For those of you who don’t get the reference, My Next Thirty Years is a song performed by Tim McGraw. I’m not sure who the songwriting credits belong to; I also honestly don’t care. There’s something about that song that’s kind of resonating within me at this moment.
I’m not quite forty years old. Not yet. Not for another year. My birthday, as most people already know by now, is October 1, this upcoming Saturday. I will be at work for this. The joys and disadvantages of being one of the strongest workers your boss has – you get to work weekends, the busiest times of the week, even when it’s your birthday.
As I said, I’m not quite forty years old yet. I have another year for that. My age doesn’t bother me. Most people are surprised to hear that I’m in my late thirties. They tend to put me in my mid to late twenties. Part of this is I have some really good genetics going on from my mom’s side of the family, I don’t drink excessively, I don’t smoke, and I’ve never abused other substances, be it prescription drugs or illegal substances. I’m almost thirty-nine years old, and I’ve never smoked pot.
It also helps, I guess, in that I act like myself, and I don’t feel old. Not truly. Yes, sometimes I move around like a seventy-year-old with bad arthritis thanks to pain and muscle stiffness in my knees and ankles, but otherwise . . . I don’t feel old. I don’t feel any different at thirty-nine than what I did at twenty-five. Yeah, a few years ago, I had like a mini mid-life crisis because I hadn’t done anything I’d wanted (writing career, start a family, and all that). I still panic a little about when I’ll have my children – I’m not getting any younger – but all is well in my life. I feel a confidence in me as I draw near to my thirty-ninth birthday that I haven’t felt in a very, very long time. I don’t care about people knowing my age. I don’t care if people think I’m odd or a weirdo or even a little insane (that would be the writer trait).
I never once expected to be homeless when that minor freak out happened for me.
I never expected to decide on self-publishing.
I never expected to actually fulfill my dream of becoming a server. I know. It probably sounds strange to some people, to have that type of a dream, but it’s true. And being a server has afforded me ways to budget and save my money in the ways that I knew it would.
It doesn’t truly take anything drastici to make a positive change in life.
I’m still learning to take baby steps. I have a tendency to be all or nothing, but I’m beginning to temper it. My writing career is only getting started and needs to be nurtured, much like how an infant needs to be nurtured and cared for in order to grow into childhood.
I’m definitely a lot stronger now for the people I’ve met, for the ones I’ve added to my life and for the ones I’ve cut out of my life. I love who I’m becoming because who I’m becoming is the beautiful, kind, generous person I was always meant to be.
And this has all been in the first third of my next thirty years.