Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Thirty Four.

I don't know if the day was sunny. Or cold.  If the room was shared.  If things felt dingy.  I have no recollection of that day.  Yet, every year, when it comes around, I celebrate.  It was the day I became known.  I was no longer hidden.  The world now had a new little life in it. 
With each passing year, the new number causes me to contemplate things a little more.  What has happened this past year that changed me?  What have I experienced in my thirty four years that other people haven't?  What parts of me do I want to take with me into this next year?  Which ones might be better left behind?  What are the parts of me that are hidden, that need to be made known?

Each question is loaded with answers.  They range in emotion.  This year, in particular, I dreamt of my papal the night before thirty four.  He hugged me.  I miss him.  And, I'm so glad that he is now with his wife of nearly fifty years.  He missed her greatly when she left the world before him.  I hope that our love will be as deep, as wide, as strong, and as selfless as his was.  And, I add that to my list of things I want to take with me this year.  Choosing love.  In the hard moments.  In the frustrations.  In the miscommunications.  In the exhaustion of littles.  Finding time to give of myself to the man I have committed a lifetime to.

The things I want to leave behind?  Yelling.  My communication with my children is sometimes done in louder and angrier ways than I want it to be.  I'm thirty four.  I can't control them.  But, I can work to control my responses.

The things I hide.  Anxiety.  I have been working hard at being more honest with this.  And, with each new things I share, someone else thanks me.  Someone else says, 'I feel that way too, but have been too afraid to share it.'  And, the camaraderie kills the voices telling me that people will think I'm crazy. One night in particular, when we were frustrated at each other, Jason asked what I was anxious about.
'You can't be anxious about everything.'
'Picking out your clothes?'
'Yes. '  And, I shared how and why this makes me anxious.
'The weather.'  He laughed.  Because, absurd.
'Yeap.' And, I shared how and why this makes me anxious.'
This was followed by five minutes of silence.  He didn't know the depth.  The way it likes to grab a hold and whisper all the lies.  All the what if's.  All the things that have been messed up in the past.  But, so many of those things die when they're spoken out loud. They thrive on the darkness.  They grow there.  But, the moment there is light, they die a little.  The moment someone else says, 'hey, me too' they shrink back, afraid.  And, so, I will share.  I'm thirty four and I will no longer hide my anxiety.

There is more. So much more. It's been a pretty good thirty four years.  Some of the years have been overshadowed by really hard things.  Some of them I don't remember.  Lots of them are only mere moments scattered throughout my memory, waiting for new moments to join them.

I'm thirty four.

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