It’s been 20 years since I graduated from high school.
This weekend, The Hero and I went to his class reunion. It was a blast and I had more fun than I can possibly type. My body isn’t what it used to be so staying up for 23 hours and then getting about four hours of sleep before the next 20+ hour day was taxing, but awesome.
Of course, I woke up and panicked because I didn’t have a post ready for today. Like, not one thing to even pull out of the archives. That lead to even more panic and then I saw that someone commented on a post I wrote more than two years ago about saying what I think. I realized right then that I’ve come a long way in two years, let alone the last 20.
Twenty years gave me an opportunity to learn from my mistakes with ease. No more beating my head against a wall for falling for the same thing. I slip up just like everyone else. It happens. What 20 years taught me is how I deal with the mistakes I make: leave it in the past and gently remind myself that this is a journey, MY journey, and in the end it will all be fine. That simple lesson has allowed me, in the last two years, to feel what I feel in the moment and keep it moving. Progress, however small, is still progress.
Twenty years have allowed me to stop wanting to be ‘better’ than who I am. I don’t mean not being open to new experiences and becoming a bigger me. I mean comparing myself with other people and wanting what they have be it a better figure, salary, home, car, kids (we all want to trade in our kids at some point for a little while), friends and on and on, ad infinitum. And then one day I woke up and realized that instead of focusing on what isn’t (which inevitably blocks that thing from coming anyway), focus on what IS. Not in comparison to someone else, the way we all say, ‘welll I could be homeless/unemployed/sick’, but in terms of my happiness. I realized I had WAY more than I initially thought.
So 20 years from now when I’m planning my 60th birthday blowout, I hope I’m still writing and giving people hope that we all change, we all grow and we all move forward no matter how slowly we think it’s going. We get where we want to go exactly when it’s time. Not a moment too soon or late. Enjoy the road, check out the flowers, count barns and cows and love your journey, the newly paved roads and potholes and all. It’s what makes us who we are.