot inside the door of 30, and I couldn’t see past the threshold. I had no idea what was on the other side. What were my dreams, my hopes for the future? The big 3 – 0, and I was asking what I wanted to be when I grew up. Let’s back up. I have a wonderful job, and I am great at it. I work with wonderful people who I learn from everyday. However, this was a path that I fell into – not chosen.
I started trying to “find” myself. Asking questions like – what is my purpose? Maybe it was a third-life crisis (as opposed to mid-life, hope to make it past 60!), maybe it was the question of legacy – I don’t know. All I know is that I needed answers.
I turned to God, and asked him. “Lord, I’ve been thinking. Trying to figure out the gifts that you gave me, and what you want me to use them for. Not to be rude, but I’m coming up short. I’m not questioning you – ok, maybe a little. You seemed to be in a silly mood the day you picked my skills, because you put together some very odd choices and some that I’m not sure that I could ever use in the real world.”
Here’s what I knew. I am an avid people-watcher. I enjoy watching how people relate to one another. I can be rather silly. I love to look at the world in new and unique ways, and point those out to others. I am empathetic to the point of ridiculousness. Seriously, why do I cry at cotton commercials? And with that comes the ability to put myself in other people’s shoes. My imagination is a tad bit out of control (no meds please). What “job” in this world could use these skills?? (If you know the answer, shh, don’t tell. She ain’t figured it out yet. That’s coming.)
So, off I went on my journey to “find” myself. Who would have thought that a kick-ass store in Decatur would have the answer hanging on a wall? (Heliotrope, for the locals.) I walked in browsing, just killing time. Up on the wall was a print with the words that would slap me in the forehead. “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about CREATING yourself.” “Hmmm,” was all I could say. I wanted those words. I wanted them tattooed on my backside, but knowing that I would want the world to know them too – I decided against that. Running around mooning people is not my style.
Months later, my journey began. Not only was I creating myself – I was creating other wonderful people and a world for them to live in. Their lives existed on my typing. The battles they faced required me to save them. They needed me, and I needed them. All that goofy stuff, those unusable skills were suddenly so clear as to why I possessed them. And I never feel closer to God than when I am writing.
This past year I transitioned from 30 to thirty-one (hopefully my writer buddies will get that). I not only found use for my talents, but I have found so many friends. This has been a great year. I am thankful for all the old relationships that have been re-kindled, the new ones that are growing, and friendships that have been with me all along. I am grateful for each of you, and I look forward to another great year.