Tuesday, March 9, 2010

35 is the new 21, or something like that...

When the reels of the past run through my mind, I have to wonder why I chose to live my life in reverse order. While most people today are just getting married at age 28, I had already been married to my first husband for six years and had two kids. At the age I am now, most women are still considered "new brides" and they are toting diaper bags very much unlike my knock off Coach bag. The old 22 year old me was walking down the aisle in a wedding dress, rather than strutting into the hottest club in a mini dress. I wonder to myself, sometimes out loud in the presence of strangers, what would I do differently? And the real, honest answer is...nothing. Everything from my past brought me to my future, and the place I am now isn't such a bad place to be. I would still have gotten married, because when I made that choice I did it with love and committment. Things may not have turned out the way I had planned, but he was still my best friend and he gave me two beautiful children. I wouldn't go back and have decided to wait to have kids, because if I had I might not have had them. Cancer would have taken them from me, and my life would most certainly be incomplete. I love that I am young enough to enjoy my children and, at the same time, be able to remember the crap I pulled at their age so I am always one step ahead of them. I love that because my first marriage failed, I was able to define what I truly wanted from a spouse, and then I was lucky enough to find it. I love that despite my mistakes I have learned to love myself, and find peace within myself. I love that I learned to forgive. Forgiveness was the hardest and most treasured lesson I learned. I spent a lot of time blaming others for my unhappiness, but when I walked past a mirror and took a good, hard look at myself, I was able to absorb some of the blame and become someone entirely different than I had known.

As I have gotten older I have learned how important it is sometimes to shut your mouth, open you ears, and try to appreciate what someone else has to say even if you don't agree with it. I have learned patience and I have grown a deeper appreciation for the people who have stuck with me through this learning process. I have learned that sometimes the hardest part of letting go of the people who poison your life is because your love for them, and your belief in them, wants to keep holding on.

Most importantly, I have learned to appreciate and understand that you never get everything you want from life because sometimes you're given what you need and that is enough. You learn to love qualities in people that always seemed secondary to the qualities you thought you were looking for. You appreciate simpler things, like waking up to the sun shining on your face, or the unexpected hug from someone you love. I've learned to look at things differently. Every morning I get to open my eyes to the man I love, and kiss the children I've given life to and I feel like the luckiest person on earth.

I've learned not to miss an opportunity to tell the people who mean something to me that I love them, even if it sometimes seems awkward and out of place. I've learned to tell people I appreciate them more and praise them for their efforts rather than defeat them with their mistakes.

I've learned. Everyday I learn more about myself and it helps me to accept my flaws and shortcomings and physical imperfections. I've lived my life in reverse chronological order according to the rules of society, but I believe I have lived it exactly as it was meant to be lived.


  1. As I'm sure you know, I too had a child at a very young age, (16 when I got pregnant and 17 when I delivered) and I too would not take that back. I liked the fact that when she was growing up, I was attending college and could tailor my schedule so that I could spend as much time with my baby as possible. I'm glad that I didn't have to worry about dividing my time between my child and a career. When I now see women my age agonizing over having to choose between having a career and taking care of their children, I don't envy them one bit. And honestly, my daughter is grateful that she has a mother that is kind of "cool" and understands the culture she lives in. She wonders if the reason she's so much closer to me than her friends are to their mothers, is because of my age, or because I'm just such a good mom...lol. She's told me countless of times that she doesn't understand why kids her age despise their parents so much. And we've talked about it...discussing whether it's the children or the parents that are at fault. (still haven't come up with an answer)

    But yeah, I'm so thankful that I was a young mom and as you said, I am much better at spotting teenage bullshit than my mother was with me, precisely because I was doing the same shit, not so very long ago.

  2. My daughter and I are pretty close. We talk openly and we have girly days and we goof around, and I still get all the generation references so in her eyes, I am the coolest mom ever. Her friends come over and they all love me, yet they respect me because I set very clear boundaries. That is not to say I would encourage my daughter to take the same path, but I am happy with the choices I made.